Republican presidential candidate John McCain says a 2005 property rights ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is one of the worst court decisions in years and he supports efforts to undo the consequences.
That Supreme Court decision cleared the way for local government officials who want to seize private property and turn it over to developers in hopes to reaping more tax revenue.
"I think it’s outrageous and frankly an affront on one of the real principles of what our nation was founded and that is respect for people’s property," McCain said during a telephone interview with Radio Iowa.
Last year, the Iowa Legislature passed a state law that makes it more difficult for local government officials to seize private property and McCain said if a similar law at the federal level can’t undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s action on property rights, then he’d back an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to do it.
"The lesson here in Iowa was that people really, really are outraged by the possibility of them losing their homes or their small businesses just because the local government is going to make more money in tax revenue," McCain said.
According to McCain, property rights is a "sleeper issue" in the campaign trail. Fred Thompson, the Hollywood actor and former Tennessee senator who is preparing to enter the race for the GOP’s presidential nomination, criticized the Supreme Court’s property rights decision himself last week. Thompson said the historic protection of private property rights in America had helped the country become "the greatest economic power in the world."
McCain has just wrapped up a three-day campaign swing through Iowa.