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Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
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Recent Supreme Court Victories


Susette Kelo v. City of New London, S. Ct. 04-108


A municipal redevelopment corporation sought to create a new waterfront neighborhood by condemning properties in an existing neighborhood and leasing that land to private developers who planned to build and operate hotels, condominiums and shopping areas, amid public parks, walkways, and a marina.   The property owners objected, saying that the new uses were not genuinely public uses. 

On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that New London's "carefully considered" decision to use eminent domain to promote economic development "unquestionably serves a public purpose" and thus satisfies the public-use requirement set forth in the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

To read CRC's news release in response to the ruling, click here.

Petition Filed: July 19, 2004
Cert. Granted: September 27, 2004
Opinion Issued: June 23, 2005
Lower Court Opinion: The decision of the Supreme Court of Connecticut is reported at Kelo v. City of New London, 843 A.2d 500 (Conn.2004).
Question Presented:

1. What protection does the Fifth Amendment's public use requirement provide for individuals whose property is being condemned, not to eliminate slums or blight, but for the sole purpose of "economic development" that will perhaps increase tax revenues and improve the local economy?

In January 2005, CRC filed a brief in this case:

Client: National League of Cities, National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties, International Municipal Lawyers Association, and International City/County Management Association
Issues: Public use, eminent domain
Brief Filed: January 21, 2005

CRC's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Read a brief write-up on Kelo


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