Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Matthew Rogers




land transfer, development, policy, eminent domain


The controversial Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. The City of New London, allowed a local government to utilize eminent domain to transfer land from one private entity to another in order to enhance economic development. In response, state governments rushed to pass legislation in order to curtail the use of eminent domain. State governments, however, struggled to pass meaningful eminent domain legislation, since many powerful forces, such as major corporations, stood in their way. Opponents of eminent domain claim that the politically weakest in our society, namely the poor and racial minorities, are saddled with the resulting hardship emanating from this policy. Meanwhile, supporters argue that eminent domain is vitally necessary in order to rejuvenate those cities which have fallen on hard times. A prime example of the controversy surrounding the use of eminent domain derives from New York City. Columbia University attempted to expand its campus through the use of eminent domain, resulting in intense controversy. Eventually, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the project could move forward. This example clearly attests to the passion exhibited on both sides of the very volatile issue of eminent domain