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May 25, 2011

In NY, a "condemnor can condemn a Kasha Knish": more criticisms of eminent domain in New York and suggested reforms

Atlantic Yards Report

The latest issue of the Albany Government Law Review, published by Albany Law School, concerns Eminent Domain: Public Use, Just Compensation, & "The Social Compact", with several articles that touch on the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case.

And, as scholars indicated in a recent conference at Fordham Law School, few think that decision was wise, or that the legal regime in New York inspires confidence.

Probably the quote of the issue comes from attorney Michael Rikon, who represents condemnees (including Atlantic Yards opponent Daniel Goldstein) and suggests:

It is an aphorism in criminal law that a good prosecutor could get a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” With regards to condemnations in New York, it can fairly be said that in New York, a condemnor can condemn a Kasha Knish.

Commentators in the issue propose numerous reforms to right the balance in New York--reforms that likely would be opposed by supporters of the status quo.

One commentator suggests that decisions to condemn made by elected officials should be given deference, but that decisions made by appointees and others not directly accountable should face a higher burden. That would impact projects like Atlantic Yards.

Read on for Norman Oder's in-depth coverage.

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Posted by eric at May 25, 2011 1:38 PM