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Monday, July 18, 2005

Most CT lawmakers still quiet on eniment domain

Although the Supreme Court's eniment domain ruling was based on a case form New London, most Connecticut lawmakers aren't doing much to help curb the law.

From today's Connecticut Post

Connecticut lawmakers are taking a back seat in a fast-moving congressional effort to blunt a Supreme Court decision that allows the government to take private land for economic development.

The decision, issued June 23 and based on a New London, Conn., case, drew sharp criticism from some members of Congress, who see it as an assault on individual property rights.

However, no one from the Connecticut delegation is spearheading efforts to limit the practice, although a few state lawmakers are co-sponsoring bills.

And so far, none have participated in floor debates and none have posted any comments about the New London decision or eminent domain on their Web sites — although dozens of other lawmakers have done so.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, expressed concerns about the decision when asked for their opinion.

But Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., sided with the Supreme Court.

At least 30 House members and six Senators have posted statements criticizing the Supreme Court ruling on their Web sites; others, notably members of the House Western Caucus, have spoken out against it.


Simmons was the only member of the Connecticut delegation to support another amendment offered by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, which would have stricken $1.5 million from the Supreme Court's $60 million budget as a punitive measure. The amendment failed 374-42.

Simmons, whose district includes New London, has been quiet about the issue, although he has supported every eminent-domain resolution and amendment that has come before the House.

In a press statement, Simmons said he has "great sympathy for the homeowners and business owners" affected by the decision and is taking steps to remedy what he considers a flawed reading of the Constitution.