Business Administration Faculty Presentations

Title

Eminent Domain: Issues and Case Studies for Government and Business Administrators

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference/Event

Academy of Business Disciplines

Location

Fort Myers, FL

Event Date

2011

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court decision Kelo v. City of New London significantly extended the power of government over private property. This paper explores the historical and legal protection of private property by the Fifth Amendment as well as the economic and ethical consequences of the erosion of property rights. At the center of this issue is a reinterpretation of what rights governments and now private businesses have in the taking of private property. The legal doctrine of eminent domain or the takings clause, as found in the Fifth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, has historically been interpreted to require that lands taken through eminent domain be for “public use.” At issue is the courts persistent reinterpretation of “public use.” The courts, often under pressure from both government and private enterprises’ have expanded the definition of “public use” to incorporate concepts of “public purpose,” and now the “public good.” Under these broad legal concepts no private property owner or business can be secure in its dealings if their assets are at risk of being taken for a so called “public purpose.”