Garreth Cooksey


The controversial ruling in the case of Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut was an impetus for a nationwide discourse on eminent domain reform. Most of the public strongly condemned Kelo, which allowed the city of New London, Connecticut, to strip Susette Kelo of her home for the development of a Pfizer plant. Political fallout from Kelo ushered in a surge of state legislation that restrained the taking of private property by eminent domain. Some states completely banned condemnation for economic development and for blight. Missouri, like several other states, took a less strict route and banned eminent domain for solely economic purposes, but allowed it for blight. Missouri passed Missouri Revised Statute Section 523.271 in the wake of nationwide eminent domain reform. The Supreme Court of Missouri first interpreted the statute in State ex rel. Jackson v. Dolan, which narrowed the ability of developers to use eminent domain for economic development. This Note discusses the Kelo ruling and the Missouri statute enacted in response to it. It further examines the beneficial and detrimental implications that Jackson will have on property rights and the economy in Missouri.

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