Transcript is published for November 16 Chicago roundtable

The National Law Journal (NLJ) and the University of Chicago Law School presented a roundtable discussion in Chicago on Nov. 16 called, “Life after Poletown: What is the Future of Takings in America?” The discussion was moderated by NLJ Associate Editor Carla Main, and explored the growing national controversy over the expanded definition of public use in eminent domain and the taking of private property for the purpose of municipal economic development.

The focus of the discussion was the pending hearing by the US Supreme Court of kelo v. New London — scheduled for February 22. Participants were chiefly concerned with three issues:
  • Whether the "public use" requirement of the Fifth Amendment should be narrowly interpreted, or can be construed to include public benefits such as tax revenues and jobs that follow from development by private parties.
  • Whether the "just compensation" requirement of the Fifth Amendment applies strictly to the physical value of the property at the time of its taking, or should include factors such as the social or business costs to the original owners and the worth when actions by the government body are eliminated from the equation.
  • Whether specific plans, with definite schedules, have been established for the use of the condemned property — or if the projected development is wholly or partly speculative.
An unedited transcript of the session is online at:

Submitted to Eminent Domain Watch by Wright Gore, Freeport TX