Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a legislative hearing on the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1689). The hearing will examine the state of property rights in the United States since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

Eleven years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its now infamous decision in Kelo v. City of New London, which determined that a government’s decision to take property for the purpose of private economic development satisfies the “public use” requirement of the Fifth Amendment. Thursday’s hearing will explore current issues related to property rights and the Fifth Amendment limits on the government’s authority to take private property.

The witnesses for Thursday’s hearing will be:

  • Jeffrey Redfern, Attorney, Institute for Justice;
  • Tina Barnes, Client, Institute for Justice; and
  • William Buzbee, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Steve King (R-Iowa) released the following statement prior to the hearing:

Chairman Goodlatte: “Private property ownership is one of the cornerstones of the American dream. Protecting private property from government confiscation was a core principle that shaped the Bill of Rights.

“The Fifth Amendment’s Taking Clause was a fundamental protection the American people had against the government to prevent it from seizing private property just to give it to another more politically favored private party. What we understood about that important provision of the Bill of Rights was upended when the Supreme Court made its controversial ruling in Kelo v. the Citiy of New London.”

Subcommittee Chairman King: “Twelve years ago the infamous Kelo case ignored the Fifth Amendment and substituted the judgment of unelected activist judges in the place of the vision of property rights articulated by the Founders. Takings by the government are only allowed for public use after just compensation. When the Supreme Court ruled that government could take private property from citizens and transfer it to other private entities for private purposes they obliterated the limited nature of eminent domain. I look forward to the hearing on this vital topic and all efforts to restore the original understanding of property rights under the Constitution.”


The hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at https://judiciary.house.gov/. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

Click here to learn more about this hearing.