Many conservative pundits and Tea Party activists are criticizing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s ongoing support of eminent domain, but the real estate billionaire is not backing down.
“It would have been easy to say I’m totally against eminent domain but that is not a fair thing to say because without it, states couldn’t function,” GOP Presidential front-runner Donald Trump tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
Trump seems to have a more subtle understanding of eminent domain, he believes that using it for exclusively private gain is the wrong thing to do.
“If you were going [to use eminent domain] to rip down a house and build another house, no way,” Trump says.
On that point, Trump and Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, seem to be in agreement.
“Having the government take one person’s property for another’s gain is not a conservative principle,” Phillips tells Breitbart News.
“But if you’re going to build a factory that’s going to have 5,000 jobs, that’s entirely different,” Trump says.
And here is where Trump and his critics differ.
In 1946, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Carmack that:
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.
Trump and his critics have different views on what constitutes “public use.”
Unfortunately for critics of a more expanded view of eminent domain, the Supreme Court’s very unpopular 2005 decision in Kelo v. New London supports Trump’s more expanded view.
Pundits are almost unanimous in their criticisms of Trump for his eminent domain position, but Tea Party activists are more varied in their assessments.
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