Volume 100 - Issue 1 Georgetown Law Journal

Not in My Atlantic Yards: Examining Netroots’ Role in Eminent Domain Reform

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London, which expanded the state’s power to condemn private property and transfer it to other private owners under the Fifth Amendment, there have been significant calls to curb the power of eminent domain through statutory reform. Scholars and jurists in favor of eminent domain reform have asserted that legislation is needed to protect private property rights against the rising tide of state power,with many arguing that such reform should incorporate a public approvalprocess into land use decisions. Those opposed to eminent-domain reform argue that empowering the public in land use decisions is an imperfect process that slows development. This Note asserts that incorporating public approval into the eminent-domain process need not come at the cost of expediency. Rather, thanks to advances in technology, a public empowered by statutory reform can couple with grassroots Internet political activism—a concept popularly dubbed as “netroots”—to create a new and more efficient approach to traditionally ineffective public forums.

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