Kelo v. City of New London

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Kelo v. City of New London

545 U.S. 469 (2005), held that a city's action in taking private property and selling it to a private developer with the aim of improving the city's bad economy does not violate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The Supreme Court found that because the taking of private property to sell for private development served a public purpose, it satisfied the “public use” requirement of the Fifth Amendment. Kelo upheld prior decisions rejecting public ownership as the sole method available to promote development that benefits the larger community. The Court stated that the judicial branch must defer to legislatures in determining the public need that justifies a taking, and the course used to fulfill that need.

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