Miss. voters approve eminent domain restrictions
by The Associated Press
3 months ago | 2552 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment aimed at limiting governments' ability to seize property and hand it over to private developers.

The ballot initiative on the power of eminent domain pitted landowner rights against economic development.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, his economic development chief and many local officials opposed the amendment, which was pushed by the politically powerful Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.

The amendment seeks to prevent the taking of private land for private development. It keeps in place the state's authority to seize private land for public-use projects, such as streets or bridges.

Leland Speed, leader of the Mississippi Development Authority, unsuccessfully sought to derail the amendment through the courts. The Mississippi Supreme Court ultimately decided it would consider a legal challenge if one is filed after Tuesday's election.

Barbour and Speed have contended that Nissan and Toyota wouldn't have come to Mississippi had eminent domain restraints been in place.

The Farm Bureau contends homeowners and landowners deserve protection from the confiscation of their property under the guise of economic development for private companies.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision in Kelo vs. City of New London that a Connecticut city could take people's homes and turn the property over to a private party to develop the property for its own profit. The court justified this result because the increased tax revenue on the developed property would benefit the public and the use of the property was, therefore, a public use.

Since 2005, more than 40 states have strengthened their private property rights laws to keep property from being taken by eminent domain and used for economic development.
Share This Article |
Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 09, 2011
I had to laugh when our current governor appeared on Hannity tonight.

Hannity was applauding Initiative 31 and congratulating Gov Barbour on the initiative obviously unaware that Barbour was opposed to it!

But then Hannity was right and Barbour was wrong, as usual.

I was looking forward to January when we can say goodbye to Haley, but now that Bryant has been elected, I'm saving my excitement with Haley's departure until we see how Bryant does for a few months.
November 08, 2011
Well, The City of New London fought the people all the way to the Supreme Court. They lost their homes and land that have been in their family for several generations. The City won, but after all that grief, the homes were razed and the property was never developed and turned into a DUMP. Go figure.

Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)[1] was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development. The case arose from the condemnation by New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property so that it could be used as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan which promised 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues. The Court held in a 5–4 decision that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified such redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The city eventually agreed to move Susette Kelo's house to a new location and to pay substantial additional compensation to other homeowners. The redeveloper was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot,[2] which was eventually turned into a dump by the city.