tv Cornerstone of Liberty CSPAN September 25, 2017 7:03am-7:21am EDT
middle class homes and replace them with high-rise is and restaurants and office space for the private company pfizer. so they took him away using their eminent domain power under the constitution and of course when the homeowners object to, basically you can take away property rights, that is what the constitution says because you can use the imminent domain power for public use. like a highway, like a military base, post office expanding the road. there are lots of public uses we can think of, but one thing we know public use doesn't mean private use in taking away private property and giving it away to a private company seems like a private use. so they took it to the supreme court and shockingly they said it was perfectly fine to take away private homes and give it away to a private company because the public purpose of increasing tax revenue and
creating jobs and it is just a horrible decision because essentially what that means is all of our homes are at risk if some bureaucrat decides my private home would be better off with some rich corporations. christina sandefur so what ended up happening? >> guest: sadly, ms. k-kilo's house was demolished as were the other homes in the neighborhood. they moved outside his attribute to the cause of fighting for property rights. all the homes were demolished and amazingly enough, there is nothing that fits on that site today. if you go visit the neighborhood , you will see beautiful high-rises. you'll see essentially a wasteland. you can actually go look at it on google street view and it's really horrible because after all of the legal battles, and taking away homes, pfizer decided to not locate there after work.
they really did one of a denied area to begin with and the government decision coming to bureaucratic decision and not a market decision. pfizer had decided and it doesn't make sense for us to live here. now these people have lost their homes and there's nothing there. >> was there any money given to these homeowners? >> there was driven government takes away your property through eminent domain, they give you just compensation. just compensation isn't really all that jazz. if i don't want to sell my home and suzette and her neighbors did not want to sell their homes, there's no price you could offer me that would compensate me for taking away my home and that is what suzette said. they bring in somebody to assess the value of the property in the government pays you what they think is just compensation. there is no way government can
ever fully compensate you for what your home is worth when you put your blood sweat and tears into making it your own peer christina sandefur how did you get involved in the case? >> when that case came out, a lot of our organization, the goldwater institute is a faith-based organization where i work my love for property rights solutions at the state level. so i got involved after the decision came out, we said in no outcome of this is horrific. federal government is going to fail us here. it's time for the states to step in and do something about it. founding fathers envision the system would work at the federal government fails to bring up the constitutional rights and states use their own powers to protect our rights. so we drafted a lot and it's a state law passed in states nationwide and essentially says when government takes away property rights, whether by eminent domain for something
called a regulatory taking when they make a late for property rights they have to pay you for it. either way, government cannot take away property rights for private purpose. only a truly public office like the things we were just talking about. christina sandefur what kind of legal costs or how long did this process last? >> the wheels of justice turn slowly in and fortunately it is extremely expensive to protect your property rights. she was lucky because shared representation of a nonprofit rights in the goldwater institute has also gotten involved in defending property rights across the country. but of course we are a small nonprofit organization can afford take on the case in the average property owner can afford to go up against government. government has the benefit of reaching into taxpayer's pocket and they can fund litigation for years and years until eventually
they wear us down. they can take cases to the supreme court and often times people don't cite imminent domain abuses are regulatory taking because it's cost prohibitive to do so. >> do you think eminent domain is necessary? unmasking a pretty generally. >> guest: you know, in most cases i don't think it's necessary. we see the cases where government needs to put a military base in and it's an important strategic location for that or some sort of public service waterworks where it needs to go and not location. you can see without an understand government's use of power. when it really comes down to it, it is worth it for government to take the property they ought to do it to the market process like anybody else. if the private property is necessary you needed, then i
should go to the property owner and make an offer that actually makes sense and compensate them for the market process. make no mistake. eminent domain truly is stealing somebody's property. this is an unwilling seller in government is coming in to take away private property. although it may be necessary in limited cases, certainly the way government uses power today is an abuse for not necessary. >> host: our president had a case of eminent domain, too. >> guest: this is a really good illustration because some people think property rights are tools of the wealthy and will connect it. but in fact, property rights are essential to protect the non-wealthy in the example with president trump is a good illustration of that. some years ago before he was president when he was a businessman, donald trump went to the government.
he was in atlantic city and wanted property located next to the casino so he could put up a parking watch for his limousines. we went to the government and said please take the property for the little lady next door so i can put up a high raise parking garage. the government when it tried to do it. luckily she was able to go to court. you had groups that they may defend her rights and one that case unlike ms. kilo, we won that case and she was able to keep her property. it really shows you why property rights and enforcing them are essential to protect people who are not like mr. trump, who don't have a lot of money and political connections, but everyday people that want to keep their property. christina sandefur have there been repercussions for more cases? >> guest: the goodness about kilo is that states nationwide didn't rush to pass protections.
almost every single case now has a state law that prohibits something like kilo from occurring. ironically, connecticut where the said three took place in people's rights are still endangering connecticut. that is a positive. i would argue there is a moral ideas pro to property rights going on today, even if eminent domain is something we call regulatory thinking. this is the government comes in and regulate their property rights or we can build an additional structure that we can't allow someone to stay overnight in our homes for money like we were done ere bnp. these are regulations that take away her rights to sell her property that because we are not coming in and taking title ii the property, they are
oftentimes successful in doing so that they ought not compensate at all. you've got a situation where your property is worth less now. property value has dropped. he done the same rights as before and you are still stuck with the mortgage payments become a separate taxes and liability if someone comes on your property and government has not paid the compensations. that's for the property right battles are today and that is where the goldwater institute is still fighting and why we wrote this book because we wanted people to understand regulatory taking are just as important if not more important than a minute domain that we want to follow arizona's example and protect people as well. >> host: one of the other things you write about in "cornerstone of liberty" is the issue of community planning and housing starts and what it cost to get a house built.
>> california is always an example when we want to look at what not to do when it comes to property rights. you're absolutely right. numerous studies done recently that shows the high cost of living. people complain about how it's much more expensive to live in cities like los angeles or san francisco in the cost of living is due to excessive regulation. it's unbelievable the process a builder has to go through now just to build a home. the number of sections, some requirements are very arbitrary. you have to submit plans to the local zoning board and oftentimes there's no guidance whatsoever as to what you actually have to do to comply. they will say something like this is the general character of the neighborhood we want to see. go ahead and drop your plans and commit them to us. submit to the board and they'll take a look at it and say go
back and do something different. they don't give you any kind of guidance as to what you need to do that now you have this costly process with builders going back in for submitting these plans. it's more and more expensive than the cost of renovating those homes are keeping them up to the necessary electrical repairs you have to go through the process again. that is what is making it unaffordable for people to live in the cities today, especially the state of california is excessive regulation. >> host: one of the figures you cite, in 2014 there were 83,000 building permits given in california. is a senior near the city of houston was 4000 building permits are given. >> if we look at the texas
cities, especially in houston, we see a very deregulatory response. we see cities that give clear indications of what is required and they are usually things focused on health and safety. that is the government should be doing when they talk about permitting us let's make sure people are actually save any structures are sound and beyond that, let people do whatever they want what their buildings and let people create whatever they want and let people paint their homes whatever color they want and live next to a business. by giving people the freedom of choice, the market decides what building should be aware and reduces the cost substantially and use the amazing growth in when homes are cheaper to build, businesses can come in this is something extremely important, respecting property rights makes an economy thrive.
and then we look at california and see the exact opposite. the cost of living is increasing, more expensive to do business in the state of california and they're coming to state that texas or arizona were the regulation is not as severe. christina sandefur how did you get involved with this issue? >> it's interesting and i got involved with this issue in part because the kilo case. a lot of us pay more attention to property rights were shocked to find out government can come in and take away private property rights and give it away to private business. that's what i really started paying attention to the issue. i saw it again so states and only put a band-aid on the problem and not try to address this excessive regulations. that's when i decided my work was needed at the state level in the goldwater institute 10 years ago shortly after the kilo case to shed a light on the problem that sound very.
people pay attention to political issues but not necessarily to property rights are regulations but they ought to because it affects our ability to earn a living, put food on the table and put a life for herself and let the american dream. that's why the issue appeals to me and my goal is to get more people to get property rights and care about those issues to protect property. my co-author is my husband. we actually met, believe it or not, quite the romantic story. we met over property rights in bonded over property rights. we are both attorneys. we both dedicated our lives to defending people's property rights. i have read another book he had written. i sought him out. we met and decided to collaborate on a book together
and now we are married and pregnant for property rights together. the family this is the government together stays together. >> host: is this the that timothy train to work together. "cornerstone of liberty: private property rights in 21st century america." this is but tv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]