by Timothy Sandefur
Mayor Dick Stratman of Washington, Missouri, and State Senator John Griesheimer differ over protecting private property rights. Mayor Stratman complains that the state's new restrictions on eminent domain are "bad law," and he wants to join with other Missouri cities to file a lawsuit challenging the new law. Sen. Griesheimer disagrees: "The bottom line is that the bill was passed to help protect property owners."
What's remarkable is that the Missoui law in fact does virtually nothing to protect property owners or to restrict the use of eminent domain for private development. It is among the weakest responses to the Kelo decision yet. To have this sort of debate over such a practically meaningless new law is really strange.