Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

Please vote Yes on Question 1 in Virginia

Amidst the whirl and rush about the candidates, there is a critical ballot initiative up in Virginia tomorrow. Question 1 would enshrine in the state constitution private property rights against eminent domain – rights that were presumed to be in the federal Constitution until the Kelo decision.

This is an excellent example of the dangers of relying to heavily on the federal document – which does little to restrain overreaching state and local governments even with Amendments IX and XIV. This proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution would put a badly needed limitation on a document ratified in the Big-Government-knows-best era (1971, to be exact).

So please vote Yes on Question 1.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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5 Responses to “Please vote Yes on Question 1 in Virginia”

  1. Ken Reynolds

    But, this just becomes another impediment to the free operation of the people’s elected reps. If the reps/want to do something, whether at the BOCS level or the General Assembly, then we dont need another built-in impediment that says automatically, NO, you cant do that.

  2. Lovettsville Lady

    Yes, it becomes an impediment to the government ceasing private property. Of course the democrats support the government being allowed to take your house, your business, your property. Thank goodness the people don’t support that and will vote YES on Amendment 1.
    I loved Dick Saslaw’s comment on this Amendment, “the last place we need property rights is in the Constitution”! Hahaha, yeah, what were those crazy founding fathers thinking?! And now it will be in the Virginia Constitution too! Thank you Mark Obenshain and Rob Bell for working so hard to protect our private property rights!

  3. matt k.

    Agree with Ken Reynolds. This Constitutional amendment is unncessary. LOOK at the current VA statute that was the response to the Kelo decision– it’s basically the same as this proposed Amendment. The one material difference between the existing statute (which already clearly limits Kelo’s reach in VA) and the propsoed Amendment concerns the landowner getting paid for extra stuff….

    The Amendment admittedly differs a bit from the existing statute b/c it provides that ‘just compensation’ under the Takings Clause includes not only the fair market value for the land taken by the government, but also future rents and future profits. Some economists/realty appraisers would say that the FMV of land already includes these things, but I suppose one could argue otherwise. But, READ the TEXT of the proposed Amendment, which does NOT define future rents and profits, but rather punts this BACK to the General Assembly to be defined later.

    So, to be clear, we already have an existing statutory under VA law which protects VA landowners from the broader gov’t taking purposes of Kelo. The proposed Amendment ADDS to compensation to the landowner, above and beyond FMV, by requiring the govt to pay the landower future rents & profits. Who decides how much future rents/profits, and for how much into the future (10 yrs? 50 yrs? 100 yrs of future profits?)?? The proposed Amendment expressly says “to be determined by the General Assembly”. Here’s a crazy idea– why not just have the General Assmebly amend the existing statute to include ‘future rents and profits’? And while they’re at it, the Gen. Assembly could define & clarify the meaning, scope, valuation, and duration of this additonal compensation beyond FMV.

    Do we reallty need to “enshrine” this in the VA Constitution? Is anyone honestly feel that the existing law, enacted with overwhelming support in response to Kelo decision, is not protecting landowners enough, or that it’s not good enough to simply amend the statute?! I’m a little concerned by the increasing tendency to use Constitutional Amendments to delcare the law, when statutes in the Code of Virginia can adequately address the details.

  4. The Dissident

    matt k,

    Nowhere in your long, rambling post is there a coherent rationale for opposing Question 1. We are all dumber for having read it. I award you know points and may God have mercy on your soul.

    And Ken Reynolds’ posts can cause mental retardation in small children who are exposed to them. That is a medical fact.

  5. Ken Reynolds

    The Dissident’s name is well-placed. How much more do you want the Constitution to be cluttered? You do know that it needs a good broom right now……..we have a preposterous legislative system….2-3,000 bills each year and then junking up the Constitution. What happened to your free market? Cant we keep the provision of leaving abandoned property to the will of the public via governing bodies, to put it to good use? First you want a ffree market and then tie things up in the Constitution and whine when people point this out to you…..Go to your r oom Dissident!!!

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