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July 20, 2005

Texas house protects Texans from bad SCOTUS decision

From the Houston Chronicle:

Private property owners would be protected from state and local governments seizing their land for economic development purposes under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the Texas House Sunday night.

The bill, drafted in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing eminent domain seizures for economic development projects, gained final passage 136-0....

The House version of the eminent domain bill was amended to stop the city of Freeport from seizing waterfront land from a family-owned shrimping company to make way for a private marina project.

The Senate has passed similar legislation, but differences must be worked out in a conference committee before midnight Wednesday when the special session ends.

The Associated Press reports...

In Texas and California, legislators have proposed constitutional amendments to bar government from taking private property for economic development. Politicians in Alabama, South Dakota and Virginia likewise hope to curtail government's ability to condemn land.

Even in states like Illinois — one of at least eight that already forbid eminent domain for economic development unless the purpose is to eliminate blight — lawmakers are proposing to make it even tougher to use the procedure.

"People I've never heard from before came out of the woodwork and were just so agitated," said Illinois state Sen. Susan Garrett, a Democrat. "People feel that it's a threat to their personal property, and that has hit a chord."

The Institute for Justice, which represented homeowners in the Connecticut case that was decided by the Supreme Court, said at least 25 states are considering changes to eminent domain laws.

Who knows, maybe the rash of bad court decisions will be just what it takes to make states realize they have much more powere granted to them from the Constitution than they bother to utilize.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 20, 2005 07:03 AM

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Comments

interesting

Posted by: gina at September 15, 2005 08:22 AM

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