State Responsibility

August 2, 2006

I was as appalled as anyone when the Federal Supreme Court ruled that it was okay for local governments to seize the homes of individuals and hand them over to private developers to build shopping malls. Of course, what the Supreme Court really said was that eminent domain rules are an issue for the states to decide. Ohio recently became yet another state ruling that cities may not seize private property to line the pockets of developers, adding evidence that the states can take responsibility for regulating themselves in the fashion that the State’s Rights supporters on the Supreme Court envision. At least I hope that’s the case…

According to the Institute for Justice (http://www.ij.org), a Washington, DC-based legal defense group, 25 states have passed laws limiting their government’s eminent domain powers. Six additional states have constitutional amendments to limit eminent domain power on their ballots for November.

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