Dynamist Blog

The Kelo Aftermath

Not surprisingly, cities that were waiting for the Supreme Court's decision have wasted no time in condemning property wanted for private developments. The Institute for Justice is tracking examples, with links to news reports. IJ has also announced a new campaign, backed by at least $3 million, to fight eminent domain abuse through state and local activism. IJ lists the following immediate plans:

  • Pursue state-level litigation to enforce the "public use" limitations found in every state constitution.
  • Today issue a formal pledge for governors in each state to sign promising to oppose efforts in their states to use the government power of eminent domain for private development, and to support legislation and other efforts to ensure that citizens of their state are safe from eminent domain for private development. IJ and the Castle Coalition will soon extend this pledge to legislators and city officials nationwide.
  • Support citizen activists nationwide who are urging their state and local officials to set stricter standards for the use of eminent domain.
  • Establish a Castle Coalition presence in every state so ordinary citizens will be poised to mobilize the minute eminent domain is abused for private ends. Citizens can join the Castle Coalition at www.castlecoalition.org.
  • Host a conference in July in Washington, D.C., to train activists in fighting unjust takings.

I'd suggest another front: shareholder and consumer activism to get businesses to pledge not to use eminent domain for their own private purposes.

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