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Kelo v. City of New London

United States Supreme Court
125 S.Ct. 2655, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)



In 2000, the City of New London, Connecticut (defendant) approved a new development project that involved using its eminent-domain authority to seize private property to sell to private developers. The city stated that the purpose of this exercise of eminent domain was to create new jobs and increase tax revenues from the sale of property. Susette Kelo (plaintiff) had lived in a home in the New London area since 1997. Wilhelmina Dery (plaintiff) was born in her New London home in 1918 and had lived in the home with her husband Charles (plaintiff) for roughly sixty years. The property owned by Kelo and the Derys was in one of the areas scheduled to be condemned by the city’s development project. Nine private property owners, including Kelo and the Derys (plaintiffs), brought suit in Connecticut state court to challenge the project on the grounds that it violated the “public use” requirement of the Fifth Amendment. The state trial court granted an injunction prohibiting the taking of some properties but not others. The Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, upholding all of the takings. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (O'Connor, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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