Good news today on the eminent domain front. As The New York Sun (RIP!) reports, a New York appellate court has rejected the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit challenging its controversial Atlantic Yards development project in Brooklyn.
The whole mess stems from the state’s use of eminent domain on behalf of developer Bruce Ratner, whose plans just happen to include a new basketball stadium for the Bruce Ratner-owned New Jersey Nets. Back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a previous Atlantic Yards case, Goldstein v. Pataki, which had challenged the eminent domain use on Fifth Amendment grounds. While the afflicted property owners were hardly thrilled at the High Court’s refusal to take their case, lead attorney Matthew Brinckerhoff promised to take the fight to state court, declaring, “New York State law, and the state constitution, prohibit the government from taking private homes and businesses simply because a powerful developer demands it.”
Today he scored his first victory. Here’s hoping it isn’t the last.