Oral arguments over AY begin in Court of Appeals

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Oral arguments began at the New York Court of Appeals yesterday, over whether it’s constitutional for the state to seize private homes and businesses to make way for the Atlantic Yards project. According to the New York Daily News, the Court of Appeals judges appeared skeptical of the project opponents’ argument. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman noted that the state may be within its rights to take the land because the language used in defining eminent domain laws has evolved over time. “Doesn’t public use have a pretty broad standard today?” Lippman said. “It’s not where it was 50, 60 years ago.” Developer Bruce Ratner has faced community opposition at nearly every phase of the project, as he races to make the Dec. 31 deadline for tax-exempt financing.

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