Page:United States Reports, Volume 545.djvu/540

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489
Cite as: 545 U. S. 469 (2005)

Opinion of the Court

lands it needs to acquire in order to effectuate the project. “It is not for the courts to oversee the choice of the boundary line nor to sit in review on the size of a particular project area. Once the question of the public purpose has been decided, the amount and character of land to be taken for the project and the need for a particular tract to complete the integrated plan rests in the discretion of the legislative branch.” Berman, 348 U. S., at 35–36.

In affirming the City’s authority to take petitioners’ properties, we do not minimize the hardship that condemnations may entail, notwithstanding the payment of just compensation.[1] We emphasize that nothing in our opinion precludes any State from placing further restrictions on its exercise of the takings power. Indeed, many States already impose “public use” requirements that are stricter than the federal baseline. Some of these requirements have been established as a matter of state constitutional law,[2] while others are expressed in state eminent domain statutes that carefully limit the grounds upon which takings may be exercised.[3] As the submissions of the parties and their amici make clear, the necessity and wisdom of using eminent domain to promote economic development are certainly matters of legitimate public debate.[4] This Court’s authority,


  1. The amici raise questions about the fairness of the measure of just compensation. See, e. g., Brief for American Planning Association et al. as Amici Curiae 26–30. While important, these questions are not before us in this litigation.
  2. See, e. g., County of Wayne v. Hathcock, 471 Mich. 445, 684 N. W. 2d 765 (2004).
  3. Under California law, for instance, a city may only take land for economic development purposes in blighted areas. Cal. Health & Safety Code Ann. §§33030–33037 (West 1999). See, e. g., Redevelopment Agency of Chula Vista v. Rados Bros., 95 Cal. App. 4th 309, 115 Cal. Rptr. 2d 234 (2002).
  4. For example, some argue that the need for eminent domain has been greatly exaggerated because private developers can use numerous techniques, including secret negotiations or precommitment strategies, to overcome holdout problems and assemble lands for genuinely profitable