Kelo’s legacy

UVA Law School’s Julia D. Mahoney has an interesting paper on the fallout and legacy of the Kelo decision: Kelo’s Legacy: Eminent Domain and the Future of Property Rights. Here is the abstract:

Judging from the furious public response, one might imagine that Kelo v. New London, which upheld the condemnation of homes for mixed-use redevelopment, represented the abdication of judicial oversight of legislative and administrative decisions to condemn property for ostensible “public use”. Yet, if anything, the opposite is true. The Court’s leading precedents prior to Kelo mandated near total judicial deference to condemnation decisions. By contrast, the majority opinion in Kelo implied, and the one concurring opinion — written by a member of the majority–underscored, that the “public use” limitation constitutes a real check on exercises of government power. Increased judicial oversight could yield benefits. Even though courts may not be superior–or even equal to– legislatures and agencies in their capacity to grapple with the complex moral and economic issues involved in eminent domain, the fact that courts may veto condemnations can serve as a powerful check on undesirable behavior.


I like that we have this intellectual capital right here in Charlottesville.

Hat tip to the Property Prof Blog.

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1 Comment

  1. TrvlnMn March 10, 2006 at 21:02

    And I’m still waiting for the General Assembly to step up to the plate and pass some sort of law that clearly defines/spells out that eminent domain can only be used in the State of Virginia for the traditional public domain uses- schools, bridges, roads, etc. And which clearly prohibits the type of thing that happened in New London from happening here.

    Somehow I think I will be waiting a very long time until that happens.