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The Grasping Hand"Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain$
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Ilya Somin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226256603

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226256740.001.0001

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The Trouble in Fort Trumbull

The Trouble in Fort Trumbull

(p.11) Chapter One The Trouble in Fort Trumbull
The Grasping Hand

Ilya Somin

University of Chicago Press

Chapter one opens with a summary of the events that led to the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision. The New London Development Corporation (NLDC) sought to condemn numerous residential properties for the purpose of promoting economic development in conjunction with the construction of a new headquarters in the area by the Pfizer Corporation. Owners who resisted were subjected to extensive harassment, and ultimately condemnation. The seven owners who held firm against the harassment were aided by the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, and chose to fight the takings in court. The condemnations were upheld in a close 4-3 decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court. Taking it to the federal Supreme Court resulted in the same decision. But New London won only by a narrow 5-4 vote, undermining the longstanding view that public use constraints on eminent domain were a thing of the past.

Keywords:   Kelo, New London, Institute for Justice, Kelo v. New London, Fort Trumbull, eminent domain, public use constraints

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