-Landowners brought suit against the City of New London alleging that the condemnation of their property by use of eminent domain was an illegal “taking” in violation of the 5th Amend.
- Rule: A development plan to revitalize an economically distressed city involving the acquisition of property by the power of eminent domain qualifies as a “public use” within the meaning of the Taking Clause of the 5th.
- Analysis: Cts have seesawed over the proper interpretation of the public use doctrine. Some have advocated the position of J. Kennedy that the benefits of the intended use predominate over the private nature of the use. Others have follwd the test that the property cannot be “taken” unless the nature of the property justifies the taking. Others would restrict the doct. to that of any property being “taken” must then by publicly owned, such as for use in building hwys. This case signals that the Court’s vacillation is over, economic “takings,” if benefitting the public in some imagined tangible way are not deemed constit.
- eminent domain The governmental power to take private property for public use so long as just compensation is paid therefor.
- fifth amendment Provides that no person shall be compelled to serve as a witness against himself, or be subject to trial for the same offense twice, or be deprived of life, liberty, or property w/o DP.
- takings clause Provisions of the 5th prohibiting the government from taking private property for public use w/o providing just compensation thereafter.