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California attempts end run around eminent domain

Bill would limit government ability to seize real estate

Members of California's senate and assembly have introduced bills that would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot reducing the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on eminent domain. California Senator Tom McClintock, R-Simi Valley, introduced bill SCA 15 and Assemblymember Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 22, which mirrors SCA 15. Both bills seek to put a constitutional amendment on the state ballot. One part of the proposed amendment states, "Private property may not be taken or damaged for private use." It further states, "Private property may be taken by eminent domain only for a stated public use...Property taken by eminent domain shall be owned and occupied by the condemner or may be leased only to entities that are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission." The move is an attempt at an end run around the recent U.S. eminent domain decision in Kelo v. City of New London, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled ...