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February 2, 2008

In dismissal of eminent domain case, court cautions against appeal

Atlantic Yards Report

In another blow to the Atlantic Yards opposition, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit yesterday unanimously upheld Judge Nicholas Garaufis’s dismissal of the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case and even suggested that a U.S. Supreme Court appeal would be tough to mount.

While the court acknowledged that eminent domain is an “immediate and intrusive” power for which “monetary compensation may understandably seem an imperfect substitute,” federal judges may not act on their sympathies, and Supreme Court precedent requires them to let elected representatives balance the costs and benefits.

The Atlantic Yards project clearly has some benefits, which the plaintiffs acknowledge, the court said, and that's essentially the end of the inquiry. Then again, its reading of the plaintiffs’ allegations about economic benefits and blight will be disputed, as will be its willingness to grapple with some allegations of a sweetheart deal.

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Posted by amy at February 2, 2008 2:04 PM