by Barry Smith
The eminent domain constitutional amendment got overwhelming support from the state House on Thursday. It passed that chamber by a 111-4 vote, significantly more than the three-fifths majority required to pass. A final House vote is set for Tuesday.
If it passes there, it will go to the Senate, where its future is less certain. The House has passed similar amendments before, only to have them die in that chamber.
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, there’s no eminent domain provision to prevent the government from taking private property in the N.C. Constitution, although there is in state law.
The proposed amendment, if approved, would limit the taking of property by eminent to domain to those necessary for public use, require just compensation, and give any party involved in eminent domain proceedings the right to a trial by jury.