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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fighting Eminent Domain? Call Thune! He'll Help!

South Dakota landowners who have been slapped with condemnation notices by land-grabbing foreign oil corporation TransCanada should enlist Senator John Thune in their battle to protect their property rights. Back in 2005, following the controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, Thune issued a statement passionately defending property rights against eminent domain:

In the past, private land could be taken only for an important public use. As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, land can now be seized for “economic development.” Many Americans are concerned that local, state, and federal governments could now seize valuable private property and disregard the rights of homeowners. The Constitution states that “private property” shall not be “taken for public use without just compensation.” Nowhere does the Constitution say that private property can be taken “for private economic development"...

This issue is especially important for South Dakotans. Protection of small businesses and property is essential to a state such as ours, which supports thousands of small-scale enterprises. Private land ownership is also critical for our farmers and ranchers, whose basic livelihood is at risk if their property rights are not protected. [Senator John Thune, "My Land Is NOT Your Land," 2007.07.25]

Our elected officials remain disturbingly silent on TransCanada's efforts to steal our land for its own profit. Given Senator Thune's opposition to the Kelo decision, I hope the good senator will help defend the rights of South Dakotans against a similar violation of property rights.

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