Connecticut Judge Apologized to Kelo

By:  Jack Kenny
09/22/2011
       
Connecticut Judge Apologized to Kelo

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard N. Palmer, part of a 4-3 majority in a controversial ruling that upheld the taking of the homes of several New London residents to make room for a private commercial development, apologized years later to the woman who led the fight against it. In a September 18 article in the Hartford Courant, Jeff Benedict, author of  a book about the case, called Little Pink House, recalled witnessing the apology after a talk he gave on the subject at a dinner honoring the Connecticut Supreme Court at the New Haven Lawn Club in May 2010. Benedict was talking with Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in Kelo v. New London, when Judge Palmer approached.  

 "Had I known all of what you just told us, I would have voted differently," he said.

"I was speechless," Benedict recalled. "So was Susette. One more vote in her favor by the Connecticut Supreme Court would have changed history. The case probably would not have advanced to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Susette and her neighbors might still be in their homes." Then the judge took Kelo's hand and offered his apology.

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard N. Palmer (photo), part of a 4-3 majority in a controversial ruling that upheld the taking of the homes of several New London residents to make room for a private commercial development, apologized years later to the woman who led the fight against it. In a September 18 article in the Hartford Courant, Jeff Benedict, author of  a book about the case, called Little Pink House, recalled witnessing the apology after a talk he gave on the subject at a dinner honoring the Connecticut Supreme Court at the New Haven Lawn Club in May 2010. Benedict was talking with Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in Kelo v. New London, when Judge Palmer approached.  

 "Had I known all of what you just told us, I would have voted differently," he said.

"I was speechless," Benedict recalled. "So was Susette. One more vote in her favor by the Connecticut Supreme Court would have changed history. The case probably would not have advanced to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Susette and her neighbors might still be in their homes." Then the judge took Kelo's hand and offered his apology.

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