Opinions Relating to Orders - 2020

Eychaner v. Chicago

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. JUSTICE KAVANAUGH would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari. 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.” Kelo v. New London, 545 U. S. 469, 477 (2005); see also Calder v. Bull, 3 Dall. 386, 388 (1798). Governments can take property only “for public use.” U. S. Const., Amdts. 5, 14;