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Referring to the US Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut...

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cdeeneedham | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 7, 2013 at 5:03 PM via web

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Referring to the US Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut do you think the court arrived at the correct decision and why?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 7, 2013 at 5:15 PM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, this case was not decided correctly.  I would say that this is the view held by a large number of Americans since we know that, since Kelo, many states have changed their laws on eminent domain to ban takings like those at issue in this case.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution grants the government the right to take private property for public use, so long as the owner is compensated fairly for that property.  This is something that government has to be able to do.  It needs, for example, to be able to force people to sell their homes if the government needs to build a new freeway through a city.

In Kelo, however, I would argue that the government was not really taking private property for public use.  Instead, it took private property from one owner and transferred it to another private owner.  It said that the transfer was for the public good.  But this does not, in my mind, seem like a truly “public use” of the property that was taken.  There seems to be too much room for abuse if the government is going to be allowed to take one person’s property and give it to another simply because it (the government) thinks that would be a good outcome.  It is one thing for the government to take my land to build a road, but it is altogether different for the government to take my land and give it to someone else on the grounds that they like how that person will use the land better.

For this reason, I do not agree with this decision.

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