Thursday, June 7, 2007

Eminent domain report card

I'm nursing a truly preposterous headache caused by a bout of dehydration earlier this week (remember friends, when mountain biking in the desert, bring water) followed by a night of insomnia. But borderline incoherent as I may be, I still noticed this excellent update on eminent domain from the Institute for Justice.

The report was released by the Castle Coalition, a grassroots project of the Institute for Justice, which argued the Kelo eminent domain case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Castle Coalition examined and graded eminent domain laws for each of the 50 states over the past two years—since the Kelo decision allowing eminent domain for private gain.

“This report finds that your right to own your home free from the specter of eminent domain abuse depends on which state you live in,” said Steven Anderson, director of the Castle Coalition. “States in the Northeast as well as California remain some of the biggest abusers of eminent domain and legislators in those states have so far refused to pass meaningful eminent domain reform despite the public’s overwhelming desire to be protected from eminent domain for private gain.”

I note that my own much-beloved Arizona drew a B+, beating out my college GPA by a solid margin. The Grand Canyon State's decent score came no thanks to Governor Napolitano, who vetoed a reform bill passed by the legislature. Instead, voters bypassed the government entirely and approved Proposition 207, greatly strengthening protections for private property.

The top scorers, with A or A- scores are:

  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

The dunces of the national class are:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island

All of these states scored an F.

Download the report to see how your state did--and how it earned the score it got.



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