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In Part 1 of this paper, I describe the evolution of interpretation of the "public use" clause that authorizes the use of eminent domain for urban redevelopment. In Part 2, I chart the effort to narrow the scope of public use in order to eliminate or police redevelopment by condemnation. In this part, I present and analyze the arguments for such reinterpretation and the new rules suggested for how public use should be understood. I also sketch the changing economic and political situation of cities that lead them to take this activist approach to positive economic planning. I conclude that courts cannot justify limiting condemnation through policing the purposes for which condemnation is sought. In Part 3, I argue for expanded procedural protections before condemnation can deprive people of their homes. I also argue for the justice of changing our interpretation of "just compensation" to pay homeowners for the psychic and community losses they suffer through displacement.

Publication Citation

23 UCLA J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 131-169 (2005)