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Eminent Domain in New York City

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard this story before.

Apparently the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest state court) will hear the case of Goldstein et al. v. NYS Urban Development Corp (d/b/a Empire State Development Corp., an eminent domain case involving Bruce Ratner, who is attempting to develop 22 acres of land in Brooklyn, including a new arena for the New Jersey Nets.

I can’t believe I didn’t know that the 22 acres Ratner wants to develop were seized through eminent domain, and even worse I can’t believe that Ratner and former Gov. George Pataki are law school buddies. That’s egregious corruption, even for New York.

Kelo v. The City of New London is one of the most despicable, horrendously argued cases in Supreme Court history. Don’t get me wrong, SCOTUS gets a whole hell of a lot of things wrong, but allowing government to steal Mrs. Kelo’s home for no reason other than that a developer wanted a shopping mall there, is a disgusting affront to one of the bedrocks of Western Civilization.

As the article notes, 43 states reacted to Kelo by passing their own laws strengthening private property ownership and making it more difficult for government to steal its citizens homes. New York isn’t one of them. So Mr. Goldstein and his neighbors are now fighting for their own property against a law school chum of a former governor.

Pataki should be ashamed of himself. We can only hope New York gets it right in their own state. I’ll keep you posted.

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