Churches and Eminent Domain
George Mason University Law Professor Ilya Somin has some thoughts on a proposal to give churches special protection from the abuse of eminent domain.
I agree with Prof. Hamilton's bottom-line conclusion: that church property should not be given greater protection against takings than other property owners enjoy. I also tentatively agree that Kennedy's proposal may violate the Establishment Clause, though this issue is really outside my area of expertise.
However, I think Hamilton is mistaken in her claim that church property is not unusually vulnerable to "economic development" condemnations of the sort that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in Kelo v. City of New London.