Monday, June 27, 2005

Senator Cornyn's Bill

Senator John Cornyn introduced The Protection of Homes, Small Business, and Private Property Act of 2005, which would limit the effect of Kelo in takings with federal money. (Cornyn's statement is here). This is certainly a step in the right direction, but most abuses of eminent domain do not involve federal money. I'm sure Cornyn is reluctant to expand his bill to cover all takings because he worries about the Constitutionality of such measures.

Cornyn could rely upon the Commerce Clause for broader legislation. There is little doubt that municipal takings can affect interstate commerce. (Consider every stadium taking where the team threatens to go to another state). And the Raich decision certainly preserves the Supreme Court's broad reading of the Commerce Clause. But conservatives should be wary of using the Commerce Clause so broadly--since the ultimate goal is to reign it in, right?