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Eminent Domain Laws in Tennessee

This looks promising:

It might be the most popular idea in the Tennessee General Assembly this session.

Lawmakers from both parties have introduced a flurry of bills to restrict government from using eminent domain to seize property and turn it over to private developers.

There have been 59 bills filed to limit the use of eminent domain – dozens each in the House and the Senate, submitted by both Democrats and Republicans.

Lawmakers say the issue is one of the first things their constituents want to talk about, and there’s broad support for the idea across parties and interest groups.

Good to see pressure put on them.

“In Tennessee, property rights almost rise to the level of being sacred,” said Rep. Joe Fowlkes, D-Cornersville, vice chairman of a joint committee studying eminent domain. “When people think that their private property might be taken from them and given to another person, it stirs them up.”

I don’t think it’s almost, I think it is.

14 Responses to “Eminent Domain Laws in Tennessee”

  1. persimmon Says:

    This is political grandstanding. The Kelo ruling did not create any new governmental powers. It just clarified that what governments have always been able to do, seize blighted property and auction it off, can also be done on a larger scale, ie. across redevelopment districts or zones that might include properties not blighted themselves, but embedded in blighted or depressed areas.

    Supermajority requirements won’t stop such projects anyway since local governments are almost always rubber-stamp tools for developers. Government acts that benefit developers typically pass unanimously or nearly so. If people really want to restrain use of eminent domain, they should just vote for candidates who are not in the pocket of developers and look for reforms that can lessen the influence of developers on city and county agencies. They should also find ways to promote neighborhoods and districts and prevent the decay that necessitates drastic revitalization efforts like the one in New London.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I’ve seen no believable indication that the property in the Kelo case was actually blighted.

  3. persimmon Says:

    I addressed that in my first post. The Kelo property and immediately adjacent properties were not blighted, but they were embedded in a larger area that definitely was blighted. The city of New London created a redevelopment plan for the larger area.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    So? my property rights are not subject to revocation because my neighbors’ houses are blighted.

  5. persimmon Says:

    That’s not a relevant objection. If your entire neighborhood is blighted but for your house, that’s when the Kelo decision might come into play.

    We seem to be talking past each other here. Your objections seem to have little to do with the point I was trying to make, so I don’t think we are understanding each other.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    I understand your point. I just don’t think it’s 1) relevant to Suzette Kelo’s situation as presented or 2) that kelo merely clarifed what they have been doing.

  7. #9 Says:

    Shinny happy socialists like Kelo. Everyone else thinks it is an abomination.

  8. persimmon Says:

    My point is not even about Kelo, really. It’s about the reaction to it in the state legislature, which I think is pure grandstanding. You haven’t addressed that part of the issue at all. If you really do understand what I’m saying, you’re doing a great job hiding it.

    I’ve read the Kelo decision, and it does not do what most people think it does. If you think the decision means X and you pass a law against X and it turns out the decision really meant Y, what have you done? Grandstanding.

  9. SayUncle Says:

    Sure, it’s grandstanding but at least it’s for the right side. Then perhaps I don’t understand your point. Care to elaborate?

  10. markm Says:

    Other court decisions established that the courts will not review whether an area is actually blighted – so the only protection property in an unblighted area has is the honesty (HAH!) of the politicians.

  11. persimmon Says:

    I thought I elaborated on my point pretty well in my first post. Your replies have been so tangential and cryptic that I’m really not sure where the miscommunication is, so I really don’t know what I need to elaborate on.

  12. SayUncle Says:

    And i addressed that in my response. So, unless you’re speaking in code, i have no idea what i’ve not addressed.

  13. persimmon Says:

    You addressed what in your response? My first post was about legislative reactions to Kelo, and your responses have only addressed the Kelo decision itself. The only thing you’ve said about legislative reactions is that you don’t care whether they are ineffectual and poorly aimed.

  14. SayUncle Says:

    As to what I addressed: The thing that I took issue with, regarding whether property is blighted. I’m aware it clarified what .gov’s have been doing all along. Silly me for being disappointed that they didn’t do the right thing and overturn that nonsense.

    And I concurred that this legislation is grandstanding and probably ineffective but that it was at least positive for property rights. So, again, what point have you made and written in invisible ink? I’m not being a smartass I just don’t get it.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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