Citizens Continue to Stand Up Against Eminent Domain Abuse

Since the United States Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London (2005), there have been 43 states, according to the Institute of Justice, that have passed some type of legislation aimed at decreasing the abuse of eminent domain for private use. You can click HERE if you would like to see the latest version of state-by-state grading of eminent domain reforms by the Castle Coalition.
Recently on November 2, Nevadans voted to maintain the amendment that changed their eminent domain law during the Kelo decision. More than 67 percent voted no to the question of whether Nevadans wanted to expand the definition of “public use”. This would have made it easier for greedy officials to snatch up more of their citizens’ land for their “awesome” ideas and projects.
On November 9, Spring Lake Heights in New Jersey overturned their Mayor’s veto of two ordinances meant to close loopholes in state eminent domain laws. They were both passed in October stating that one would ban pay-to-play for contracts given for redevelopment within the region and the other would ban the region from getting private property for the purpose of privately funded economic development. Their Mayor would not sign them because he deemed them as being “unnecessary.” Right now they do not have eminent domain as an issue, but this legislation is for the security of their residents in case eminent domain does happen to pop-up.
The one good thing the Supreme Court did correctly in their heinous decision on Kelo was the decision that states are free to enact legislation that can restrict the power of eminent domain. Seven states; however, have not passed any type of eminent domain legislation. Those states include; Arkansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma.