Civil Liberties

Public Attitudes Towards Eminent Domain


Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, George Mason law professor Ilya Somin looks at the results of a new survey on public attitudes towards eminent domain takings done to "benefit the local economy," one of the justifications used in the Supreme Court's notorious 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London. As Somin reports, the results indicate that public hostility to eminent domain abuse remains strong:

81% of respondents said that government "should not be able" to engage in economic development takings, while only 16% concluded that it should have the power to do so. There was little disagreement between respondents with different partisan commitments or ideologies. This is almost exactly the same result as in the 2005 surveys. It suggests that public opposition to economic development takings is not a temporary artifact of the Kelo backlash, nor is it the product of question wording that favors opponents.

Read the whole thing here. Somin discusses the limits of anti-Kelo legislation here.