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December 8, 2010
In effort to get Supreme Court to hear Columbia eminent domain case, AY precedent and New York practices seen as outliers favoring condemnors
Atlantic Yards Report
The Columbia University expansion case should reach a reckoning this week at the U.S. Supreme Court, which, if in the unlikely case it accepts the appeal, could place a check on eminent domain as practiced in New York State.
As I wrote in September, after seeing a surprising Appellate Division victory overturned unanimously by the state Court of Appeals, which relied on its Atlantic Yards decision, Tuck-It-Away owner Nick Sprayregen and the Kaur/Singh family are trying to get to the Supreme Court.
On his Inverse Condemnation blog, land use attorney Robert Thomas has posted the entire set of briefs in the petition for certiorari (Tuck-It-Away, Inc. v. New York State Urban Dev. Corp.) at the United States Supreme Court.
Will cert be granted?
The justices will meet December 10 to consider a number of cases and are expected to announce December 13 which cases they will accept (aka "grant certiorari").
It's always a long shot to get a case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Plaintiffs in the federal Atlantic Yards eminent domain case were rejected in June 2008, though one justice, the conservative Samuel Alito stated that he would've granted the petition.
As I wrote at the time, a decision to reject does not mean that the cases below were decided correctly, just that the appeal didn't present enough issues of law--conflicts in the interpretation of the Supreme Court's highly contested 6/23/05 Kelo v. New London decision--to merit review.
However, with some two-and-a-half years for additional cases that seemingly clash with Kelo to emerge, the petitioners in the Columbia case have a somewhat better shot.
Posted by eric at December 8, 2010 10:44 AM