This Note discusses eminent domain in blighted areas of Detroit, Michigan, where economic downturn combined with a shrinking population has led to large-scale demolitions in parts of the city. The central argument of this Note is that government takings for the purposes of economic development and blight eradication that fall heavily on minority populations should be allowed for their economic benefit so long as they are carefully tailored to improve racial diversity in the outcome. In spite of their disproportionate impact on poor, less-educated, and minority homeowners, takings for blight eradication should not be restricted in cities like Detroit, where eminent domain is a useful and necessary tool for state and municipal governments to overcome the effects of declining industries and flight from the cities. Rather, eminent domain and subsequent urban development tactics should be used in a race-conscious way to promote racial and economic diversity in traditionally segregated urban centers, which is a permissible goal under the affirmative action jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. This Note argues that the reasoning from the Supreme Court’s affirmative action cases should be applied to post-condemnation redevelopment projects to remedy the disparate impact of such takings on minorities, resulting in more racially and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods.

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