by Daren Bakst
Senior Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy, Heritage Foundation
In a recent op-ed, Scott Mooneyham questions why the legislature doesn’t seem that interested in private property rights.
He very well may be right that the legislature doesn’t care enough about private property rights, but his reasoning isn’t on target.
The legislature has decided not to push an eminent domain amendment in this special session on constitutional amendments.
Here’s what Mooneyham wrote:
Now legislative leaders say they aren’t likely to take up the legislation [eminent domain amendment] because they want to make sure that the language is correct, that courts don’t misinterpret it.
Really? That’s the best excuse that they could come up with?
Actually, I consider that to be an excellent reason to wait on passing an amendment.
I have written on the drafting issue for years. Others who closely follow eminent domain reform recognize the abuses that still can exist if an amendment isn’t properly drafted.
Having said this, I do agree with Mr. Mooneyham that the legislature has had plenty of time to come up with the proper language. And I commend him for bringing up the issue. However, until there’s language that clearly protects against eminent domain abuse, the legislature should wait until they have it right.