State laws limit eminent domain powers and usages
Thirty-eight states have enacted legislation or passed ballot measures since June 2005 which place limits or qualifications on when eminent domain can be used, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Four of those states — North Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming — passed such legislation earlier this year.
In addition to prohibiting the taking of private property solely for projects to increase local tax revenues, Connecticut’s bill, passed over the weekend, requires a public hearing and certain findings before a local government can exercise its eminent domain powers. It also requires a two-thirds affirmative vote before a municipal body can approve eminent domain takings, and creates a 10-year deadline for the completion of a taking.
Connecticut’s law also allows aggrieved homeowners to appeal in state court; gives former owners affected by condemnation of their properties rights of first refusal to re-purchase them in the event eminent domain projects are not fulfilled; and requires that homeowners be compensated for 125 percent of the average value of two independent property appraisals.
Wow, who even knew we had state laws in this country?
On a serious note, the predictably-hysterical reaction to Kelo always was much ado about very little to nothing. For not even liberal-bot politicians in deep-blue states are stupid enough to make it a habit of taking away Grandma Voters’ old victorian homesteads to build strip malls and the like.
Yes, liberals are crazy. But they’re really not a stupid as it might seem. At least not the ones who are old enough to be holding public offices in the first instance. Certainly not when they’re dealing directly with the very sort of people, i.e., homeowners, who tend to vote in partisan elections.
Besides, didn’t the paranoid blocs realize the response to Kelo would be dozens of laws around the country effectively rendering that silly decision moot?
Anyways, I suspect in another 3-5 years somewhere around 40-45 states will have enacted anti-Kelo laws of one or more stripes. Either by way of legislation or via direct ballot referendums.
For obvious reasons, however, those laws will not receive nearly the same attention from the national media as did the SCOTUS case from which they will have been spawned.
Source: This AP article.