In June of 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Kelo v. City of New London, 125 S. Ct. 2655 (2005). The U.S. Supreme Court held that the “public use” requirement of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment allows the government to acquire private property through the power of eminent domain and then transfer the property to a private developer even though the property is not located in a blighted area. However, the Court stated that its decision did not prevent states from enacting legislation to place more restrictions on the government’s power to take private property.
The public responded negatively to the Kelo decision. Governor Blagojevich signed the Illinois Eminent Domain Act into law on July 28, 2006. The Illinois Eminent Domain Act became effective January 1, 2007. This legislation, in some cases, places more restrictions on the government’s acquisition of private property and may increase compensation awards for property owners in certain cases.