Susette Kelo, the Connecticut nurse whose little pink house was the centerpiece of a landmark Supreme Court case on eminent domain, is coming to West Virginia Universitys College of Law Monday, Oct. 9.
Kelo will speak at noon in the Lugar Courtroom as a guest of the WVU Federalist Society, a student club at the law school.
Susette Kelo is the number one advocate in the United States today when it comes to telling us about eminent domain abuse,Society president Brian Areford said.
Eminent domain is the right of a government to take private property for public use, citing overriding ownership of all properties within its jurisdiction.
In 1998, Kelo and eight of her neighbors in New London, Conn., challenged that dominionby refusing to move after being informed the city was condemning their homes to make way for a luxury hotel and office complex.
By the time Kelo v. City of New London made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Victorian cottage she had painstakingly refurbishedfrom the concrete in the basement to the shingles on the roof,was the only house left standing on the street.
A mans home is his castle,she told reporters then,and it is simply wrong to take that from anyone for the purpose of �€~economic developmentwhatever that might be.
Justices would eventually vote 5-4 in favor of eminent domainKelo did get $442,000 for her property and since moved her house to another location in New Londonbut the loss may have turned into a long-term victory of sorts for other opponents of the practice.
Thirty state legislatures have since enacted statutes or constitutional amendments to restrict eminent domain, the National Conference of State Legislators reports.
With Morgantown in the midst of a building boom, eminent domain is an issue worth keeping an eye on, said Tom ONeill, a society member who is helping organize Kelos visit.
Eminent domain is going to be before the courts for a long time to come,ONeill said.The more informed we are about the issue, the better.