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February 17, 2010

Times analyzes more "liberal" Court of Appeals under Lippman; eminent domain (and the role of Silver) get a pass

Atlantic Yards Report

A New York Times article running tomorrow on the state Court of Appeals tries to make a point about Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, but eminent domain--which might complicate the argument--gets ignored.

The article, headlined Judge Puts Liberal Imprint on New York’s Top Court, begins:

Gov. David A. Paterson nominated Jonathan Lippman to head the New York Court of Appeals in January 2009, making him the chief judge of the state. The choice was a gamble: the judge, a longtime court administrator, did not have a long history of deciding cases, and there was almost no record of his political views.

Now, a year in, the parameters of the Lippman court are coming into focus: he has helped turn the Court of Appeals into a scrappier, more divided and more liberal panel, its rulings and court statistics show. To get the rulings he wants, the decisions show, the new chief judge has built alliances case by case with each of the four judges who were nominated by the last Republican governor, George E. Pataki, cracking the conservative majority.

Looking more closely

I posted most of the following as comments on the Times's web site.

While the court may have moved to the left in certain areas, on the contentious issue of eminent domain--which now challenges ideological boundaries--the court most recently displayed great deference to the state, which is hardly a "left" position.


NoLandGrab: While deference to the state may not be a lefty position, permissiveness on the use (and abuse) of eminent domain is completely in step with liberal orthodoxy. Remember, the five most liberal Supreme Court justices at the time were in the majority onKelo, while the four most conservative justices firmly opposed New London's taking.

Posted by eric at February 17, 2010 10:15 PM