Legal Briefs

Kelo v. City of New London

The city of New London, Connecticut, authorized the New London Development Corporation to acquire the property of several landowners by eminent domain for development in support of a project by Pfizer. In 1998, the NLDC instituted condemnation proceedings to take the property of several homeowners, including that of Susette Kelo. NLDC claimed that the plan would create jobs and increase tax revenues. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that the legislature and the NLDC were entitled to a broad level of deference in their factual findings concerning the validity of this taking. Cato’s brief, supporting the homeowners, argues that this is unacceptable in light of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. The taking of private property from individuals for the benefit of a corporation, in the name of unsubstantiated increased tax revenues and employment does not constitute a “public use.”

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