According to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. This, clause, known as the eminent-domain reservation,gives the state the legal right to take private property for public use without the consent of the owner. But, the owner has a right to his day in court to insure "just compensation."
LATEST FRONT IN PROPERTY RIGHTS:
There has been a consistant backlash against eminent-domain abuse that has been growing across the country. Cities and counties routinely use it or threaten to use it to transfer property from current owners to developers favored by the govenrment.
West Sacramento supervisors have invoked eminent-domain to take a 17,300 acre Conaway Ranch from it's owners, developers who view it as "a collection of assets, sort of a financial pie that can be cut into water rights, marketable preserve land, acreage for potential developement, farm land and mineral rights."
As the Conaway Ranch situation shows, America has reached the point where governments can take property for any reason, which is far removed from what our founders envisioned. The intention of eminent-domain was designed to do necessary public projects. Taking more than 17,000 acreas for unclear reasons is a far cry from the taking of a narrow piece of land to make way for a freeway or courthouse. It shows the degree to which governments perceive themselves as economic central planners, rather than agencies that set some ground rules and enforce people's rights. REFORM IS DESPERATELY NEEDED.
Eminent Domain has been a huge problem in Kansas City, and still is. Citizens are noting which lawmakers are in favor of wide open E.D., and which ones are considerably more conservative in how it's applied.
During the last election that was a popular question asked of candidates during their campaigns by various citizen watchdog groups. Politicians had better pay attention to their constituents, and follow up with positive actions, if they hope to be successful in their campaigns.