Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Eminent Decision for Brooklyn": Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse captures some key exchanges in Court of Appeals argument

Most of Eminent Decision for Brooklyn, the 25-minute episode of Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse concerning the October 14 Court of Appeals hearing in the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case, consists of plaintiffs and supporters speaking at a press conference.



But the producers have deftly chosen some of the most telling exchanges from the argument, leading off with the astonishing exchange--reminiscent of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's fiery dissent in the 2005 Kelo v. New London case, in which Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) attorney Philip Karmel admits, in response to a question from Judge Robert Smith about "a perfectly nice house," that such a house is vulnerable to taking via the state's loose eminent domain laws.

Then, a little after 21 minutes in, the video returns to some key moments in the hearing: Smith asks if the area was gerrymandered; Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman points out there's a great deal of public subsidy behind the project; and Smith asks when exactly blight was designated as the rationale for the use of eminent domain.

Of course, there was a lot more to the hearing, including significant skepticism of the plaintiffs' arguments. But the video surely does the job of seeding criticism of the state's action, and the yet-unreformed state laws that would enable it.

No comments:

Post a Comment