A landowner has asked the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court of the United States, to review a case involving a question of eminent domain. The case went in favor of the landowner in the district court, but the state supreme court disagreed. As a result, the landowner has requested the Supreme Court review the issue and provide further guidance.
What was the issue?
The case began when an energy company contacted the landowner, stating it needed to use the landowner’s property to develop a natural gas pipeline. The energy company argued it needed to complete the pipeline through the landowner’s land for the benefit of the public.
The landowner disagrees and has challenged the energy company’s use of eminent domain to confiscate their property.
What is eminent domain?
Eminent domain is essentially the ability of the government to take private land from landowners for public use against the wishes of the landowner. The United States Department of Justice’s Division of Environment and Natural Resources states this right is one that belongs to every independent government, an attribute of sovereignty. As such, no constitutional right is required.
However, the government does acknowledge that property owners have a constitutional right to just compensation. Thus, when the government confiscates the property, it must compensate the homeowner with fair market value for the property.
Will the Supreme Court review the case?
The Supreme Court of the United States only accepts a small portion of the cases it receives for review. It is not yet clear if the court will take on this case. If it does, it will likely focus on one specific question: is taking necessary for public use? We will follow this case and provide updates as they become available.