Privatization and Democratization - Reflections on the Power of Eminent Domain
St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 50, p. 751, 2006
9 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011 Last revised: 23 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2006
This essay reflects on the continuing controversy over the use of eminent domain by local governments to foster economic development and Professor Carol Rose’s caution that privatization by itself does not guarantee success in democratic endeavors. The author examines the human element of eminent domain by discussing his experience as a member of a panel sponsored by a citizen’s advocacy group in St. Louis where he presented an analysis of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut. This essay concludes that Kelo served a useful purpose, reminding people that the appropriate decision maker concerning the use of eminent domain by local governments is the state legislature. Further, the article suggests that rather than an absolute prohibition of eminent domain in the economic development context, state legislatures can and should place prudent limits on its use.
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