Arlington, Va.—Sign Mississippi’s eminent domain reform into law. That is the message of a widespread and growing coalition of groups now urging Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to sign H.B. 803, a bill that would enact much-needed eminent domain reform. H.B. 803, if signed, will protect Mississippi’s home, small business, church, forest and farm owners from having their private property taken by force and given to other private parties.
Despite the overwhelming support for eminent domain reform not just in Mississippi but across the nation, Gov. Barbour expressed doubts about the legislation after it passed the legislature because he thought it would prevent economic development from happening in the state—a concern the coalition finds to be misplaced. In the letter, the coalition cites an Institute for Justice study that found that “eminent domain reform has no negative consequences on economic development” and more specifically that “post-Kelo reforms have provided greater protection to property owners without sacrificing economic health.”
IJ represented Susette Kelo and her neighbors before the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London and defended the Archies of Canton, Miss., when the state wanted to take their family homestead for the 1400-acre Nissan plant project, even though both state and Nissan officials said the project didn’t require the Archies’ land.
Download the letter to the Governor (PDF)