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Eminent Domain

Despite the Fifth Amendment guaranteeing federal and/or state governments the right to eminent domain, there are often ethical issues that arise over such acquisitions of property. One of these ethical issues revolves around the concept of “public use”. Generally only the condition of “public use” needs to be satisfied to enable the federal and/or state governments to acquire land through eminent domain. However, in many cases the land acquired by federal or state authorities is never open to public benefit. As one legal firm explains, courts typically only require for “public use” – “this is true even though the property will typically be transferred to a private redeveloper and may never be open to the general public. It usually doesn’t matter if the redeveloper may be doing nothing more than building a new mall or a complex of movie theaters” (Eminent 2003, 2).

In many urban areas, blighted areas are acquired by state authorities and then transferred to private redevelopers. In many cases this behavior is unethical because it puts the poor at a disadvantage. Instead of governments enacting policies and allocating fu


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Eminent Domain. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 02:17, October 25, 2014, from
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