Missouri Supreme Court Decision Allow Small Cities to Condemn Property for Development:

Tim Sandefur of the Pacific Legal Foundation has a post discussing today's Missouri Supreme Court eminent domain decision, which holds that small cities in that state have the power to condemn property for transfer to private developers (much like the takings upheld under the federal constitution in Kelo v. City of New London). The decision is based on Missouri statutory law and doesn't reach the question of whether economic development takings are forbidden by the state constitution. Sandefur and the PLF represented the property owner in the case.

I'm not sure whether the decision is correct under Missouri law. The dissenting justice makes a good point in noting that in Missouri (as in many other states) ambiguities in eminent domain law are supposed to be resolved in favor of the property owner. The government is not allowed to take property unless it can cite a statute clearly giving it the power to do so. However, it's possible that the relevant Missouri statute is so clear that the majority's decision is still correct.

I will, say, however, that this case only arose in the first place because Missouri is one of numerous states that have enacted post-Kelo "reform" laws that claim to ban economic development takings, but actually fail to do so.