Here's what the 5th Amendment says.Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development. The case arose from the condemnation by New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property so that it could be used as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan which promised 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues. The Court held in a 5–4 decision that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified such redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
The City eventually agreed to move Susette Kelo's house to a new location and to pay substantial additional compensation to other homeowners. The redeveloper was unable to obtain financing and had to abandon the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot.
As I see it, SCOTUS got it wrong. The 5/4 split was 5 liberals (Stevens, Kenedy, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer) vs 4 conservatives (O'Connor, Rhenquist, Scalia and Thomas). The main argument is over the concept of the words "public use" that were used in the 5th Amendment are directly transferable to "public benefit".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 offense 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.
The best reaction by far was the one from the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.
Subsequent to this decision, there was widespread outrage across the country. California developer and libertarian Logan Darrow Clements scooped a similar proposal by New Hampshire libertarians to seize Justice Souter's 'blighted' home in Weare, New Hampshire, via eminent domain in order to build a "Lost Liberty Hotel" which he said would feature a "Just Desserts Cafe". Officials of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire (LPNH) and the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers had been eyeing the Justice's property to build a Constitution Park. A few weeks later, LPNH Vice-Chair Mike Lorrey discovered that Justice Breyer owned an extensive vacation estate in Plainfield, NH, and announced on the New Hampshire Public Radio show The Exchange focusing on eminent domain that LPNH would be pursuing their Constitution Park concept with Breyer's property in mind. Lorrey and Clements both advocated an amendment to New Hampshire's Constitution limiting eminent domain, which passed New Hampshire's legislature on March 24, 2006. The text of the amendment is as follows: "No part of a person's property shall be taken by eminent domain and transferred, directly or indirectly, to another person if the taking is for the purpose of private development or other private use of the property." It passed by an overwhelming margin in the 2006 general election.