Page:United States Reports, Volume 545.djvu/535

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484
KELO v. NEW LONDON

Opinion of the Court

fectuate this plan, the City has invoked a state statute that specifically authorizes the use of eminent domain to promote economic development. Given the comprehensive character of the plan, the thorough deliberation that preceded its adoption, and the limited scope of our review, it is appropriate for us, as it was in Berman, to resolve the challenges of the individual owners, not on a piecemeal basis, but rather in light of the entire plan. Because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment.

To avoid this result, petitioners urge us to adopt a new bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use. Putting aside the unpersuasive suggestion that the City’s plan will provide only purely economic benefits, neither precedent nor logic supports petitioners’ proposal. Promoting economic development is a traditional and long-accepted function of government. There is, moreover, no principled way of distinguishing economic development from the other public purposes that we have recognized. In our cases upholding takings that facilitated agriculture and mining, for example, we emphasized the importance of those industries to the welfare of the States in question, see, e. g., Strickley, 200 U. S. 527; in Berman, we endorsed the purpose of transforming a blighted area into a “well-balanced” community through redevelopment, 348 U. S., at 33;[1] in Midkiff,


  1. It is a misreading of Berman to suggest that the only public use upheld in that case was the initial removal of blight. See Reply Brief for Petitioners 8. The public use described in Berman extended beyond that to encompass the purpose of developing that area to create conditions that would prevent a reversion to blight in the future. See 348 U. S., at 34–35 (“It was not enough, [the experts] believed, to remove existing buildings that were insanitary or unsightly. It was important to redesign the whole area so as to eliminate the conditions that cause slums. . . . The entire area needed redesigning so that a balanced, integrated plan could be developed for the region, including not only new homes, but also schools, churches, parks, streets, and shopping centers. In this way it was hoped that the