Susette Kelo's Supreme Court case now has a Hollywood ending, just not the one she hoped for. Kelo wasn't looking for a fight when she bought her house overlooking the Thames River in New London, Connecticut, in 1997 and had it painted Odessa Rose pink. Shortly after she moved in, pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announced it would move in nearby, building a research facility that opened in 2001. New London hoped Pfizer's move could help revitalize the city and sought to redevelop land near the facility. To get it done, the city authorized the use of eminent domain. Kelo thought that was wrong, and she and a small group of homeowners took on the city and lost. Now, Kelo's story has been turned into a movie, Little Pink House, opening Friday in limited nationwide release, reports the AP.
Kelo acknowledged eminent domain could be used to take homes for public uses such as a road or military base but argued the planned development didn't count. "She was just fearless," says Catherine Keener, who plays Kelo in the movie. "She took on everybody." In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled against Kelo 5-4. The justices wrote that the city had carefully crafted a development plan it believed would benefit the community. Stevens, the Supreme Court justice who authored the opinion, has acknowledged it was the most unpopular one he wrote. Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented from the decision, ranked it among the court's biggest mistakes. And despite the lengthy legal battle, her land still stands empty. Pfizer announced in 2009 that it would leave New London. The pink house was disassembled and moved, although Kelo doesn't live there.