When we think of some of the most well-recognized and controversial decisions from our judicial system, cases like Roe v. Wade (abortion) and Dred Scott v. Sandford (slavery) come to mind. Within our group of right of way professionals, we obviously think Kelo v. City of New London is a huge deal, as it allows for the use of eminent domain for purely economic purposes. But does it rank up there with the others? It does, according to US Supreme Court Justice Scalia.
According to an ABA Journal article, Justice Scalia was recently speaking to a group of students at Chicago-Kent School of Law, and he predicted Kelo will be overturned: "I do not think that the Kelo opinion is long for this world," Scalia said. He went on to compare Kelo to the other cases mentioned above, noting it ranks among the top cases in which the court made a "mistake of political judgment." (Justice Scalia is not alone -- see another recent apology for the decision by Justice Palmer.)
While Justice Scalia notes that the US Supreme Court has made mistakes of law,
it has made very few mistakes of political judgment, of estimating how far ... it could stretch beyond the text of the Constitution without provoking overwhelming public criticism and resistance. Dred Scott was one mistake of that sort. Roe v. Wade was another. ... And Kelo, I think, was a third.
On a less serious note, you can also read the Chicago-Sun Times article on the subject, where Justice Scalia also answers questions such as whether he prefers deep dish or thin crust pizza. (He was in Chicago; how do you think he responded?)
Brad Kuhn serves as Chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain & Valuation Group. Brad is a real estate and business litigation attorney, with a particular emphasis in the transportation, energy/gas, water, land-use development, and ...
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