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Full-Text Articles in Law

Making Eminent Domain Humane, Ralph Nader, Alan Hirsch Jan 2004

Making Eminent Domain Humane, Ralph Nader, Alan Hirsch

Villanova Law Review

No abstract provided.


Public Ruses, James E. Krier, Christopher Serkin Jan 2004

Public Ruses, James E. Krier, Christopher Serkin

Articles

The public use requirement of eminent domain law may be working its way back into the United States Constitution. To be sure, the words "public use" appear in the document-and in many state constitutions as well, but the federal provision applies to the states in any event-as one of the Fifth Amendment's limitations on the government's inherent power to take private property against the will of its owners. (The other limitation is that "just compensation" must be paid, of which more later.) Any taking of private property, the text suggests, must be for public use. Those words, however, have amounted …


Public Ruses, Christopher Serkin, James E. Krier Jan 2004

Public Ruses, Christopher Serkin, James E. Krier

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Fifth Amendment's public use requirement - a dead letter for decades - has recently been resurrected by the Michigan Supreme Court, overruling Poletown, and by the United States Supreme Court, granting certiorari in Kelo v. City of New London. At issue in these cases is the government's ability to condemn property from one private property owner and retransfer it to another, usually with a justification of more-or-less indirect economic benefits to the community. This Essay first argues the legitimacy of these government actions exists on a spectrum from true public uses, to public ruses that primarily benefit private interests …