7/06/2005

Eminent Domain vs Economic Development: KFVS-12 (Cape Girardeau MO), 7/6/05

By Ryan Tate

The United States Supreme Court ruling in the Kelo vs. City of New London case has Heartland politicians wanting to take action.

"I think everybody should be concerned about the Supreme Court's Ruling," Missouri Governor Matt Blunt said.

Last month's ruling gave cities and municipalities the opportunity to take land from private citizens under the Constitution's Fifth Amendment. In the past, leaders could take land under "eminent domain," for the betterment of the community. The court's ruling broadens that scope, stating the land can be taken for "economic opportunity" as well.

"We need to do something in Missouri to protect that most important right of an American, and that is to own a home," Sen. Jason Crowell said. Crowell represents the 29th District in the Missouri Senate.

"We're not going to do it on a whim for a restaurant or hotel, it will have to be a major project for us to consider it," McCracken County Judge Executive Danny Orazine said.

"The folks of Southern Illinois should be ticked off. They need to look at judge candidates who support private property rights," Representative John Shimkus of Illinois said.

Blunt says he developed a task force to review federal and state eminent domain laws to come up with criteria that state and local governments meet before they shift property from private to public use.


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