The Constitution as Idea: Defining Describing Deciding in Kelo


In June 2005, the Supreme Court in a Five to Four Decision marked its most controversial decision in recent memory. The case of Kelo v. City of New London, set off a fire storm of response to the Court’s ruling that economic development takings satisfied the Fifth Amendment. This essay is about Kelo. It is about how the Court uses words, how the defining ability of words create institutional space in which the Court operates, and which defines things beyond the words.


Constitutional Law | Judges | Legal Writing and Research | State and Local Government Law

Date of this Version

April 2006