The Proper Uses of Eminent Domain for Urban Redevelopment

Is Eminent Domain Necessary?
  • Samuel R. Staley


The U.S. Supreme Court nullified substantive limits on the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes in Kelo v. City of New London. While planners, private developers, and local economic development officials praised the decision because it protected their discretion, the practical effect has been to make rights to private land development and improvements discretionary and subject to the desires of majoritarian interests within a city or state. As long as cities, states, and other government agencies follow the letter of the law and formal procedures, property can be condemned and transferred to the public sector or other private parties.


Private Property Property Owner Real Estate Market Vacancy Rate Private Party 
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© The Independent Institute 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel R. Staley

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