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There will be a “No Eminent Domain for Private Gain” public hearing next Tuesday, March 29, at 3:30 pm at the Capitol rotunda.  Iowa farmers and other affected landowners are invited to speak about the impact the carbon capture pipelines and threat of eminent domain are having on them.  I plan to attend and hopefully other legislators will be present as well.

Late in the week, the House passed an amendment to an appropriations bill (HF 2565) that theoretically postpones the scheduling of any carbon pipeline hearing until after February 1, 2023.  I believe we need legislative protection from eminent domain abuse that is much stronger and more permanent.  My bill (SF 2160), which was eliminated on February 16, or the two House bills that were set aside by leadership around the same time (HF 2320 sponsored by Rep. Tom Jeneary; HF 2325 sponsored by Rep. Henry Stone), are better approaches to the problem.

Author: Jeff Taylor


  1. This is where we fall back on Iowa’s Constitution to stop eminent domain for profit dead in its tracks as unconstitutional therefore null and void. We don’t need legislation to “reaffirm” what is already reserved to we the people.

    From Article 1 Section 1 — Rights of Persons
    “All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights–among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, ACQUIRING, POSSESSING AND PROTECTING PROPERTY, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”

    Article 1, Section 18 — Eminent Domain
    “Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation first being made, or secured to be made to the owner thereof, as soon as the damages shall be assessed by a jury, who shall not take into consideration any advantages that may result to said owner on account of the improvement for which it is taken.

    The general assembly, however, may pass laws permitting the owners of lands to construct drains, ditches, and levees for agricultural, sanitary or mining purposes across the lands of others, and provide for the organization of drainage districts, vest the proper authorities with power to construct and maintain levees, drains and ditches and to keep in repair all drains, ditches, and levees heretofore constructed under the laws of the state, by special assessments upon the property benefited thereby. The general assembly may provide by law for the condemnation of such real estate as shall be necessary for the construction and maintenance of such drains, ditches and levees, and prescribe the method of making such condemnation.”

    I see ditches, drains and levees as valid uses of eminent domain, not pipelines in the Constitution. Methinks, we need a constitutional amendment (not happening) or we revert to the Common Law prescription for property damages of triple market value. For profit entities like Rastettler and cronies can cough up 3 times the land value, while the land owner still maintains permanent easement rights.

    Proofs that takings for private gain are illegal;
    In 1803, Justice John Marshall wrote in his decision for Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137; “Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently, the theory of every such government must be, THAT AN ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE, REPUGNANT TO THE CONSTITUTION, IS VOID.”

    This is further reaffirmed in 1966 with Miranda v, Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, on page 491; “WHERE RIGHTS SECURED BY THE CONSTITUTION ARE INVOLVED, THERE CAN BE NO RULEMAKING OR LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD ABROGATE THEM.”

    Legislators paid off by private interests to ignore the Constitution or the will of the people hardest hit by these truths. Maybe they should return the corrupted $$$?


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