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Connecticut land grab went too far

Perspective: State laws should curtail local power to take homes

California lawmakers have introduced a proposed ballot initiative that would limit the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, which allowed a Connecticut town to condemn a number of homes to make way for commercial development. With the decision in Kelo v. City of New London at the federal level, states now need to protect homeowners from this type of egregious land grab for commercial purposes. California lawmakers are right to lead the way. Government must have the power to acquire property that is needed for roads, schools, utilities and other public works, which benefit the community; however, that power shouldn't be absolute. It should be used sparingly and only to advance legitimate public goals, a criterion that shouldn't encompass private developers' construction of new shopping malls, office buildings and other commercial projects. What's more, special care should be taken when eminent domain targets houses and small businesses. The Supreme Court's decision in Kelo doesn...

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