Federalist Society symposium on eminent domain — Case Western Reserve University, 2/4/05

Symposium on Environmental Law and Property Rights:
Eminent Domain, Urban Renewal and the Constitution - Legal & Policy Perspectives

PANEL I - Public Use: Fifth Amendment Limits on the Use of Eminent Domain, 9:15 - 10:45 a.m.
This panel considers the extent to which the Fifth Amendment, which provides that "…nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation," limits the purposes for which the government's eminent domain power can be used. Specifically, the panel will examine the extent to which the Fifth Amendment should be read to limit or preclude the use of eminent domain for blight remediation, economic development, or other economic purposes, or whether "public use" constitutes any and all uses deemed by the legislature or other political bodies to be in the public interest. While through much of the 20th century courts gave state and local governments' rather wide discretion in determining what constitutes a "public use," in recent years some courts have begun to read "public use" more narrowly.
  • Professor Eric R. Claeys, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Professor Thomas W. Merrill, Columbia University School of Law
  • Professor John Edward Mogk, Wayne State University Law School
  • Timothy Sandefur, Esq., Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Professor Steven J. Eagle, George Mason University School of Law, Moderator

PANEL II- The Value of Eminent Domain: An Effective Economic Development Strategy? 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
This panel addresses the policy questions raised by eminent domain, specifically the extent to which the eminent domain power is necessary, or even useful, for urban economic development. While there is little dispute that eminent domain is an important governmental tool for traditional public purposes, such as road construction and the like, there is much dispute over whether use of eminent domain to spur economic development is, in practice, an effective economic development strategy. Speakers will address the pros and cons of using eminent domain as a policy tool and potential alternatives to eminent domain.
  • Sam Staley, Director, Urban Futures Program, The Reason Foundation
  • Professor Thomas E. Bier, Director, Center for Housing Research & Policy, Cleveland State University
  • Jeffrey Finkle, President and CEO, International Economic Development Council

DEBATE, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the case of Kelo et al. v. City of New London to consider whether the Fifth Amendment authorizes the exercise of eminent domain to promote economic development, in this case to help a government increase its tax revenue and to create jobs. The debate features representatives of the two sides (or sympathetic amici) to give a sense of the arguments that will be heard by the Court.
  • Bert Gall, Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice
  • Professor Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Friday, February 4, 2005
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Moot Courtroom (A59)
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio

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