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Community Rights Counsel
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Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895

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CONTACT: Timothy J. Dowling, 202-296-6889

Supreme Court Upholds Use of Eminent Domain
to Help Economically Depressed Communities

Kelo v. City of New London, No. 04-108

Today, in Kelo v. City of New London, 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.

The ruling means that states and cities retain a critically important economic development tool. Economic development means more jobs for local residents, more tax dollars for city services like police protection and child welfare, and the promise of new hope and opportunity in distressed areas.

Although considerable attention has been paid to the landowners in the case, the plight of the unemployed in New London also must be taken into account. Decreasing unemployment also reduces the social ills that go with it, including spousal abuse, alcoholism, crime, and suicide.

Timothy J. Dowling, Chief Counsel of Community Rights Counsel, hailed the ruling:

"Today's ruling gives hope to economically depressed communities across the country struggling to put a paycheck into the hands of the unemployed and to enhance vital public services for those most in need."

Community Rights Counsel co-authored an amicus brief in Kelo supporting New London on behalf of a large coalition of state and local officials.

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