Bench Memos

Easy Cases Can Make Bad Law, Too

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously remarked that “hard cases make bad law,” but sometimes easy cases also produce bad decisions. Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) is a perfect example. In his recent book, The Grasping Hand (2015), George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin argues that the U.S. Supreme Court misinterpreted the term “public use” in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, untethering the power of eminent domain from its constitutional mooring. I explain how in this post from the Library of Law and Liberty.