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2006

Notre Dame Law School

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The "Public Use" Requirement In Eminent Domain Law: A Rationale Based On Secret Purchases And Private Influence, Daniel B. Kelly Jan 2006

The "Public Use" Requirement In Eminent Domain Law: A Rationale Based On Secret Purchases And Private Influence, Daniel B. Kelly

Journal Articles

This Article provides a rationale for understanding and interpreting the public use requirement within eminent domain law. The rationale is based on two factors. First, while the government often needs the power of eminent domain to avoid the problem of strategic holdout, private parties are generally able to purchase property through secret buying agents. The availability of these undisclosed agents makes the use of eminent domain for private parties unnecessary and indeed undesirable. The government, however, is ordinarily unable to make secret purchases because its plans are subject to democratic deliberation and thus publicly known in advance. Second, while the ...