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You may have noticed

or maybe not. I’ve not done a lot of Eminent Domain blogging since the SCOTUS Kelo ruling. That’s mostly because it depresses me at this point. However, there is some good news. It is that battling eminent domain abuse is popping up all over:

In Connecticut:

The Zoning Commission and Board of Selectmen are asking the public to support the proposed ordinance, which requires that property to be taken by eminent domain meet one of the following criteria:

The property is to be owned by the town or an agency of the town, and is to be used or set aside for one or more public facilities, such as, but not limited to, streets, bridges, parkways, sidewalks, rights of way, or other public ways, parks, playgrounds, schools, or public sewer, water or waste disposal or transfer facilities.

The property is to be owned by the town and set aside for permanent open space or drainage or erosion control facilities.

The property poses a danger to public health or safety as a result of physical deterioration, pollution or contamination, and is to be taken by the town for the purpose of remediating such conditions or minimizing danger to the public.

In Missouri:

The governor created the Eminent Domain Task Force after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that government can use eminent domain for economic development. Blunt described the decision at the time as a “terrible ruling.”

In Texas:

Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) praised a measure to restrict government’s power of eminent domain, which won legislative approval and is now headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Perry.

The House version of the Senate bill, joint authored by Kolkhorst with Rep. Beverly Wooley (R-Houston) and Rep. Frank Corte (R-San Antonio), included an amendment by Kolkhorst which added additional limits to state government’s power of eminent domain, including tighter restrictions over state transportation projects in relation to ancillary facilities.

The legislation was passed in order to bar government from seizing land strictly for commercial purposes. Perry, who added the eminent domain issue to the agenda of the special session on school finance, has the power to sign or veto legislation, or to allow it to become law without his signature.

In New Jersey (yes, that New Jersey):

The Borough Council will likely vote tonight to ask residents in November whether to impose stricter limits on the use of eminent domain than allowed by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Mayor Steve Lonegan proposed the ballot question in response to the top court’s June ruling that allows New London, Conn., to raze homes for private development because it would provide an economic benefit to the town.

In New York (yes, that New York):

A City Council member of Brooklyn, Letitia James, introduced legislation yesterday that would bar city funds from going toward projects that use eminent domain to transfer property from one private landowner to another.

In California (ayup):

State lawmakers launched an effort Wednesday to limit the ability of local government to take private property for private developers’ benefit.

Lawmakers have proposed several bills to try to limit the ability of governments to take property in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding that ability in a Connecticut case.


In its earliest form, HB 1063 would have barred local and state entities from condemning private property and then turning it over to private developers for commercial use.

In New Hampshire:

Two panels — one in the House and one in the Senate — are grappling with the issue of eminent domain in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the taking of private land for private development.

In Wisconsin:

In Madison, state Rep. Jeffrey Wood (R-Chippewa Falls) and state Sen. David Zien (R-Eau Claire) are drafting a bill to limit the use of eminent domain.

North Dakota:

City commissioners have voted unanimously to consider an ordinance that would limit the city’s power to seize private property for economic development.

North Carolina:

The Board of Aldermen joined a growing number of government bodies Tuesday in passing a resolution opposing the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on eminent domain and saying the town will not employ eminent domain outside of a true “public use” context.


Johnson City Commissioner Phil Roe says the Supreme Court’s ruling scares him to death, especially since it only takes three votes to condemn a home here.

“I want to get that power taken away from us as fast as they can do it,” Roe said.

West Virginia:

Capehart said Republican leaders in the state Legislature are currently working on legislation to curb eminent domain powers and that “very soon” they will have a bill or constitutional amendment to present to the Legislature. He also said that this initial petition was part of a statewide petition drive by the West Virginia Republican Party, and that petition forms could be found on the party Web site.


State lawmakers to take up the issue this fall

Farm groups and other property rights advocates are pushing lawmakers to protect residents from local governments that want to seize land in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this summer.

We have been heard!

9 Responses to “You may have noticed”

  1. The Anti Corn Law League Says:

    Contacting the Politburo of New London

    For anyone interested in contacting the Politburo of New London and its minions, may I suggest the following, but please remember that calling their cell phones will run up their limited airtime minutes and calling them after hours is generally consi…

  2. Liberty1st Blog: Red meat for a blue state. - Positive Eminent Domain News Says:

    […] […]

  3. xx y Says:

    Well, you will notice that Maryland isn’t up there on your list. That’s because in Maryland we were into Kelo, before Kelo was “cool”.

  4. lobbygow Says:

    Letitia James is my home girl!

    The fight over the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn will be on MacNeil Lehre sometime next week. I’ll let you know when.

  5. blounttruth Says:

    I will be really impressed when a political body veto’s the entire eminent domain ruling and only recognizes the use as stated in the constitution. Many many cities, counties decided not to recognize the initial patriot act, so why not to eminent domain. To settle for anything less is giving up in my eyes, and would make a strong statement to the Supreme Court to the effect that they should not try to make laws as it is not in their job description. All of the listed appeasements are a step in the right direction, but it seems to me these are massaging the issue for votes rather than opposing them totally.


  6. The World According to Nick Says:

    The RINO Hunt Is On!

    Be vewy vewy qwiet… I’m hunting RINOs. Ahead over there… I spy our prey. I know that some people sang to the RINOs, and one person even suggested that perhaps I could lure the RINOs into the open for our hunt using interpretive dance. But, since …

  7. mr-bitterness Says:

    You seem to have missed the biggest state move since the decision: Alabama’s house, senate and governor gave the finger to SCOTUS by passing legislation that specifically prohibited the new and expanded “public purposes” they created in Kelo.

  8. Mike Moyers Says:

    Just thought you would like to know that in Knox County, Tennessee we have passed an ordinance that would require a supermajority (2/3) of the County Commission to approve the use of eminent domain whether the intent and effect is to deprive any private person, corporation or entity of real property and transfer that property to any other private person, corporation or entity.

    That may not sound like much, but the Commission recently (but before the Kelo controversy) was unable to agree to condemn a small strip of land from a cattle stockyard to serve as an access for a local county-owned refuse and recycling center. Requiring a two-thirds majority for a Kelo-style condemnation effectively removes such a condemnation from the realm of possibility, unless the need and public desire for such is absolutely overwhelming.

    Knox County is the third largest county in Tennesse, with a population of around 400,000.

    Mike Moyers
    Knox County Law Director

  9. SayUncle » Blog Archive » More Kelo Fallout Says:

    […] John Cole rounds up other post-Kelo cases, including confiscation to build a Dallas Cowboy Stadium. How is that public use? He also has some good news from other states, similar to my list here. […]