The National League of Cities, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and 31 other state municipal leagues from across the nation have filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing to preserve the right of municipalities to acquire private property by eminent domain for economic development purposes.
The pending landmark case, Kelo v. New London, is an appeal by property owners from a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that the Public Use Clause does not prohibit taking private property for economic development and revitalization purposes. The property owners, who collectively own 15 homes located on two parcels comprising 1.54 acres in the city's proposed 90-acre redevelopment area, asked the nation's highest court to override the state supreme court decision. Oral arguments were heard in February.
“This case deals with an essential local government tool for economic development,” said Donald J. Borut, executive director of the National League of Cities. “While it is one case involving one city, a U.S. Supreme Court decision stopping New London from using eminent domain to implement this economic development plan would have major ramifications for every municipality in America.”