While One State Seeks to Limit Powers, Another Seeks to Reinvigorate Use of Eminent Domain
Posted on Jul 18, 2016 in Articles
Since the infamous 2005 Supreme Court Kelo decision, many have watched as state and federal legislators across the country consider a variety of laws relating to eminent domain and property rights. Some of these laws have specific purposes – such as the APPROVAL Act that Arkansas’s congressional delegation proposed in 2015 – while others are intended to more broadly restrict or expand the government’s power to condemn private land. Two recently-proposed bills on opposite sides of the country fall into this latter category, albeit with diametrically opposite aims.
State Legislators Reconsidering Key Eminent Domain Issues in 2015
Posted on Sep 10, 2015 in News & Events
While the Keystone XL pipeline and other condemnation matters make national headlines, state lawmakers across the country are proposing legislation to protect property owners’ rights. In this article, we review four state legislative efforts that could reshape eminent domain law and property rights in 2015 and beyond.
Guest Post: Nebraska Supreme Court rules (or maybe not) on the validity of the approval of TransCanada XL pipeline route through Nebraska
Posted on Jan 12, 2015 in News & Events
In a lengthy and acrimonious opinion issued January 9, 2015, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued a non-decision on the constitutionality of the process for routing of the TransCanada pipeline through Nebraska. It may prove to approve the route by default. The Court’s opinion answers very little, and raises far more questions than it answers. The only thing that is clear is that not every pipeline can be granted the power of eminent domain.
Alabama’s New “Jobs” Law: Two Steps Backward For Property Rights
Posted on Apr 3, 2013 in News & Events
Last month Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law SB96, titled the “Major 21st Century Manufacturing Zone Act.” The law allows any Alabama city to create a “manufacturing” tax increment financing, or TIF, zone for a number of industries including automotive, aviation, medical, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, computer, electronics, energy conservation, cyber technology and biomedical but requires any municipality wishing to create a TIF zone under the law to invest at least $100 million on a site larger than 250 contiguous acres.
New Legislation Introduced to Protect Private Property from Economic Development Takings
Posted on Jun 26, 2012 in News & Events
Last week, Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced legislation to strengthen private property rights by limiting the power of eminent domain. The Protection of Homes, Small Businesses and Private Property Act of 2012 seeks to prevent the federal government from using its eminent domain power and state and local governments from using federal funds to fund the use of eminent domain for economic development.
Mississippi voters approve amendment restricting eminent domain
Posted on Nov 10, 2011 in News & Events
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.
Mississippi Ballot Initiative No. 31 on Eminent Domain: “motherhood and apple pie”
Posted on Nov 8, 2011 in News & Events
Voters in Mississippi are at the polls today to elect a new governor and legislature as well as decide upon a number of measures. Among them is Initiative 31, a citizen’s initiative for a constitutional amendment to prohibit the state and local governments from using the power of eminent domain to condemn private property and transfer it to another private individual or entity for a period of 10 years after acquisition. Initiative 31 has garnered much media attention and Campaign Insider has called this a “ballot battle to watch.”
Montana’s eminent domain bill HB 198 becomes law without Governor’s amendment
Posted on May 10, 2011 in News & Events
On Thursday, May 12, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer allowed Montana House Bill 198 (HB 198) concerning eminent domain to become law. Despite the imbalanced aspects within HB 198 favoring big business over landowners’ rights, Gov. Schweitzer chose to not veto the bill allowing it to become law.
Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2011
Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in News & Events
Yesterday, Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1433, the “Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2011.” This bipartisan bill prohibits states and municipalities from using eminent domain for private development if they have received federal economic development funds. H.R. 1433 also prohibits the federal government from using eminent domain for economic development, the taking of private property and transferring of it to another private entity in order to increase tax revenue, jobs or for general economic growth.
Eminent domain quote of the week: “I don’t like beets.”
Posted on Feb 15, 2011 in News & Events
Yesterday, Associated Press journalist Sandra Chereb quoted Nevada Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, as saying that he is not opposed to a bill that would strip mining companies and Nevada’s sugar beet industry of the power of eminent: “I don’t have any opposition to the bill,” he quipped. “I don’t like beets.”