Conservative legal scholars say that the right to own property is one of our most fundamental rights as US citizens and is the basis for many of our other freedoms. Indeed the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution affirms that right. But, gradually bit by bit, governmental regulation has eroded private property rights and where our loss is most striking is in the proliferation of environmental restrictions on property owners.
For Tea Party-minded people this issue is (and should be!) as important as the issue of taxation.
That said, I want to direct you to Richard Falknor’s post of last evening at Blue Ridge Forum where Falknor has done us a great service by showing us how Maryland Legislators voted on important “environmental” planning bills in the last few years. We have this tendency (I have it too!) to believe Legislators when they — I’m a conservative (LOL! the proof is in the voting, not the talking!). I urge everyone to look up your state Senators and Delegates and see how they voted on an issue that is a defining one (smart growth) on their view of private property rights.
Clearly “smart growth” in Maryland has been repeatedly and recently endorsed on a (lamentably) bi-partisan basis in the General Assembly.
Maryland activists need to give a short course on property rights and personal freedom to those members of the General Assembly who, while sailing under conservative colors, voted for these three “smart growth” measures – one approved in 2009, and two in 2010. These measures are, as we have written, moving parts for Plan Maryland.
At least we can take some solace from the fact that some members of the Legislature wised up as time went on. All Republicans voted for O’Malley’s “smart growth” initiative in 2009, but by the time they got to the third bill above, many in the House of Delegates (but not all) and a couple in the Senate had wised up!
Read the whole post at Blue Ridge Forum!