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Eminent domain appeal rejected by appellate court

Breaking: here's a summary and link to the opinion in Goldstein v. Pataki. Forest City Ratner expressed satisfaction. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, organizer of the case, said the plaintiffs intended to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, though the court takes only a fraction of the cases presented.


  1. Here is my posting on Newsday. I warned the Atlantic Yards people AND their lawyers a LONG time ago that their legal strategy was inadequate.

    They thought they knew better. They were SURE they knew better. Guess what? They were wrong. Silly, silly people:

    I told the Atlantic Yards opponents long ago that they had to start directing the attention of the Court to what in FACT is government purpose.

    The test at issue in the case is the government purpose element of minimum scrutiny (the standard of review for the Atlantic Yards development): rational relation to a legitimate government purpose.

    The Atlantic Yards opponents argued that there was a substitution of private for government purpose, that is, that there was in FACT no government purpose.

    I told them that that is NOT enough. They are responsible for telling the Court what, in FACT, is government purpose. They should have re-read West Coast Hotel v. Parrish and Berman v. Parker.

    These cases do not stand for the proposition that government purpose confers discretion on government. Quite the contrary. Both cases explicitly state that government purpose is maintenance of important facts, where important facts are facts of human experience, which history has shown do not change no matter what is done in an attempt to affect them (West Virginia v. Barnette).

    The buildings to be torn down in Atlantic Yards include housing. However, in NO pleading do the Atlantic Yards opponents claim that government purpose protects housing. Why not? Because they're ignorant, they're cowards, and basically they don't believe in a right to housing.

    Thus, they allowed in the argument that benefits can outweigh benefits: that is, if Atlantic Yards provides more housing than currently is in the area, that benefit outweighs the burden of destroying some peoples housing. This is the slippery slope to complete corruption, and it occurs because the Atlantic Yards opponents' lawyers do not tie government to purpose to SPECIFIC facts.

    So, of course, they lost. I told them they would lose and now they have lost.

    By the way, the Supreme Court will not accept review of this case. First, the lawyers for the Atlantic Yards opponents are too stupid to make the argument. Second, the standard is whether no Court could have found facts to support the ruling. The courts simply found that the allegations made by the Atlantic Yards opponents were not, in fact, true.

    Were they true? Of course they were true. But that's not enough to overcome the corruption of system favoring blanket approval of government discretion. You need more: you need the maintenance argument. And these dumb lawyers did not provide it.

    Just read my book, John Ryskamp, The Eminent Domain Revolt (New York: Algora, 2006).


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