Hawaii Housing Authority Case Study

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Praneeth Tripuraneni LGST 101 Final Paper Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff Supreme Court Gives Broad Power to Legislature in Determination of Public Interest Eminent domain historically is the mechanism through which the state has been able to seize private property. Within the United States so long as the property holder is paid just compensation and the seizure itself is within the public interest, the Court has taken a fairly passively role. The judicial branch grants the legislature power in determining what the ‘public interest’ truly is citing the legislature’s strength in better understanding the economic ramifications of expropriation (Hawaii Housing Authority, Supreme Court). In Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff we see these positions…show more content…
The Court of Appeals found the Act to be “a naked attempt on the part of the state of Hawaii to take the private property of A and transfer it to B solely for B’s private use and benefit” (Hawaii Housing Authority, Court of Appeals). The Supreme Court in May of 1984 reversed this holding in May of 1984 recognizing that abstention was not required on the part of the District Court under either Railroad Comm’n v. Pullman Co or Younger v. Harris. Additionally the Court saw that the Act is fully in accordance with the “public use” requirement of the Fifth Amendment made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth amendment. Specifically the Court found the scope of police powers defined by the legislature is coterminous with the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment (Hawaii Housing Authority, Supreme Court). The Court relied heavily on Berman v. Parker in this evaluation. All Justices took part in the opinion of Justice O’Connor except for Justice Marshall who took no part in the case. Contemporary mainstream news to the Hawaii Housing Authority decision presented a fairly unbiased view. The New York Times on May 31st, just one day after the decision, summarized the determination of Hawaii Housing Authority to the general public (Greenhouse 1). It is difficult to understand what smaller or more biased, localized news sources might have had to say about Hawaii Housing Authority because their size limits the number of copies which are saved or uploaded online in the present day. However through a rigorous understanding of the social and political environment of the time we are able to gain insight into what may have been said by the common Hawaiian resident. History professor John Rosa recognizes that the law “was a natural extension of the Democratic Revolution in 1954”. He further elaborates that
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