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Authors

Lynda J. Oswald

Document Type

Article

Abstract

In Kelo v. City of New London, the United States Supreme Court emphasized its longstanding practice of deferring to legislative determinations of public use. However, the Court also explicitly acknowledged that the U.S. Constitution sets a floor, not a ceiling, on individual rights and that the state courts are entitled to take a less deferential approach under their own state constitutions or statutes. This manuscript examines: (1) the ways in which the role of deference in judicial review of public use determinations can vary between federal and state courts and among state jurisdictions; and (2) the difficult issues raised by the interplay be-tween legislatures and courts in public use determinations. Because the Supreme Court’s deferential approach to public use disputes provides little succor to property owners challenging takings, state court challenges to takings are likely to become increasingly important. Property owners, therefore, need to understand the issues raised by deference in judicial review of public use challenges in both federal and state courts.

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