“Public Purpose” Versus “Public Good”
...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The public use clause should not be equated to public purpose. The test for public use should be public good – not public purpose.
There are two qualities to public good (via wikipedia):
This should be the qualifying test for all eminent domain cases. If this test had been use, the City of New London could not rob the home owners of their houses. In fact, I would favor the public good test for all government spending, not just on eminent domain. It would severely limit the ability of our government to waste our money.
Non-rivalrous — its benefits fail to exhibit consumption scarcity; once it has been produced, everyone can benefit from it without diminishing other's enjoyment.
Non-excludable — once it has been created, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to prevent access to the good.