Mike Lee Testifies Regarding Eminent Domain Authority Bill
February 23rd, 2010
Utah Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate supports assertion of state sovereignty
Salt Lake City, UT, February 23, 2010 — Testifying before the Utah House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee this morning, U.S. Senate Candidate Mike Lee discussed the importance of passing a bill introduced by Utah Representative Chris Herrod (R-Provo) that would codify as a Utah state statute the authority to exercise eminent domain authority over federally owned land within the state.
The bill in question is HB143, one of three bills being promoted by Rep. Herrod and Utah Representative Ken Sumsion (R-American Fork) that would begin the process of exercising this authority to take control of the land.
During his testimony, Mike Lee referred to the clause in the U.S. Constitution that requires that state legislatures consent to the federal acquisition of land, and said, "This is language that I believe has been ignored for a long time in this country, but it's time to revisit it, it's time to address it, and I believe this bill provides the state of Utah with the mechanism whereby it can address its own sovereign interests, and reclaim them."
Lee continued: "We are in fact being compelled into an undue obedience to the general government by virtue of the fact that they control 70% of our land, and on top of that tell us that we don't exercise the bundle of rights accompanied with state sovereignty. They're wrong."
The bill passed out of committee with a favorable recommendation by a unanimous vote, sending it to the full House.
Mike Lee is running for the seat currently held by three-term incumbent Senator Bob Bennett, who currently sits on the United States Senate Energy Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, which oversees public lands.
About Mike Lee: An attorney from Alpine, Utah, Lee has served as a law clerk to Judge Dee Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, as a law clerk to Judge Samuel Alito of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, as General Counsel to Governor Jon Huntsman, and as a law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito of the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also held positions in private practice, and is currently a partner with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Howrey LLP.
I asked Utah's legislators, last year, to draw a strong and definable line in the sand to stop the ever encroaching federal government and to take back Utah's lands and resources. I've discussed many concerns issues with men such as Brad Daw, Carl Wimmer, Stephen Sandstrom and Ken Sumsion...I am delighted to see bill after bill being introduced and passing the Utah State Legislature. I am even more delighted to find Mike Lee, well-versed in the U.S. Constitution and defense of that great document, standing on the side of the U.S. Constitution and these men who are fighting for our state's rights.
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