Michigan Lawmakers Adopt Property Rights; Eminent-Domain Restrictions Go to Voters
Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Michigan Legislature has become the first in the nation to adopt a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the government from taking private property from its owner and giving it to a private interest for economic-development purposes or to increase tax revenues.
Both houses of the Michigan Legislature overwhelmingly adopted the resolution Tuesday.
The signature of Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, a Democrat, is not required. The resolution now goes to the Office of the Michigan Secretary of State for placement on the Michigan ballot in November.
"This is a solid constitutional amendment. Michigan has a bad track record of eminent-domain abuse, and the proposed amendment goes a long way toward stopping these practices," said Scott Bullock, a senior lawyer at the Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm.
"We are confident that the citizens of Michigan will overwhelmingly approve this amendment," said Steven Anderson, coordinator of the Castle Coalition, the institute's grass-roots advocacy project. The coalition's name comes from the adage "Your home is your castle."
Lawmakers in four other states - Alabama, Delaware, Texas and Ohio - have passed legislation designed to limit abuse of eminent domain since the U. …