As regular readers of this blog probably know by now, Proposition 11 was overwhelmingly adopted by the voters of Texas on Tuesday, two days ago. While not as good as it might have been, it does provide some modest new limits on the exercise of the power of eminent domain in Texas.
What is most significant about it, however, are the numbers. Proposition 11 received the votes of over 80% of Texas voters. Numbers like that are simply unheard of in politics. So what this suggests is that the people have had it up to here with abuses of eminent domain. And while ordinary folks are understandably more interested in making a living and enjoying what pleasures life can offer, so they must be forgiven if they do not devote their effort to curbing this despotic power of government to the degree it calls for, these huge numbers do suggest that people are genuinely pissed off about misuse of eminent domain for private gain, no matter how semantically disguised as “public benefit.”
If we were a condemning agency, we would be very, very careful about messing with the people’s justified anger, because when pissed-off people are finally stirred into action, they may not be very fastidious about what correcive measures they adopt.