The Legal and Ethical Analyses of Kelo vs. City of New London

Topics: Kelo v. City of New London, United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 4 (1101 words) Published: January 23, 2009
The Legal and Ethical Analyses of Kelo v. City of New London

Facts of the case:
As once known as a center for its whaling and manufacturing, New London experienced economic decline culminating in 1996 when the U.S government closed down a Naval Undersea Warfare Center located within the city. In 1998, the state authorized a bond issue to a private nonprofit company, the New London Development Corporation (NLDC), to aid in economic development. There was also a bond issue for the creation of a state park. Later the same year, the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, announced plans to build a research facility within the city. This would in turn create an estimation of 1000 new jobs for the city of New London. (Supreme Court 2004)

In the wake of these actions, the city authorized the purchase of property within the development area and to utilize the acquisition of land through eminent domain if need be. Supported by the 14th amendment, the 5th Amendment allows local government the powers to utilize eminent domain to take private property for public use while appropriately compensating the former owners (Supreme Court 2004). During these acquisitions nine party members did not wish to sell their properties and challenged the taking of their land; stating that the transfer of land from one private owner to another to further economic development was a violation of the 5th amendment. Questions:

In this case, is it legal to utilize eminent domain if the land taken away is given to a private 3rd party? Is the definition of “public use” justified if the term is interpreted as public benefit in addition to, but not always in accordance with, public domain? Rules Involved:

The main legal rule involved within this case derives from the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution: eminent domain. Supported by the Fourteenth Amendment, the 5th states federal and state level governments have the power to take private property for “public use” for just compensation in...

Cited: Supreme Court of the United States (2004). Kelo et al. v. City of New London et al.. Retrieved January 13, 2008, from http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/04-108.pdf
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