Defenders of Property Rights was founded in 1991 to counterbalance the governmental threat to private property as a result of a broad range of regulations. We believe that society can achieve important social objectives– such as protection of our environment and preservation of our national heritage– without destroying private property rights or undermining free market principles.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution explicitly provides that, “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The mission of Defenders of Property Rights is to ensure that the property rights contained in the Constitution be given the full effect of the law. To better achieve this goal, we focus our energy on three areas:
Education: We educate property owners about their rights and how best to protect them. At the same time, we help bureaucrats better realize the constitutional limitations on their power to regulate. By publishing in newspapers and legal journals, appearing on radio and television shows around the country, we remind the public of the importance of this constitutional right . Perhaps most importantly, we spend a great deal of time responding to every call that comes to us and devote as much time as resources allow for one-on-one consultations.
Litigation: We work with victims of over-zealous regulations to find justice in court. We have been involved with over 100 cases since our creation, and continue to assist victims of property rights abuses. We have filed several “friend of the court” briefs with the Supreme Court, and have represented many clients in various federal and state courts around the country.
Legislation: We work with elected representatives to pass legislation that will ease the danger property owners face from government regulation while lightening the burden they when trying to seek redress for their taken property. We have testified before Congress and state legislatures around the country in support of property rights, and continue to do so today.
The great educator Noah Webster stated: “Let the people have property and they will have power–a power that will forever be exerted to prevent the restriction of the press, the abolition of trial by jury, or the abridgment of many other privileges.” Property rights are civil rights. Only through vigorous protection of property rights can we maintain a truly free and just society.