Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Empire Strikes Back

From the Goldwater Institute

The Empire Strikes Back
Cities Demand People Sign Away Prop 207 Rights.

by Clint Bolick February 6, 2007

Just two months ago, Arizona voters sent a resounding message to their government: hands off our property. Passing Proposition 207 by a 65 percent majority, despite doomsday scenarios from elected officials and bureaucrats, the voters put the clamps on regulations that exceed normal governmental purposes and diminish the value of private property.

Given that public officials are sworn to uphold the law, one might expect them to figure out how to comply with the new limits. But, of course, most of the ingenuity is being poured into how to evade them.

The East Valley Tribune reported that slews of cities have come up with a nifty way to nullify Proposition 207: whenever property owners ask permission to develop their property, they force them to sign a waiver of their Proposition 207 rights. These waivers are blatantly unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that government can't condition a benefit on the surrender of rights.

Kleptomania is too widely entrenched for local governments to abandon it easily. Too bad we'll all have to foot the bill if someone has to sue the cities to establish that the law means what it says.

Key Links
City of Peoria
Denial of Permit due to refusal to waive Prop 207 rights
East Valley Tribune
Cities bypass property rights
League of Arizona Cities and Towns
Prop 207 Workshop
Ann Seiden, Communications and Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, Goldwater Institute, (602) 462-5000 x 223,

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