A Big Win for Property Rights


by Steven Geoffrey Gieseler

This morning the Ohio Supreme Court struck what's surely the biggest post-Kelo judicial blow to eminent domain abuse in any state in the Union.  In Norwood v. Horney, the court unanimously held that in Ohio, mere economic benefit is not enough to allow governments to take private property. 

Perhaps even more important is the court's holding that lower courts must review government use of the eminent domain power with a "heightened" level of judicial scrutiny.  This realization is long past due, and moves the right to security in property closer to its just, equal footing with other fundamental rights.

The opinion can be found here, and an excellent (as always) commentary is offered on the Volokh Conspiracy.  I am proud to note in closing that the Pacific Legal Foundation acted as amicus curiae in the case, and that page 35 the opinion cites one of the many fine law review articles on property rights authored by my colleague Tim Sandefur.