The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 3/25/9

Americans have strong feelings about individual property rights. A man’s home is his castle, after all.

But, there are times when the greater good demands that property is taken for specific projects that cannot proceed without the use of property held in private ownership.

That is why there has to be responsible eminent domain.

Eminent domain allows the government to take private property, or rather forces the private owner to sell private property at the going rate. If the owner objects, he or she may challenge it in court for the court to determine the necessity and the price. Those rights are spelled out in the state constitution.

Most people generally agree eminent domain is necessary for the building of roads, reservoirs, schools or other government building projects. But what makes one project available for eminent domain and not another? That is the current debate.