Dwight Merriam

Document Type



The decision in Kelo v. New London only addressed the constitutionality of the eminent domain process used to take Susette Kelo’s home. Given the four corners of the case as presented to the Court, there was no consideration of alternatives to eminent domain and of the equity issues inherent in eminent domain. In responding to the essay by Horton and Levesque the author looks to ways to enable development and redevelopment through means less coercive than eminent domain and more respectful of private property rights and the unique and personal situations of those whose properties are targeted. The author, noting the almost unbridled power of government in eminent domain takings and the relative weakness of condemnees, offers suggestions to improve equity and to allocate the true costs of direct takings. This Essay serves as a roadmap for reform.