Debating Kelo

Despite the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in the Kelo case last June, battles over eminent domain are certainly not going

Despite the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in the Kelo case last June, battles over eminent domain are certainly not going away any time soon.

As The New York Times reported this week, there are plenty of critics in both parties.

In a rare display of unanimity that cuts across partisan and geographic lines, lawmakers in virtually every statehouse across the country are advancing bills and constitutional amendments to limit use of the government’s power of eminent domain to seize private property for economic development purposes.

Of course, the Gray Lady’s editorial page has not been all that critical. (Perhaps, that has something to do with a certain company’s headquarters currently being built in Manhattan).

Regardless, the Donald and Paula Smith Family Foundation–known for sponsoring brainy battles–just announced an upcoming debate on Kelo.

Michael Calderone

The full release is after the jump.

The Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation

Presents a debate:

Kelo and its Consequences:
Should homeowners fear the Supreme Court’s decision?

Scott Bullock
Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
Counsel to Susette Kelo in her Supreme Court case


Michael Dorf
Columbia University School of Law
Author:No Litmus Test: Law and Politics in the 21st Century

Harvey Shapiro
Contributing Editor, Institutional Investor

Co-Sponsor: The Federalist Society New York Lawyers Chapter

Last year’s Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London drew much attention. It held that the state’s eminent domain power can be used to take private property from home and small business owners and turn it over to another private party for private commercial development. By reading the Fifth Amendment’s “public use” broadly, the Court created unlikely political allies of poor/minority advocates and property rights libertarians. This coalition has taken their case to the states and is advancing restrictions on what Kelo allowed. Should democratically elected representatives alone be able to decide what is “public use?” Will this decision become the preferred tool that well-connected developers use against disenfranchised communities?

March 14th
6:30 P.M. Prompt
(Free and open to the public – Reception to follow)

RSVP for this event at

The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York
(Corner of 34th Street & 5th Avenue)

Debating Kelo