Eminent Domain Reform In New York? When Pigs Learn to Fly



 There is an interesting article in a non-legal publicationon about the ongoing efforts in New York State to reform the law of eminent domain; see Matt Chabon, Grounds Shifting, January 22, 2010, ArchitectsNewspaper. Go to http://archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=4159

Our view of that thankless endeavor is that there will be eminent domain reform in New York when pigs learn to fly. That state has over a period of decades evolved such a kleptocratic legal culture that we have difficulty seeing what forces would take the lead in getting the legislature to make effective reforms. And as for New York judges, . . . Just read up on how judges are picked in New York. It’s all there in the archives of the New York Times.

So we offer our best wishes to the beleaguered New Yorkers trying to keep their property out of the clutches of local redevelopers, or at least to be fairly compensated when their property is taken. As that old, politically incorrect punchline from an old World War II joke went: Rots of ruck, guys.

Follow up. For a detailed discussion of the problems that eminent domain reform has been encountering in New York, see an article published by the Institute for Justice, Dick Carpenter and John K. Ross, Empire State Eminent Domain: Robin Hood in Reverse, January 20101; go to  http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3045&Itemid=165#_ednref44 

Second Follow-up: Actually, it turns out that at least one piggy in New York is running down the runway, flapping its, er, ears? To see a copy of newly introduced New York legislation by State Senator Perkins, intended to curb the excesses of eminent domain abuse by tightening the definition of blight, go to http://open.nysenate.gov/openleg/bill/S6791 

Rots of ruck, fellows.

For a discussion of Sen. Perkins’ bill see Norman Oder, Atlantic Yards Report, February 8, 2010: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2010/02/perkins-introduces-bill-to-reform.html