• Supreme Court Affirms States' Right to Take Private Property for General Economic Development
  • August 19, 2005 | Authors: Lewis S. Wiener; Richard L. Robbins; Kelly J. Baker
  • Law Firms: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Washington Office; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Atlanta Office
  • Addressing property takings issues for the second time this term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that States may exercise their power of eminent domain and condemn private property to promote a community's general economic benefit. In its much anticipated but sharply divided ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, the Court stated that while cities may not seize homes and businesses simply to give those properties to other private parties, States may take property from one private landowner and give it to another as part of an overall community development plan, provided that the intent of the development plan is to confer a "public benefit" and not to benefit a particular class of identifiable individuals, even though the property at issue may never be open and available to the general public.