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    Public Use for Profit

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    The Supreme Court, in the case of Kelo v. The City of New London (Top 25 cases, #12 in Unit 5), ruled in June 2005 that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed. The 5 to 4 ruling provided the strong affirmation that state and local governments had sought for their increasing use of eminent domain for urban revitalization, especially in the Northeast, where many city centers have decayed and the suburban land supply was dwindling.

    Discuss the relevancy of this case to the charge of the adverse impact caused by activist judges on the American political system. You might want to read the dissent opinion by former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and you may address the aftermath (city council elections/Pfizer abandons site/etc.).

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    Kelo vs. City of New London (2005)

    The issue here is a real estate developer seizing land, in New London, CT, for the sake of new construction (urban renewal). The city, in other words, just took this property and gave it over to new development. The question here is the 5th amendment, which says that a citizen cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Kelo claimed that the real estate developer's ideas might be good, but are not for public use in the traditional sense of the word. Of course, she's right, so the court redefined the entire concept. It's kind of a big deal.

    Benefits that a town enjoys from urban renewal are greater than property rights. The activism here is a ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines the public use for profits.The relevancy of this case to the charge of the adverse impact causes by activist judges on the American political system is determined.