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Letter: Court taking easy way out in eminent domain

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

If you are concerned with the direction this issue of eminent domain has taken, consider an article from the Richmond newspaper titled "So where, in these cases, should the burden of proof belong?" The article states that the burden of proof is on the property holder to show that the government should not seize his property. Why?

The Supreme Court of Virginia states that "all presumptions are in favor of the validity of the exercise of municipal power," referring to a condemnation case in Roanoke. Apparently, this is sufficient to satisfy the public use requirement under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

I’m no lawyer, but I think I know when the court is taking the easy way out. Isn’t that taking a huge bite out of an individual’s property rights for the speculative enhancement of tax revenue—or whatever? That needs to be fixed, and soon. For the full text of the column, visit


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