House Representative

White, James

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/06/2021

Chairman White Urges the Texas Supreme Court to Once Again Affirm the God-Given & Constitutionally Protected Property Rights of Texas Citizens

Chairman James White Urges the Texas Supreme Court to Once Again Affirm the God-Given & Constitutionally Protected Property Rights of Texas Citizens Against Eminent Domain Exercised by Proposed Private High-Speed Rail

(Austin, TX) - Today, State Representative James White filed an Amicus Curiae Letter requesting a review in the case of James Fredrick Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. and Integrated Texas Logistics, Inc.

In Texas, ownership of private property is among the most cherished rights of citizens and the culmination of the three inalienable rights celebrated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Texas Declaration of Independence. Because of the seminal right of Life, one can exercise Liberty, and with Liberty, one can enjoy the fruits of Property. The Texas Constitution expressly limits the use of eminent domain for the “public use” and only the Texas Legislature may grant eminent domain under conditions authorized “under law.” Currently, none of the entities espousing to build a so-called “high speed rail” meet any Texas statutory definition of a railroad company or an interurban electric railway company, and therefore, do not have the power of eminent domain under law.

Several months ago, a Texas court of appeals granted eminent domain authority entities desiring to build high speed rail on private property, This is inconsistent with the state constitution and state statutes. “The issues in this case are far reaching and critically important to every landowner in Texas,” stated State Representative James White. He continues, "Therefore, it is imperative that the Supreme Court of Texas hear this case and rule on behalf of the property rights of all Texans.”

“Without the state supreme court weighing in, Texans are facing a troubling precedent: an entity simply obtains eminent domain authority by merely filing papers with the Secretary of State and falsely claiming to operate a railroad or chartered to construct an interurban electric railway,” said Rep. White. “This is not the law and never has been the law. The Texas Constitution, the Texas Legislature, and most importantly, the People of Texas never intended to give private entities such broad and extraordinary power.”

The Texas Supreme Court has repeatedly, recently, and unanimously recognized that strong judicial protection for individual property rights is essential to freedom itself. “I look forward to the highest court in this state to continue its legacy as the guardian of the property rights of Texans,” said Rep. White.