House Moves to Overturn Kelo v. New London

On February 26, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives voted (353-65) to approve the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1944). The bill, if approved by the Senate and President Obama, would prohibit any government from using eminent domain for the purpose of economic redevelopment. The bill is a direct (if delayed) response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London, which I discussed at some length here. The popular politics blog, “The Hill” notes that 43 states have already adopted some measures to reduce Kelo’s impact. Unfortunately, many of these reforms have been ineffective at meaningfully reducing the possibility that eminent domain can be abused (a good place to start exploring the effectiveness of post-Kelo reforms is at the Castle Coalition). Thus, if the Private Property Rights Protection Act becomes law, it would substantially alter the constitutional landscape of takings law.

At present, the interesting question is whether the Senate will consider the bill. In the meantime, I would refer interested readers to this relevant post at The Hill. The official summary of the bill is available at