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Supreme Court of the United States
July 2, 2021, Decided
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Kavanaugh would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari.
Dissent by: THOMAS
Justice Thomas, with whom Justice Gorsuch joins, dissenting from denial of certiorari.
Fred Eychaner owned a tract of land in Chicago’s River West neighborhood. Two blocks south stood a factory, owned and operated by the Blommer Chocolate Company. The company wanted Eychaner’s land to create a buffer with nearby residential areas, so it offered to purchase the property for $824,980. Eychaner declined.
Eychaner’s refusal to sell, however, did not end the matter. Two months later, the city of Chicago notified Eychaner that it was considering whether to take his property. As formalized later, the city planned to invoke its eminent domain power to transfer Eychaner’s property to the company.
At face value, this plan conflicted with the settled constitutional rule that a “sovereign may not take the property of A for the sole purpose of transferring it to another private party B, even though A is paid just compensation.” [*2] Kelo v. New London, 545 U. S. 469, 477, 125 S. Ct. 2655, 162 L. Ed. 2d 439 (2005); see also Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386, 1 L. Ed. 648, 3 Dall. 386, 388 (1798). Governments can take property only “for public use.” U. S. Const., Amdts. 5, 14; see also Kelo, 545 U. S., at 507, 125 S. Ct. 2655, 162 L. Ed. 2d 439 (Thomas, J., dissenting).
So Chicago identified an ostensible “public use”: The city needed to transfer the land to the factory because otherwise it “may become a blighted area.” Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 65, §5/11-74.4-3(b) (West 2018). Although Eychaner argued that stemming speculative future problems is not a public use, the Appellate Court of Illinois disagreed, holding that the city “may use the power of eminent domain to prevent future blight.” 2015 IL App (1st) 131883, ¶69, 389 Ill. Dec. 411, 26 N.E.3d 501, 521.
We should grant certiorari for two reasons.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2021 U.S. LEXIS 3589 *
FRED J. EYCHANER v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Notice: The LEXIS pagination of this document is subject to change pending release of the final published version.
Prior History: [*1] ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT
City of Chicago v. Eychaner, 2020 IL App (1st) 191053, 2020 Ill. App. LEXIS 299 (May 11, 2020)
public use, blight, eminent domain power, private party, take property, writ petition, conceivable, transferred, Chocolate, factory, courts