OCTOBER TERM, 2004
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
KELO ET AL.
. CITY OF NEW LONDON ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CONNECTICUT
Argued February 22, 2005—Decided June 23, 2005
After approving an integrated development plan designed to revitalize
its ailing economy, respondent city, through its development agent,
purchased most of the property earmarked for the project from will-
ing sellers, but initiated condemnation proceedings when petitioners,
the owners of the rest of the property, refused to sell.
brought this state-court action claiming,
that the taking of
their properties would violate the “public use” restriction in the Fifth
Amendment’s Takings Clause.
The trial court granted a permanent
restraining order prohibiting the taking of the some of the properties,
but denying relief as to others.
Relying on cases such as
, 467 U. S. 229, and
348 U. S. 26, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed in part and
reversed in part, upholding all of the proposed takings.
The city’s proposed disposition of petitioners’ property qualifies as
a “public use” within the meaning of the Takings Clause. Pp. 6–20.
(a) Though the city could not take petitioners’ land simply to confer
a private benefit on a particular private party, see,
U. S., at 245, the takings at issue here would be executed pursuant to
a carefully considered development plan, which was not adopted “to
benefit a particular class of identifiable individuals,”
while the city is not planning to open the condemned land—at least
not in its entirety—to use by the general public, this “Court long ago
rejected any literal requirement that condemned property be put into
use for the . . . public.”
at 244. Rather, it has embraced the
broader and more natural interpretation of public use as “public pur-
Fallbrook Irrigation Dist
, 164 U. S. 112,
Without exception, the Court has defined that concept
broadly, reflecting its longstanding policy of deference to legislative
judgments as to what public needs justify the use of the takings