Prop2 Class 20 – Eminent Domain

October 29th, 2018

The lecture notes are here.

First, start with the text of the 5th Amendment:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process, of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Here are a number of photographs of Susette Kelo and her home, courtesy of the Institute for Justice (the public interest law firm that litigated Kelo to the Supreme Court).

Susette Kelo in front of her little pink house.

After the case, Kelo disassembled the house, and moved it across town. It was moved from 8 East Street (by the water) to 36 Franklin Street.

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Note that the entire lot is vacant, except for the stray building–The Italian Dramatic Club.


Here is a satellite photo from 2007 showing several other properties remaining on the lot. Today only the Italian Dramatic Club survives.


It now stands as a monument to eminent domain for private development.

Susette Kelo’s house being disassembled and moved across town.

Deconstruction of Kelo’s Home

Deconstruction of Kelo’s Home

In 2009, Pfizer pulled out of the New London project. The site of Kelo’s home remains vacant. There have been reports that feral cats now reside on the land.

The present site of Susette Kelo’s Home

Via Business Insider, The Hartford Courant reports:

Pfizer Inc. will shut down its massive New London research and development headquarters and transfer most of the 1,400 people working there to Groton, the pharmaceutical giant said Monday….

Pfizer is now deciding what to do with its giant New London offices, and will consider selling it, leasing it and other options, a company spokeswoman said.

Scott Bullock, Kelo’s co-counsel in the case, told the Examiner’s Tim Carney: “This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain.”

Here’s how the Associated Press describes the vacant lot:

Weeds, glass, bricks, pieces of pipe and shingle splinters have replaced the knot of aging homes at the site of the nation’s most notorious eminent domain project.

There are a few signs of life: Feral cats glare at visitors from a miniature jungle of Queen Anne’s lace, thistle and goldenrod. Gulls swoop between the lot’s towering trees and the adjacent sewage treatment plant.