Common Property Amendment

Common Property Amendment

The Common Property Amendment, also known as the Seventh Generation Amendment, is a proposal to amend the United States Constitution to define common property and to ensure such property remains under government control for public use and enjoyment by people of the future.

Under the theory behind the proposed Amendment, certain things should not be owned by any private entity, such as air, water, wildlife, and functioning ecosystems. Some public property (such as national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges) may also be included to protect the plants and animals that live there or critical ecosystem functions.

Contents

Proposed Text

The right of citizens of the United States to use and enjoy air, water, wildlife, and other renewable resources determined by the Congress to be common property shall not be impaired, nor shall such use impair their availability for the use of future generations.

Legislative history

Potential effects and Criticism

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the United States Bill of Rights, currently protects private property against federal and state eminent domain actions without just compensation. The Common Property Amendment could possibly conflict with this; if Congress deems a person's property "common property" it is not clear what procedure would be used.

Additionally, the current amendment is somewhat unclear on what exactly is meant by "use and enjoy." For instance, would this amendment require that there be no limits on camping or the usage of snowmobiles at Yellowstone National Park, as that would impede the usage and enjoyment of the Park by the citizenry? A result such as that would seem to be at odds with the stated goals of proponents.

See also

References

  • All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life, LaDuke, W., South End Press, 1999.

External links


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