Eminent Domain in State Hands

WASHINGTON – When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that private homes may be seized to make room for commercial development projects, the decision ignited a firestorm of criticism.

Outraged property-rights activists said the 5-to-4 opinion in Kelo vs. New London would render homes and businesses nationwide vulnerable to government land-grabs to foster economic revitalization. Some ranked it among the high court’s worst decisions, calling it this generation’s Dred Scott.

Now, six months later, the debate over property rights is still raging, but it is about to enter a new, more deliberative phase as state legislatures prepare to open for business next year.

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