The apology came from Justice Richard Palmer of the Connecticut State Supreme Court, and it was issued to Suzette Kelo. Justice Palmer had voted with the 4-3 majority in one of most infamous property rights cases in the United States’ history. The decision ultimately allowed the City of New London to take the land owned by Ms. Kelo and her neighbors, and tear down their houses in order to build a shopping area and factory that never materialized. In his apology, Justice Palmer said: “Had I known of what you just told us, I would have voted differently.”
After three Legislative sessions, Texas has finally passed eminent domain reforms that will prevent any of our state justice’s from having to make a similar apology. SB 18-the omnibus property rights bill-created many safeguards for Texans, as we noted in our bill analysis of SB 18. However, even in Texas there are still a few more issues that need to be resolved to ensure private property rights remain strong in Texas. The 83rd Texas Legislature should look at strengthening the buy-back and banning takings that are not necessary for a public use.
– Ryan Brannan