The Changing Face of eminent domain Law in Michigan: Amending Article X, Section 2 of The Michigan Constitution
Eminent domain is not an enumerated power, but the original drafters sought to place limitations on the government’s use of the power through the constitution. Over the last half century case law has developed and attempted to define the constitutional limitations placed on the power of the government to take private property. The Michigan Supreme Court has issued leading decisions in the prominent cases of Poletown Neighborhood Council v. Detroit and County of Wayne v. Hathcock. The Poletown and Hathcock courts’ conflicting interpretations of article X, section 2 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 emphasized the need for new legislation protecting Michigan property owners. The Hathcock opinion allowed for subsequent Michigan Supreme Court panels to reverse Hathcock and place property owners in a situation in which they have limited protection from governmental intrusion for suspect public use takings.