Page:United States Reports, Volume 545.djvu/541

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490
KELO v. NEW LONDON

Kennedy, J., concurring

however, extends only to determining whether the City’s proposed condemnations are for a “public use” within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Because over a century of our case law interpreting that provision dictates an affirmative answer to that question, we may not grant petitioners the relief that they seek.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Connecticut is affirmed.

It is so ordered.

Justice Kennedy, concurring.

I join the opinion for the Court and add these further observations.

This Court has declared that a taking should be upheld as consistent with the Public Use Clause, U. S. Const., Amdt. 5, as long as it is “rationally related to a conceivable public purpose.” Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 U. S. 229, 241 (1984); see also Berman v. Parker, 348 U. S. 26 (1954). This deferential standard of review echoes the rational-basis test used to review economic regulation under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, see, e. g., FCC v. Beach Communications, Inc., 508 U. S. 307, 313–314 (1993); Williamson v. Lee Optical of Okla., Inc., 348 U. S. 483 (1955). The determination that a rational-basis standard of review is appropriate does not, however, alter the fact that transfers intended to confer benefits on particular, favored private entities, and with only incidental or pretextual public benefits, are forbidden by the Public Use Clause.



projects. See Brief for Jane Jacobs as Amicus Curiae 13–15; see also Brief for John Norquist as Amicus Curiae. Others argue to the contrary, urging that the need for eminent domain is especially great with regard to older, small cities like New London, where centuries of development have created an extreme overdivision of land and thus a real market impediment to land assembly. See Brief for Connecticut Conference of Municipalities et al. as Amici Curiae 13, 21; see also Brief for National League of Cities et al. as Amici Curiae.