McMinn commissioners vote against eminent domain: WATE TV6 (Knoxville TN), 7/19/05

McMinn County commissioners have renounced a U.S. Supreme Court decision on eminent domain with a vote to limit the county's right to forcibly seize property for private development.

Assistant county mayor Joe Guy said the unanimous vote Monday protects private property owners but "cannot limit the actions of future commissions."

Commission chairman David Crews said it's a right of Americans to own property without worrying about a private entity taking it.

Mayor John Gentry said the resolution allows McMinn County to retain its right to take land for public projects, such as water line extensions and improvements at the airport.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that New London, Ct., had the authority to take homes for a private development project. In that ruling, the court said states are free to ban that practice.

McMinn County commissioners also urged state lawmakers to "protect the fundamental ideal of private property ownership."

WATE TV6: www.wate.com