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June 29th, 2010 — By — In News & Events

More on last week’s decision in Columbia eminent domain case

“Judicial review of eminent domain in New York
is fundamentally broken.”
-Institute for Justice attorney Robert McNamara,
commenting on the New York Court of Appeals decision in
Kaur v. New York State Urban Development Corporation

Last week the New York Court of Appeals issued its decision in Kaur v. New York State Urban Development Corp., No. 125 (June 24, 2010) (see our post here). In it’s decision, NY’s highest court reversed the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (First Department) decision issued December 3, 2009 which had struck down the attempted taking by eminent domain finding that the taking was unconstitutional as the project would not have a true public purpose but rather an entirely private benefit to Columbia University. The Dec. 3rd appellate opinion stated: “In this case, the record overwhelmingly establishes that the true beneficiary of the scheme to redevelop Manhattanville is not the community that is supposedly blighted, but rather Columbia University, a private elite education institution. These remarkably astonishing conflicts with Kelo on virtually every level cannot be ignored, and render the taking in this case unconstitutional.”

The NY Court of Appeals ruling June 24 was, in essence, a “rubber stamp” on the use of eminent domain in New York state. As Damon Root wrote in his Reason post: “So not only did New York’s highest court abdicate its core responsibility to review government actions that infringe on individual rights, it also disobeyed the Supreme Court. Let’s hope Justice Kennedy and his colleagues take notice and eventually rectify this gross miscarriage of justice.” (Excerpted from “Judicial review of eminent domain in New York is fundamentally broken” by Damon W. Root @ Reason blog.)

See also the following blogs for additional commentary and analysis on last week’s Columbia decision.

Some links to recent news coverage: