Polls Remain Clear

Public Opposes Eminent Domain Abuse

PRESS RELEASE: March 27, 2006

John Kramer
Lisa Knepper
(703) 682-9320

Arlington, Va.—In poll after poll conducted since the U.S. Supreme Court’s eminent domain ruling last summer, the public is almost unanimously opposed to government using eminent domain to seize private property for private development.  Rarely is the public so united across the political spectrum.

“The American people are furious their property is up for grabs,” said Dana Berliner, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice.  “They understand that the U.S. Supreme Court declared open season on their properties.”

Citations for each of the following polls are available at www.CastleCoalition.org.

MSNBC Poll (130,758 responses)

Should cities be allowed to seize homes and buildings for private projects as long as they benefit the public good?

Yes, all parties benefit in the long run:  3%

No, property owners will lose and developers gain:  97%

CNN Poll (177,987 votes)

Local governments should be able to seize homes and businesses:

Never:  66%

For public use:  33%

For private economic development:  1%

University of New Hampshire Poll

“And while New Hampshire may be divided over many issues concerning the Supreme Court, they are nearly unanimous in their opposition to the effect of the Kelo decision—93 percent say they oppose the taking of private property for economic development reasons, only 4 percent favor this use of eminent domain, and 3 percent are unsure.”

American Farm Bureau Federation (1,076 adults, conducted by Zogby International)

Oppose the use of eminent domain to further private development initiatives:  83%

95% expressed disapproval of the Kelo ruling

Hampton Roads Poll (4,947 votes)

Should local governments be able to seize homes for private economic development that will produce jobs and tax revenue?

Yes:  4.63%

No:  93.57%

CBS News, Denver, Colorado

Should local governments exercise eminent domain for retail development?

Yes: 3%

No: 95%

St. Louis Business Journal

Should the use of eminent domain be more restricted?

Yes: 86%

No: 11%

Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc. (625 Florida voters)

Should the state legislature adopt increased protections for property owners?

Yes: 89%

No: 9%

Americans for Prosperity Poll (400 Registered Voters, Kansas)

Eminent domain for private concerns:

Oppose: 92%

Favor: 7%

Monmouth University (800 New Jersey residents)

Oppose taking low-value homes to build a shopping center:  90%

Oppose eminent domain to replace lower-value residences with higher-value homes: 86%

American Survey (800 registered voters nationwide)

Favor legislative limits on the government’s ability to take private property away from owners?

Democrats:  62%

Republicans:  70%

Independents:  74%

Retail Traffic Online Poll (200 retail and real estate executives and architects)

Agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the Kelo v. City of New London?

Strongly Disagree: 84.5%

Quinnipiac University Poll (1,067 Connecticut registered voters)

The state legislature should pass laws limiting the use of eminent domain:

Yes:  89%  (91% of Republicans surveyed, 85% of Democrats)

No:  8%

Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll

“In the wake of the court’s eminent domain decision, Americans overall cite ‘private-property rights’ as the current legal issue they care most about, topping parental notification for minors, abortions or state right-to-die laws.”

Chip Mellor, president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, said, “The polls clearly indicate Americans think eminent domain should be used for public uses, not for private development.”

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