Wyoming Liberty Group
NEWCASTLE, WY – Wyoming Liberty Group staff attorney Steve Klein testified before the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee of the Wyoming Legislature today regarding two committee bill drafts that would substantially change the practice of civil forfeiture in Wyoming.
Wyoming’s wide-open spaces and horizons that appear to stretch to infinity are some of the most remarkable amenities residents can enjoy. For those who are more familiar with life in towns or even small acreages, these magnificent expanses of land without buildings can sometimes seem empty. Agriculturalists, however, can recognize how actively our countryside is working to produce the food and fiber our society depends on for food and clothing. The fields and pastures individual farmers and ranchers own and operate are not empty; they are the basic components of every agricultural operation. The potential income for a farmer or rancher is limited by the number of acres that farm or ranch has available to plant crops or graze animals on. Our founding fathers did not simply protect property because of some abstract theory of independence and individual liberty symbolized by land ownership; they did so because they understood that land is the essential foundation for economic productivity and sustenance that the rest of any economy is built upon.
- The Cheyenne UDC: Prohibiting signs since 2012
Residents of Cheyenne and Laramie should rest assured that the Unified Development Codes enacted by their respective city governments will protect them from development of any future icons like the Phoenix Block in downtown Cheyenne pictured below.
RAWLINS, WY – Wyoming Liberty Group staff attorney Steve Klein testified before the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee today to detail the potential for property rights abuse by police because of civil asset forfeiture in state law.
“The Controlled Substances Act allows the government to take property without ever convicting the owner of a crime,” said Klein. “In fact, the property owner does not even have to be charged with a crime. This law is supposed to help the police fight drug trafficking, but it can be used against innocent people far too easily.”
Local elected officials are often asked to vote for or against a private landowner’s application to build something on private property. Respect for private property rights means that an official should start with the presumption that she or he will vote to approve the application, despite pleas to deny the application from nearby landowners or residents. This default position is based on the fact that although neighbors have some right to influence land use on nearby property, those rights are specific and limited. Two permit applications—one recently submitted to the Laramie County Commission and the other to the Natrona County Planning and Zoning Commission—illustrate how elected officials must differentiate between an individual’s property rights and the protection of the property rights of neighbors. The aesthetic concerns expressed by homeowners in Laramie County are in sharp contrast to the concerns by residents living near a proposed industrial tank farm in Natrona County.
Also, how citizens can effectively participate in local government decision-making. March 28, 2014 – KGAB Radio in Cheyenne.