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(2011) The semiotics of law in legal education, Dordrecht, Springer.

The semiotics of "public use"

"use the purpose by which all may benefit"

Nathan S. Harvill

pp. 237-247

This text is a semiotic analysis of issues arising from the recent Supreme Court decision of Kelo v. City of New London (2005), in particular analyzing the terms "private property" and "public use". The semiotics of the Supreme Court cases Bauman v. Ross (1897) and Kelo shows how, within the span of approximately 100 years, the speech of the court has affected the language of legal discourse. The legal signs in Bauman and Kelo are based on the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. This resulted in two different languages, of the layperson, and of legal/political institutions. Focus is here on a fundamental change in the meaning of the sign/expression "public use".

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1341-3_13

Full citation:

Harvill, N. S. (2011)., The semiotics of "public use": "use the purpose by which all may benefit", in J. Broekman & F. J. Mootz (eds.), The semiotics of law in legal education, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 237-247.

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