Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MN not taking the Souter approach to government kleptocracy

Despite having voted for John Kerry in 2004, Minnesota isn't completely off base. Observe:
The Minnesota Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill to curtail the power of government to seize private property.

Senators voted 56-to-9 in favor of changes to the process known as eminent domain. Supporters say it's been too easy in the past for cities and counties to seize property from its owners and turn it over to other private owners for redevelopment projects.

The main Senate sponsor says the legislative changes will "level the playing field" between governments and private owners. Some critics, though, are worried the changes will make it tough to get rid of urban blight.

The changes are popular with lawmakers, and the Senate vote will be followed soon by a House vote. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., also supports the changes.
I would like to know the reasoning used by the nine who voted against the bill. I suppose they were genuinely concerned with "urban blight", and had nothing to do with (a) currying favor with developers or (b) trying to fill government tax coffers! Just like Kelo was an "urban renewal" case, right?

Anyway, kudos to the Minnesota Senate for having more respect for the Constitution and private property rights than the U.S. Supreme Court did in that horrific Kelo v. New London case.