Chicago defends location of Barack Obama's library in federal court
Courts have held submerged or once-submerged land is in the public trust, so it can't be transferred to private owners
The city of Chicago has offered its first full-throated response to a lawsuit seeking to stop construction of former President Barack Obama's museum and library. It came in a federal court motion this week to dismiss a lawsuit by the Protect Our Parks group opposed to the Jackson Park project.
Among the city's arguments is that the site is on land never submerged under Lake Michigan and therefore not subject to restrictive public-trust laws that began developing over a century ago. The motion says the lawsuit's contention that the land was once submerged is wrong.
Courts have held submerged or once-submerged land is in the public trust, so it can't be transferred to private owners. The city says even if the court concludes the land falls under that doctrine, the complex qualifies for exceptions because it'll enhance public benefits, including by providing new educational opportunities.
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