Miss. eminent domain ballot initiative in court

By Jack Elliott Jr./The Associated Press

JACKSON — A Hinds County judge says he’ll rule by the end of the week whether a proposed constitutional amendment to prevent governments from taking property for anything but a public project will go on the November ballot.

Circuit Judge Winston Kidd heard about 20 minutes of argument Monday from attorneys for the Mississippi Farm Bureau and economic development leader Leland Speed.

Speed says he is acting as a private citizen not as a public official.

Eminent domain is the process government uses to take private land for projects ranging from road construction to industrial development. The proposed constitutional amendment would prohibit state and local government from taking private land to give to another person or business.