Yesterday, The United States Supreme Court heard arguments in Kelo v. City of New London. The Kelo case is an extremely important constitutional case since it will require the United States Supreme Court to define the limitations, if any, of the Taking Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Taking Clause permits private property to be taken for a public use, including schools, road widening, and other projects whose completion benefits the public. In a case that started in Connecticut, the City of New London sought to condemn about 115 parcels of land (homes and small business) for a project whose stated “public use/benefit” was to create more jobs and increase tax revenue. The properties, once acquired, would be broken into 7 separate projects which would be built by private developers. The Kelo case is extremely important because the Supreme Court is being asked to define the limits under the “public use” requirement of the U.S. Constitution in a case of “economic redevelopment”. This is not a case where an urban area that is “blighted” is in need of redevelopment, or a case where a town needs a new school. Rather, the justices decision in Kelo will prescribe how far can a town go when its goal is to create jobs and increase the tax base. The decision should answer the question, “Is the need for more expensive homes and more productive businesses a valid reason to take someone’s home?”. Currently, state courts are split on this issue, with some letting this type of economic redevelopment proceed, while others are stopping it. The conflict in the state courts, along with the increase in the use of the Taking Clause for economic redevelopment, caused the Supreme Court to take the case. Winners/Losers: Clearly, is the Court affirms and allows the takings, private developers and certain property owners will be the winners. For example, the developer who will build the projects in Connecticut will obviously make a profit. Also, home owners whose properties are not being taken will benefit from the increased tax revenues. The losers will be the owners whose property is being take. One homeowner involved in the Kelo case had lived in the home since 1918. Should the developer prevail, she will be kicked-out in order for nicer homes to be built. The stakes in Kelo are high since the potential for economic redevelopment is astronomical and towns can almost always rationalize some need to create jobs and generate additional tax revenue.