Taxpayers Have Already ‘Paid Enough’ for the Supreme Court’s Decision

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) voiced their strong support of Congressman Mark Kennedy’s (6th-MN) amendment to H.R. 3058, the FY06 Transportation, Treasury, HUD Appropriations Act, which prohibits the use of any funds appropriated in the bill to be used for enforcing the Kelo decision.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London ruled against the property owners of a town in Connecticut, affirming the local government’s ability to seize private property for private development and increased tax revenue.

“Congressman Kennedy’s amendment reaffirms that the American people have already ‘paid enough’ for the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “From this point forward, no taxpayer dollars should be appropriated for a court decision that so deliberately violates the rights of property owners.”

Following the decision in Kelo the Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment, ruled that software developers can be held liable when their products intentionally foster the infringement of copyrighted movies and music in MGM Studios v. Grokster. These two court decisions represent one large discrepancy between the protection of intellectual property rights and the protection of real property by the government.

“The message sent in the last week by the Supreme Court contradicts the efforts by many individuals and activists who are advocating for a uniformed stance in support of physical and intellectual property rights,” Norquist continued. “Members should recognize that the Kennedy Amendment will be the most important vote on property rights faced so far this year, and must show their support for physical property owners across the country by voting in favor of the measure.”