11/09/2006

Eminent domain restrictions approved in 9 states, rejected in 3: The Jurist, 11/8/06

By Jaime Jansen

Voters in nine US states approved ballot initiatives restricting the use of eminent domain in mid-term elections Tuesday, reacting strongly against the 2005 US Supreme Court Kelo v. New London decision, which held that private redevelopment conferring economic benefits on a community qualifies as a "public use" allowing local governments to expropriate private property under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Measures in Georgia, Nevada, and Oregon restricting the use of eminent domain for private projects passed with overwhelming approval, while voters in Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Carolina approved similar constitutional amendments by narrower margins. Arizona voters approved a measure that requires compensation for regulatory takings and prohibits the use of eminent domain for private projects.

Meanwhile, three states indirectly supported the Kelo decision by rejecting various eminent domain restrictions Tuesday. California voters narrowly rejected a measure that would have required compensation for regulatory takings and prohibited eminent domain for private development, but voters in Idaho overwhelmingly rejected a similar measure. Washington voters also rejected an initiative that would have required compensation for regulatory takings.


The Jurist: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu