Monday, December 13, 2010 4:54 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek
This morning the US Supreme Court announced it will not hear the appeal challenging New York state's high court ruling that favored Columbia University's expansion into West Harlem under the guise of eminent domain.
The appeal brought on by business owner, Nick Sprayregen, would have been a much needed challenge to the dreadful 2005 Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London which ruled the government may use the power of eminent domain to expropriate property for private to private transfer under the ambiguous title of “economic development." As a result of the 2005 decision, the government’s power of eminent domain has become almost limitless, providing victimized citizens with few means to protect their property.
Several states have independently passed legislation to limit their power to eminent domain, and the Supreme Courts of Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio have barred the practice under their state constitutions. Unfortunately, New York will continue to go unchecked as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to eminent domain abuse.