California earns a D- on eminent domain reform: California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights, 6/7/07

News release
Experts say recently introduced legislation will not improve the grade

The Institute for Justice (IJ), who represented Susette Kelo in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo v. New London case, just released a state by state report card giving California a D- grade for failing to pass substantive eminent domain reforms.

The report card cited the D- grade on the legislature’s failure to pass any significant reforms, instead, passing several measures that were according to IJ, “basically a waste of paper.” The report provides that the 5 bills passed in 2006 “are mostly cosmetic and will not prevent determined officials from taking private property for another private party’s benefit.”

With the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Courts Kelo v. New London decision quickly approaching (June 23rd), the State Legislature has yet to pass any meaningful reform. In recent weeks, the League of California Cities introduced ACA 8, sponsored by Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D- South Gate). “Consistent with previously submitted legislation, ACA 8 will not land California on IJ’s honor roll,” said Alliance president Marko Mlikotin. Property rights experts have been very critical of ACA 8 by identifying its loopholes and limited protections. The Institute for Justice had previously weighed in by saying ACA 8 “will do little to prevent the actual taking of property in California – and this flaw is fatal.”

Tim Sandefur, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation and author of “Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America” also expressed his doubts on ACA 8, saying the measure would make “virtually no meaningful change in the law.”

Mlikotin also said, “While other states have passed meaningful reform, California has a long way to go to protect homes, businesses, family farms and places of worship from eminent domain abuse. Historically, California has led the Nation in so many ways, but unfortunately we have not taken the lead in reforming a system that allows government to profit by seizing private property from unwilling sellers and giving it to the wealthy and politically connected.”

The California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights (the Alliance) is a statewide organization dedicated to exposing the abuses of eminent domain in California. The organization is a co-sponsor of the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act, a ballot measure proposed for June of 2008.

California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights : www.calpropertyrights.com

Click here to view the Report Card: http://www.castlecoalition.org/publications/report_card