Law in Popular Culture

Brooke Shields to Star in TV Movie Chronicling Kelo Eminent Domain Case

Brooke Shields will play Susette Kelo in a Lifetime TV movie about the woman’s unsuccessful quest to block the use of eminent domain in her New London, Conn., neighborhood.

Kelo lost her case in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 when the justices ruled 5-4 that the use of eminent domain to acquire land for commercial development did not violate the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Lifetime movie is based on a book, Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage, according to stories by the Hartford Courant and the Courant’s Capitol Watch blog.

The book’s author, Jeff Benedict, told the Courant that despite the city’s win, nothing has been built in the neighborhood. “It’s a 90-acre swath of nothingness,” he told the newspaper. “But there has been a movement triggered across the country to turn back these eminent domain laws because of that decision.”

Production on the movie is expected to begin this fall, according to a press release by the Institute for Justice, which represented Kelo in the Supreme Court. The film is expected to air next year. The group has information on the case at its website.

Prior coverage:

ABA Journal: “Where’s the Revolution? Drastic changes in land use law were predicted after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo ruling, but four years later, things don’t look that different”

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