Kelo v. The City of New London

Hanna Yi


The City of New London in Connecticut used its authority of eminent domain to seize private property to sell to private developers in order to create jobs and increase tax revenue with the land. The original owners of that land, including Susette Kelo, refused to sell their private property to the city and instead, sued at state court. They argued that the city was violating the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which states that the government cannot take private property for public use without just compensation. The private owners also argued that selling the land to private developers would not be leaving it open to public use.

In a 5-4 court ruling in favor of New London, the Supreme Court said that the selling of the private property to private developers was still considered "public use" since the city was not seizing it property for the benefit of a group of individuals, but to improve the city's economy-even if it was not "public use" in a literal sense as in open to the public. Because of this ruling, the precedent was set that eminent domain could be used for an reason of increasing tax revenue. Therefore, Susette Kelo and her neighbors lost their case, and their homes.

Kelo v. City of New London: A Case Study in Judicial Abdication