On Tuesday with 73% of Mississippians voting in favor of property rights and limiting the use of eminent domain for private development, Initiative 31 was approved. Since the infamous 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, 43 states have passed legislation creating stronger protections for private property owners against the power, and possible abuse, of eminent domain. Mississippi has now become the 44th state to reject the use of eminent domain for private development.
Initiative 31 amends the Mississippi Constitution to prohibit the state and local governments from taking private property by eminent domain and transferring it to another private party or entity. The restriction extends for a decade allowing agencies that condemn private property for a public use to transfer or sell it to another owner only after having owned and used the property for a minimum of 10 years. This restriction discourages the transfer of private property from one landowner to another private party for the purpose of “economic development”.
For more on Initiative 31 see our previous post here. We also recommend reading yesterday’s posts by Gideon’s Trumpet here and IJ’s Castle Coalition here.