Eminent domain cases can still go to state courts: Detroit MI Free Press, 10/1/06

Bloomberg News

The [US] House of Representatives has rejected a proposal to streamline the legal process for property owners appealing seizures by the government.

The legislation would have allowed property owners to advance their eminent domain lawsuits directly to federal court, bypassing state courts.

The legislation was drafted in response to a June 2005 Supreme Court decision that said government has the power to take land for purposes such as shopping malls and office parks.

The measure failed Wednesday to get the two-thirds support it needed for passage under an expedited procedure.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said the measure would have permitted land developers to shop for the most receptive court while making it harder for local communities to protect against the creation of waste dumps or adult bookstores.

Thirty state legislatures already have passed either statutory changes or constitutional changes to restrict the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes, according to Larry Morandi, director of state policy research at the National Conference of State Legislatures

Detroit MI Free Press: http://www.freep.com