"Unlimited And Practically Absolute"


by Timothy Sandefur

Columnist Paul Jacob has this excellent editorial on the Tourkakis case. Excerpt:

In this case, Arnold v. Tourkakis, the judges one-upped the infamous Kelo decision, ignored the state constitution, and overruled the lower court's good sense.

All to give Arnold the power to abuse eminent domain. This may not sound like much, but Arnold is not a chartered city, and the state's constitution granted eminent domain powers only to chartered cities, leaving it up to the legislature to grant such powers to other entities, like Arnold. The legislature never did that.

Missouri's top judges, however, ruled that by passing legislation on the general subject of eminent domain the legislature mysteriously meant to grant non-chartered cities the power to do anything that chartered cities can.

The court ruled that governments have an "unlimited and practically absolute sovereign power of eminent domain" to take our property at their whim.

(Read the rest…)