Disappointing news out of Missouri. The Missouri Supreme Court released its decision in the case of Arnold dentist Homer Tourkakis, which the justice heard in January.
From the IJ press release:
Arlington, Va.-Today, the Supreme Court of Missouri held, 6-1, that both large (“chartered”) and small (“non-chartered”) cities have the power to use eminent domain under the state’s redevelopment or “TIF” laws to take land from private owners to hand over to developers.
The case concerns the fate of Homer Tourkakis, a dentist from Arnold—a suburb of St. Louis—whose offices have been condemned so private developers can build big-box stores. Last year, a judge ruled in favor of Dr. Tourkakis and dismissed the land grab as unconstitutional.
“Missouri cities are among the worst abusers of eminent domain in the nation,” said Institute for Justice (IJ) Senior Attorney Scott Bullock, the lawyer who argued the landmark eminent domain case, Kelo v. New London, at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005. The Institute filed a brief in the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of IJ and the newly appointed state eminent domain ombudsman, Anthony Martin. “This decision, which leaves the door open for any city in Missouri to take homes and businesses for private development, underscores the vital need to reform the state’s eminent domain laws,” said Bullock.
Click for the rest of the press release.