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June 23, 2005

Property rites

I thought this was the kind of thing that usually happened in France:

Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a local government may seize private property for purposes of profit-making private re-development, declaring that this constitutes a “public use” under the Constitution. (Kelo v. New London, 04-108).
While the opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens said that a local government could not take homeowners’ property “simply to confer a private benefit on a particular private party,” the New London. Conn., project involved in this case was “a carefully considered development plan.” While the resulting project would not be open for use by the general public, the Court said, there is no literal requirement of that outcome.

A “carefully considered development plan” feels like a pretty broad definition. This will give local governments wide power to generate tax revenues by demolishing residences for projects like shopping malls and hotel complexes.

Thanks to SCOTUSblog for the tip.

Posted by Stephen at 11:12 AM in Legal issues | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

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Tracked on June 23, 2005 12:51 PM