As absentee voting starts, I've been receiving a lot of questions about the Question #1 on the ballot which is a constitutional amendment regarding eminent domain (Questions #1).
I am going to vote No and would encourage all Virginians to vote No.
BackgroundFirst, some background. In the case of Kelo v. New London, the U.S. Supreme Court held that there was nothing in the United States Constitution prohibiting the government from condeming private property from an individual or business and giving it to another private person or entity. The case held that the general benefits a community receives from redevelopment were sufficient to justify that action as a "public use" of the property. However, the Supreme Court noted that while the United States Constitution did not prohibit the action, there was nothing to prohibit the states from having more restrictive provisions in their state constitutions.
The United States Constitution's Bill of Rights is based upon the Virginia Declaration of Rights that makes up the first article of the Constitution of Virginia. Therefore, the Constitution of Virginia also contains no prohibition.