Page:United States Reports, Volume 545.djvu/536

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485
Cite as: 545 U. S. 469 (2005)

Opinion of the Court

we upheld the interest in breaking up a land oligopoly that “created artificial deterrents to the normal functioning of the State’s residential land market,” 467 U. S., at 242; and in Monsanto, we accepted Congress’ purpose of eliminating a “significant barrier to entry in the pesticide market,” 467 U. S., at 1014–1015. It would be incongruous to hold that the City’s interest in the economic benefits to be derived from the development of the Fort Trumbull area has less of a public character than any of those other interests. Clearly, there is no basis for exempting economic development from our traditionally broad understanding of public purpose.

Petitioners contend that using eminent domain for economic development impermissibly blurs the boundary between public and private takings. Again, our cases foreclose this objection. Quite simply, the government’s pursuit of a public purpose will often benefit individual private parties. For example, in Midkiff, the forced transfer of property conferred a direct and significant benefit on those lessees who were previously unable to purchase their homes. In Monsanto, we recognized that the “most direct beneficiaries” of the data-sharing provisions were the subsequent pesticide applicants, but benefiting them in this way was necessary to promoting competition in the pesticide market. 467 U. S., at 1014.[1] The owner of the department store in


cycle of decay of the area could be controlled and the birth of future slums prevented”). Had the public use in Berman been defined more narrowly, it would have been difficult to justify the taking of the plaintiff’s non-blighted department store.

  1. Any number of cases illustrate that the achievement of a public good often coincides with the immediate benefiting of private parties. See, e. g., National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. Boston & Maine Corp., 503 U. S. 407, 422 (1992) (public purpose of “facilitating Amtrak’s rail service” served by taking rail track from one private company and transferring it to another private company); Brown v. Legal Foundation of Wash., 538 U. S. 216 (2003) (provision of legal services to the poor is a valid public