Release: July 5, 2005
Sen. Clark Jolley announces the formation of an eminent domain task
Some members of the task force include (from left to right) Jeramy
Rich, Rep. Pam Peterson,
Rep. Mark Liotta, Rep. Mike Reynolds & Brandon Dutcher.
Task Force Formed To Fight Eminent Domain
In protest to a recent Supreme Court ruling, a group
of state legislators has formed a task force to find the best solution
for fighting eminent domain in Oklahoma.
Founder of the task force, Sen. Clark
Jolley, R-Edmond, said that the purpose behind the group is
to create a piece of legislation for next year's session that will
best address the new issue. The Supreme Court in the case of Kelo
v. City of New London ruled last month that eminent domain can now
be used for private development.
"After the Supreme Court announced it's decision regarding
the eminent domain issue, several legislators independently announced
that each would be introducing legislation to take care of the problem
created by the Court," said Jolley. "I'm so pleased to
bring together many of those legislators who have a desire to study
and jointly introduce the legislation in both the Senate and House
to protect Oklahomans from the potential harm which abuse of eminent
Jolley was joined by Tulsa Republicans Rep. Mark Liotta and Rep.
Pam Peterson for a press conference
Tuesday at the Capitol announcing the formation of the task force.
"Among other things, we’re going to study the impact
of the ruling on the residents of New London to determine what action
our state legislature needs to take. We will add the necessary provisions
to the bill that is drafted for next session to protect Oklahoma's
property owners," said Liotta. "There are already several
other states working diligently to right this wrong and we're with
The legislators pointed out that the Supreme Courts in at least
eight other states including those in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois,
Kentucky, Maine, Montana, South Carolina and Washington have overturned
the federal Supreme Court decision. These state courts have forbid
the use of eminent domain for economic development unless it is
to eliminate blight.
"This task force is our way of reassuring our citizens that
we're serious about dealing with this issue," said Peterson.
"We're afraid that the ruling could threaten more than home
ownership; issues like water and mineral rights as well as any other
rights dealing with real property could be affected. We want to
make sure that our citizens and everything they work hard for is
The task force will also include William M. Tabb, a professor of
law at the University of Oklahoma who specializes in environmental
law and remedies, along with Brandon Dutcher, who is vice president
for policy for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and Jeramy
Rich, the Director of Public Policy for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.
Crain, R-Tulsa, was unable to attend the press conference but
will also be a member of the newly formed task force.
"This court decision is a serious blow to the rights of individual
property owners and we want to create a piece of legislation that
will give greater protection to our citizens," said Crain.
"It's one thing to use private property to build schools and
safer roads but to seize private property for private economic development
is a blatant abuse of power that has to be stopped."
Jolley said the task force will report by August on how the state
legislature can best solve this problem.
"We want to make sure that every concerned Oklahoman knows
that this team of legislators and private citizens are already at
work to ensure that the legislation we introduce this fall will
be well-researched and thought out to make sure the right to own
property is protected in this state."
more information contact:
Office - (405) 521-5698