Celebrating 30: Kelo v. City of New London
- Jun 20, 2017
As Commercial Property Executive celebrates its 30th anniversary, we’re taking a look back at the most significant events in commercial real estate’s history. Stay tuned for our weekly posts highlighting these critical points, and follow along with us on your favorite social media channels using the hashtag #CPETurns30.
One of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions of the past decade, Kelo v. City of New London emerged from an economic development plan put forth by New London, Conn. The struggling city wanted to leverage the economic potential created by a new Pfizer manufacturing plant by redeveloping the surrounding area, much of which was residential. Susette Kelo and 14 other owners refused to sell, and the city invoked eminent domain to condemn the land.
Writing for the court majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said the use of eminent domain was justified under the “takings” clause of the Constitution, as the resulting development would have a wider public benefit. The 5-4 decision and ruling was criticized, and in later years, 43 states approved legislation or voter initiatives to raise the bar for eminent domain.
New London image via Wikimedia Commons user JJBers