In a unanimous vote on July 23, the House of Representatives passed a bill that withholds federal development funding from any state or local government that uses the power of eminent domain to seize property from its owner and give it to someone else in the name of economic development. The bill also prohibits federal use of eminent domain for the same purpose. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.) introduced the bill in 2017 as a revised version of a bill he had originally proposed in 2005 after the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London. The Court had held that governments can use their eminent-domain powers to transfer property from one private owner to another in order to further a revitalization or redevelopment, since the surrounding community theoretically reaps the benefits of such efforts. The federal government may not be able to stop this abuse, but it should at least not facilitate it.
National Review, The Week.