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What Constitutional Issue Did The Supreme Court Take The Case To Answer, And What Was Its Answer?

279 words - 2 pages

Ownership is limited by a superior ownership. In the United States the government has an ultimate ownership right in all land. This right is known as eminent domain. Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property from a citizen, even when that citizen refuses to voluntarily sell the property. In the United States, use of the eminent domain power is limited by a clause in the Fifth Amendment of ...view middle of the document...

Long established purposes for the eminent domain power have been for the building of roads and public buildings, but it has become increasingly common for state or local governments to use the power for redevelopment projects.

The city of New London, Connecticut established a private development corporation to redevelop a neighborhood near the shore of Long Island Sound with the goal of revitalizing the depressed area. A group of home owners, who lived on the targeted land, including Susette Kelo, decided to fight the issue rather than allow their homes to be destroyed. The Supreme Court case of Kelo v. City of New London established that eminent domain can be used for economic redevelopment projects. The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling against the homeowners established that the Fifth Amendment's "public use" requirement is merely a "public purpose" requirement. The City of New London only needed to anticipate that the public will benefit in some way in order to justify a given use of eminent domain. New London anticipated that its redevelopment project would generate local jobs and increase tax revenues, and this was sufficient for the Court.

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