In the early 1980s, General Motors found the perfect place to build a new factory in Detroit. That meant jobs, economic development, and prosperity. The only problem? An entire neighborhood stood in the way. "Taking Poletown" explores the battle waged by the City of Hamtramck, better known as "Poletown," to stop GM and the city of Detroit from using eminent domain to take the property-in-question for the "public good." One Michigan Supreme Court case and one Michigan constitutional amendment later, what lessons can we learn? Looking back 30 years later provides key insights into Poletown’s fight over economic justice and eminent domain.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker. 

Learn more about Professor John Mogk:

Learn more about Hon. Robert P. Young, Jr.:

A FedSoc Films and Motivo Media production.


Related Links & Differing views:

Poletown [Detroit Historical Society]

Can Poletown Come Back After a General Motors Shutdown? [Bloomberg]

GM commits to $2.2 billion investment and 2,200 jobs at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly  [Detroit Free Press]

Eminent Domain for Private Gain Is Terrible and Cruel — Even When It “Works” [Foundation for Economic Education]

Eminent Domain’s Poletown Success [Wall Street Journal]