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State lawmakers seek limits on eminent domain ruling

[JURIST] In the wake of the US Supreme Court's June decision in Kelo v. New London [Duke Law backgrounder; opinion] allowing a local government authority to expropriate private property for private redevelopment that confers economic benefits on the community, legislators in at least 25 states are working to limit the scope of the controversial ruling. In Alabama, Gov. Bob Riley put a bill that would block city and county governments from using eminent domain to take property for retail, office or residential development on the agenda of a special session of the state legislature [press release] that began Tuesday. Lawmakers in Texas and California have meanwhile proposed amendments to their state constitutions to prohibit the government from taking private property for economic development. After the high court ruling the Institute for Justice [official website], a conservative public interest law firm that aided the plaintiff's case, predicted strong battles over the issue [statements by the Institute for Justice and its clients] in many state courts, despite some expert commentary that the decision did not significantly expand the scope of state and local govcernment power [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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