By the way, 27 Republicrooks voted against the bill. And the bill would have passed anyway without the support of the Democraps. There simply is no logical explanation for voting for the bill other than to please corporate interests.
Jerry Howard, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders said: "We commend House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for bringing this bill to a vote and Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) for bringing it out of the House Judiciary Committee. I want to thank Representatives Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) for introducing the measure and helping to bring strong bipartisan support."
The bill is a direct attack on local community land control. It was desired by many corporate interests that make up the sprawl industry, particularly home builders, land speculators and sprawl developers. The bill is aimed at making it difficult for municipalities and zoning boards to control large developments or enforce their environmental or safety regulations.
Corporate interests have been hurt by the national smart growth movement and the attack on uncontrolled suburban sprawl. They want federal courts to rule. Whatever happened to minimizing the role of the federal government among Republicrooks? The bill would prohibit a federal district court from refusing to hear claims of takings by states and localities until a final decision has been rendered by a state court. The bill also would make other changes to existing law applicable to takings claims, such as defining "final decision" for the claims, thereby relaxing the standards by which such claims are found ripe for adjudication in federal district courts or in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. This is legalese for saying that corporate interests could bypass local and state authorities.
Word is that the Senate will not consider the bill this term. But who knows what tricks the Senate Republicrooks might pull.
The Sacramento Bee editorialized: "Courts no longer would be able to look at the 100-acre parcel as a whole, but would have to look at each lot. So, local government would have to pay developers not to build on every inch in the 100-acre parcel. Taxpayers would pick up the tab for this extortion. If developers didn't get what they wanted from local zoning boards, they'd be able to bypass state courts and go to federal court. Judge Frank Easterbrook, a Reagan appointee in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, dismissed such special pleading in a 1994 case. 'Federal courts are not boards of zoning appeals,' he wrote. Those who 'neglect or disdain' their state remedies should be thrown out of court, period."
So if you care about sprawl and local government authority and corporate corruption of our government pay attention to this corporate attempt to screw we the people. Even if the Senate does not consider it this term, watch out for what happens in the next congress.