Americans Oppose ‘Private Privilege’ of Eminent Domain

Poll shows that 95% disagree with U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo decision. Compiled by staff


Published on: Jan 19, 2006

Americans strongly support efforts to restore property rights protection threatened by the U.S. Supreme Court "Kelo v. New London" decision. The high court ruled that that property could be taken from a New London, Conn., landowner to advance the economic development efforts of a private entity.

In a recent nationwide telephone survey conducted by Zogby International for the American Farm Bureau Federation, 95% of respondents disagreed with the Supreme Court decision to allow use of eminent domain powers for private development. The survey also found strong support for exempting family farms from eminent domain laws.

"We're pleased to learn that the public is as concerned as we are about the potential harm that the Kelo ruling could have on farmers and other property owners," responds Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer.

Land owners shouldn’t lose their land just because another enterprise could potentially bring in more tax dollars to the community, he adds.

Many states respond

In its ruling, the Supreme Court indicated that states could pass legislation to place limits on the use of eminent domain. Many states, particularly in the Northeast, have begun the process of doing just that.