Somin on Eminent Domain Reform Measures
"Far from promoting growth, economic development takings destroy more value than they create," says Professor Ilya Somin in an op-ed for The Daily Caller in which he concludes that more states should adopt referendum initiatives like Mississippi's Measure 31, adopted this week, to afford property owners real protection against eminent domain abuse.
Since the Supreme Court's 2005 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, public outcry has resulted in the passage of eminent domain laws in 44 of the 50 states, says Somin. However, he points out that many of the post-Kelo reforms have major loopholes that still allow abuses to occur.
"Referendum initiatives like Measure 31 tend to be stronger than reforms adopted by state legislatures because many of them are drafted by activists rather than by politicians," Somin explains, saying property rights activists do not need to appease powerful pro-condemnation interest groups in order to be elected.
Referendum initiatives prevent eminent domain abuse, The Daily Caller, November 9, 2011. By Ilya Somin.