Sunday, February 19, 2006

States legislatively overruling Kelo

While five states (Texas, Alabama, Delaware, Michigan, Ohio) have already taken some action, another 30 states are considering legislative responses to Kelo.  Michigan has put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.  Ohio put a one year moratorium in place.  Proposed responses range from bans on use of eminent domain for economic development purposes to limitations on the circumstances in which it may be used to requirements that local governments pay a premium for property condemned for economic development. 

I started teaching state and local government just a few years ago, so I likely thought about issues in terms of the conventional wisdom.  From the standpoint of conventional wisdom, Kelo did not even seem cert worthy and the Supreme Court's ultimate decision seemed predictable.  The subsequent widespread and rather virulent reaction to Kelo illustrates both the current fervor for property rights and the level of distrust of government.    Who knows...revision of the public purpose doctrine may be next.

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