Forgetting Kelo: Anti-Property Rights Advocates are Fighting Back
By Daren Bakst
In the Spotlight
There's always been a fear by property rights advocates (at least this one)
that the public will forget the Kelo decision and the constant
attack on property rights by politicians from both parties. This fear appears
to be justified.
In 2006, Nevada
voters overwhelmingly passed a state constitutional amendment to protect
against eminent domain abuse, including Kelo-type takings.
The state legislature, however, decided it wanted to weaken property rights
protections and has put on the ballot a
constitutional amendment that would weaken the constitutional amendment
passed just four years ago.
In 2006, Louisiana voters
also overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to protect against
eminent domain abuse.
The anti-property-rights advocates are trying to chip away at this protection
by changing the constitution so that property owners whose properties have been
taken for blight don't have the same protections as other property owners.
If voters reject these amendments, it will be a strong statement in favor of
property rights. If they approve the amendments, it could indicate the momentum
against Kelo-type takings and
eminent domain abuse may be waning.
It is critical for everyone concerned with property rights to watch for subtle
attempts to weaken property rights as is happening in Nevada and Louisiana. Of
course, in North Carolina, there are limited property rights protections in
place now, so there's not much to weaken.
appeals to higher court
(Note: The article is about the use of eminent domain for Columbia University
-- this high-profile case is important to watch.)
Now, the attorneys representing
two property holdouts, who have refused to sell to Columbia, are appealing the
decision to the Supreme Court of the United States, arguing that the decision
promotes an abuse of eminent domain law and violates fundamental constitutional
In Perkins' [NY state senator] brief, which Spectator obtained a copy of on
Tuesday, he echoed the attorneys' argument, asserting that the Court of Appeals
ignored legal safeguards articulated in the landmark 2005 Supreme Court ruling
in Kelo v. City of New London--in which the Supreme Court ruled that land
could be transferred from one private owner to another through eminent domain
in order to promote economic rejuvenation--and in the process abdicated its
responsibility of judicial law review. Furthermore, he writes in his brief that
process of eminent domain unfairly targets minorities and poorer sectors of the
Town above mine
fire asks courts for help
Residents of a Central Pennsylvania coal town decimated by a mine fire have
gone to federal court trying to prevent state officials from evicting them from
Centralia's few remaining residents lodged a civil rights complaint against the
state Department of Community and Economic Development and other defendants,
alleging a conspiracy to steal the mineral rights to billions of dollars worth
of anthracite coal.
The residents asked a federal judge Friday for an injunction that would bar the
state from proceeding with eminent domain while their lawsuit, filed earlier
this week, is heard.
Monday, Nov. 8th, 2010 at 12:00 noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Daren Bakst, Esq.
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