Friday, October 7, 2011

Eminent domain scholar to speak at UM law school Monday

    Ilya Somin, a professor at George Mason University and a scholar on issues involving constitutional law, property and eminent domain, will speak at the Ole Miss Law School Monday, Oct. 10 at 12:30. The lecture is sponsored by the University of Mississippi Federalist Society. As usual there is no publicity for this as Ole Miss does not publicize campus events.
    Somin is a regular contributor to Eugene Volokh's "Volokh Conspiracy" blog, a libertarian-leaning blog which I feature on the left side of my blog page.
    Rather than write a long story, I'll take the easy way out and reprint Somin's post from the Volokh blog:
On Monday, October 10, I will be speaking at the University of Mississippi School of Law on a Mississippi eminent domain reform referendum initiative, Measure 31 (which is on the ballot this November). The talk is sponsored by the University of Mississippi Federalist Society, and will begun at 12:30 PM in Room 2094.

Mississippi is one of only a handful of states that have not enacted any eminent domain reforms at all since the Supreme Court’s controversial 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London, which ruled that the Constitution allows government to forcibly transfer private property to other private entities for purposes of “economic development.” Forty-three other states have enacted new laws, though many of them are likely to be ineffective.

Mississippi has a considerable history of dubious takings. Republican Governor Haley Barbour is a prominent advocate of massive condemnations that transfer property to big business interests such as auto manufacturers. In 2009, he vetoed a legislative eminent domain reform billIn this article, I explained why the kinds of economic development takings Barbour supports generally create more economic harm than benefit.

Although Measure 31 is not perfect, it would be a major improvement over current Mississippi law, which allows a wide range of economic development takings for big development projects, and also defines “blight” so broadly that virtually any area can be declared blighted and condemned. The initiative precludes economic development takings almost entirely by forbidding the transfer of condemned property to private interests for at least 10 years after the taking. It does create an exemption to this rule for property that is unfit for human habitation or poses a “direct threat” to public health or safety. But that is much more restrictive than the state’s current blight law. Broad definitions of blight that license abusive takings are a serious problem in many other states, including New York.

I will have more to say about Measure 31 at my presentation, and probably in a follow-up post that I will write after the talk for readers interested in the issue who are unable to attend.

    According to the George Mason Law School website, Somin's research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy. Somin currently serves as Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review, one of the country's top-rated law and economics journals. His work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Critical Review, and others. He has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newark Star Ledger, Orlando Sentinel, South China Morning Post, Legal Times, National Law Journal and Reason. He has been quoted or interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, and the Voice of America, among other media. In July 2009, he testified on property rights issues at the United States Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
    For anyone who cares about property rights, regardless of their position on the proposed eminent domain amendment, this should be an interesting presentation.


Anonymous said...

The Butcher of Tripoli(Bomber Mabus) was in the Golden Triangle area pimping for Mississippi biomass to replace hydrocarbon fossil fuels.

Landowners in the area are under threat of eminent domain seizure related to efforts by the MDA, Max Higgins and Barbour to draw more "silicon panel" manufactureres into the area with promises of cheap land, lax environmental regulations/ enforcement and fast track legislation for State loans and grants.

Yair Shamir, son of Irgun terrorist and assassin of Count Folk Bernadotte, is getting more monies for his Israeli Aerospace Industries expansion to build more killer drones for the Middle East and South West Asia. Former MSU President Doc Foglesong is a member of Shamir's IAI Board of Directors.

Anonymous said...

Any speculation on how Dr.Silver would have viewed the assassination of Bernadotte?

Anonymous said...

Fueling the US military juggernaut with biomass? The Iranians must be laughing their @$$ off.