ON-Lion Letter
In the two years since the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Kelo v. City of New London decision, 41 states have passed new laws aimed at curbing the abuse of local governments' eminent-domain power for private use, according to a report card issued by the Castle Coalition, a grassroots project of the Institute for Justice (IJ) in Arlington, Va.

In Kelo, the Supreme Court held that governments can condemn homes and businesses and transfer ownership in them to other private owners as long as they think the new owners will produce more money with their usage of the property.  Since then, according to the study and as shown in the map, among the states that have passed the strongest reforms to protect the original property owners are Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota, each of which received a grade of "A" or "A-."

States receiving "F's" were Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.

"This report finds that your right to own your home free from the specter of eminent-domain abuse depends on which state you live in," said Castle Coalition director Steven Anderson.  "States in the Northeast, as well as California, remain some of the biggest abusers of eminent domain and legislators in those states have so far refused to pass meaningful eminent-domain reform despite the public's overwhelming desire to be protected from eminent domain for private gain."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee provides substantial support to IJ, which also argued the Kelo case before the Court.
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