Eminent Domain. Ever heard of it? Eminent domain allows that the government may undertake to seize a home or property through condemnation proceedings, given due process and fair compensation. Granted this has been used to procure homes that are not deserving of condemnation by any means. Most recently, in areas undergoing gentrification – another 50 cent word, it means Urban Renewal – local governments have used eminent domain to take homes from citizens simply based on location. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? However, legislation passed last year makes misused eminent domain proceedings seem like a walk in the park. The legislation in question completely undermines the Amendment Three of the Bill of Rights.
As the Third Amendment states:
“No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
Here’s how the murder of Amendment Three occurred:
Victim – The Third Amendment: Freedom from quartering soldiers (with restrictions)
Assassin: US Gov’t
M.O. (modus operandi): The National Defense Resource Preparedness Act (NDRP) The President, by executive order, gave himself the authority to take over all resources in the nation. This includes (our) labor, (our) food, and (our) industr[ies], along with various other vital resources. Among these are listed “construction materials.” This can easily be translated to mean your home. With such a line of reasoning, your home could be seized for any number of “needed” functions stated by the prescribed agent as one that promotes the government’s national defense or security “objectives.” This ‘objective’ is not written to be limited to safety of Americans. It is a phrase so vague that it could be defined in any number of ways, on a whim. For example, imagine a new president has stepped in and decides the public has become too violent and it is a matter of national security that the US must subdue dissidents. It (the government) decides it must infiltrate by living in the neighborhoods where most of the strife is occurring. Your home, being comprised of ‘construction materials,’ is seized to provide a place for agents to reside during the operation. No due process. No compensation. Time to pack? Who knows.
Further, according to this order, the president may also delegate these powers to various other agency heads, such as the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Commerce.
During colonial times, the practice of providing housing accommodations for British troops, by ordering they reside in private homes, was common. Given their disdain from such practices of King George III, it was written into the Bill of Rights that Americans not be forced into “quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.” Today, that right no longer exists in concrete form. American citizens can be not only forced to house soldiers, but possibly to give up their home to a soldier. Either act should be done by choice, by one who holds honor to our troops for the risks they take in our defense. These acts should not be accomplished through coercion that has been declared legal.