Court Says Land Can Be Taken For Private Development

2005

In Kelo et al. v. City of New London, the U.S. Supreme Court authorizes local governments to force private citizens to sell their property and shift ownership to private economic developers, if public benefit is likely. The Court says public use can be defined more broadly as public purpose. The ruling is a victory for local governments needing venues for urban revitalization. However, property-rights activists argue that the ruling violates the Fifth Amendment because the forced transfer of ownership is between private individuals and not for public use.