I misspoke. I shouldnâ€™t have said property owners suffer double jeopardy from eminent domain abuse, as I argued in a recent episode of Common Sense. More like triple. Even quadruple.
Until recently in New York State, for example, government officials did not even bother to inform property owners that an eminent domain action was being undertaken against them. Instead they just put a classified notice in micro-print in some newspaper. Thanks to citizen activist Bill Brody, officials must now inform owners directly of plans to rob them.
Add to such willful violation of due process the fact that you might not get a â€œjustâ€ compensation for the lost property either, and thatâ€™s triple jeopardy for property owners.
Now add harassment. It seems some officials are willing to actively persecute you if you want to keep your property. Wyoming rancher Harvey Robbins refused to play along with the Bureau of Land Managementâ€™s demand for his land. Bureau officials warned him things could â€œget ugly.â€ Then things got ugly. His business permit was revoked, his permit for livestock grazing was revoked. His right of
way on federal land was cancelled, a bogus criminal prosecution was launched.
Robbins sued the agency for violating his property rights, among other things. The case is now in the Supreme Court.
So. Four major ways, at least, government is willing to wantonly violate your rights if they want your property and you donâ€™t want to give it to them. Four too many.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.