State Reaction to Kelo v. City of New London
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In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that government use of eminent domain laws to promote economic development was allowed under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s majority emphasized, however, states were not barred from restricting this particular use of eminent domain. Within a very short time, more than half of the states heeded the Court’s suggestion, but others did not. This project explains why state reaction to Kelo varied by looking at the effects of state population demographics, political ideology, and legislative partisan composition and unity. The influence of these factors on the content, and thus the strength, of the legislation enacted is also addressed. Finally, state reaction is evaluated within the context of the intense criticism generated by the decision as well as the emerging property rights movement.
Smith, Erin Elena (2007). State Reaction to Kelo v. City of New London. Available electronically from