Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ten Years After The Kelo Decision

Ten years ago today, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Kelo v. City of New London, which upheld the city's seizure of private residences and condemnation of the entire Fort Trumbull neighborhood to make way for development by a private entity.  The case's namesake was Suzette Kelo, one of several residents who held out against the city.  The decision expanded (and arguably distorted) the Constitutional provision allowing governments to take private property for "public use", previously understood to involve governmental projects (roads, bridges, etc.), to include "public purpose", meaning that the seized property could be turned over to a different private entity on the potential of the transfer resulting in some kind of public benefit.

In the aftermath of the decision, Ms. Kelo and the other holdouts were given some additional compensation, and her house was moved to another location.  The development fell through, resulting in Fort Trumbull becoming nothing more than a big vacant lot, which it remains today.

Read more at The Orange County Register, Reason(dot)com, the Independent Sentinel, National Review and the Center For Individual Freedom.

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