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Who Cares What the Pundits Think of Kelo?*

Connecticut Law Review

July 2016

Authors: Timothy S. Hollister

* Written in response to “Kelo Is Not Dred Scott,” by Wesley W. Horton & Brendon P. Levesque [48 CONN. L. REV. 1405 (2016)], in which the authors discuss, in part, their view that negative reaction to Kelo v. New London diverts attention from the real problem of eminent domain abuse. In their opinion, Kelo leads to stronger judicial review of government claims of public purpose in all takings cases, rather than encouraging such abuse.

In this Essay, Attorney Hollister reflects on more than thirty years of involvement with eminent domain in Connecticut, primarily representing property owners. He asserts that Kelo was correctly decided, but notes that the exercise of eminent domain is ripe for misuse, and thus property owners require advocacy and judicial oversight to protect their rights. He summarizes Connecticut eminent domain procedure and analyzes the General Assembly’s 2007 Kelo-inspired amendments. The Essay then explains the importance in Connecticut of conducting a separate state law analysis of property owner rights when challenging eminent domain, particularly with regard to the "necessity" of the taking. The Essay discusses Emery v. City of Middletown, the first court case to test a municipality’s compliance with the 2007 amendments and in which Attorney Hollister, representing the property owner, obtained an injunction against the city’s proposed taking.

Read the full article here.

This article [Timothy S. Hollister, 48 CONN. L. REV. 1463 (2016)] reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2016 by the Connecticut Law Review, all rights reserved.

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