Region Focus



Region Focus

The Economics of Eminent Domain

The recent Supreme Court decision on takings encourages economic development leaders but worries some economists
By Doug Campbell

Use of Eminent Domain Before Kelo

Maryland filed 127 condemnation suits to seize property for economic development purposes between 1998 and 2002, ranking it fifth in the nation behind California, Kansas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This is according to the Institute for Justice, a property-rights group opposed to the use of eminent domain for private development.

Estimated Use of Eminent Domain for Economic Development, 1998-2002
Cases Filed Cases Threatened
District of Columbia 0 0
Maryland 127 1,110
North Carolina 1 0
South Carolina 0 7
Virginia 58 27
West Virginia 8 12
UNITED STATES 3,722 6,560
NOTE: Estimates are based on information compiled from news reports and state court records.
SOURCE: Public Power, Private Gain, Institute for Justice, April 2003


(For updated information, see the "50 State Report Card" produced by the Institute for Justice's in August 2007)

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