Page:United States Reports, Volume 545.djvu/533

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482
KELO v. NEW LONDON

Opinion of the Court

and transfer it to B solely for B’s private use and benefit.” Id., at 235 (internal quotation marks omitted). Reaffirming Berman’s deferential approach to legislative judgments in this field, we concluded that the State’s purpose of eliminating the “social and economic evils of a land oligopoly” qualified as a valid public use. 467 U. S., at 241–242. Our opinion also rejected the contention that the mere fact that the State immediately transferred the properties to private individuals upon condemnation somehow diminished the public character of the taking. “[I]t is only the taking’s purpose, and not its mechanics,” we explained, that matters in deter mining public use. Id., at 244.

In that same Term we decided another public use case that arose in a purely economic context. In Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 U. S. 986 (1984), the Court dealt with provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act under which the Environmental Protection Agency could consider the data (including trade secrets) submitted by a prior pesticide applicant in evaluating a subsequent application, so long as the second applicant paid just compensation for the data. We acknowledged that the “most direct beneficiaries” of these provisions were the subsequent applicants, id., at 1014, but we nevertheless upheld the statute under Berman and Midkiff. We found sufficient Congress’ belief that sparing applicants the cost of time consuming research eliminated a significant barrier to entry in the pesticide market and thereby enhanced competition. 467 U. S., at 1015.

Viewed as a whole, our jurisprudence has recognized that the needs of society have varied between different parts of the Nation, just as they have evolved over time in response to changed circumstances. Our earliest cases in particular embodied a strong theme of federalism, emphasizing the “great respect” that we owe to state legislatures and state courts in discerning local public needs. See Hairston v. Danville & Western R. Co., 208 U. S. 598, 606–607 (1908)