Eminent domain update

The Stockbridge City Council voted tonight to continue efforts to take the property of Mark and Regina Meeks after a formal request to reconsider the taking was made by the couple to the leaders of the city.
I’m not, and the Meeks family, are not sure that the new laws that have been passed or that stand to pass through the legislature will protect them or future victims of eminent domain abuse. Mainly because the state legislature dropped the ball on the blight provisions leaving the new constitutional amendment, HR 1306, with a huge hole it in.

The power of eminent domain shall not be used for redevelopment purposes by any entity, except where authorized by general law to eliminate an existing harm to the community from blighted property, as defined by general law, or where persons with a legal claim to the property unanimously consent to condemnation.

The definitions of blight can be found in HB 1313, which will be the “general law.” Changing the definition of blight would simply require an act of the legislature and approval from the Governor…not the voters.

I’ve been told that the Institute for Justice, the firm that argued the Kelo v. New London case, is going to release a statement in the next day or two labeling the new constitutional amendment as ineffective.

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