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Eminent domain one year after Kelo

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Private property rights activists were horrified nearly a year ago when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law doesn't prohibit local governments' use of their eminent domain power to seize individual homes and businesses for commercial redevelopment projects. The high court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London ignited a firestorm of debate and protest, but many homeowners, including those in two of the nation's most populous states, still don't have adequate protection from government takings of their homes for private commercial purposes. In California, a Democrat-backed proposal is pending in the legislature while a Republican-supported initiative that would amend the state constitution appears to be headed toward a popular vote on the November ballot. This unfortunate cross-purposes situation isn't surprising in a state that's known for its bizarre politics and where the ballot initiative was invented nearly a century ago. Yet all the same, it's unfortunate ...