Property Owners Lose in New York; Supreme Court Upholds Eminent Domain Case
By Sam Leverenz

The New Jersey Nets have finally claimed their first victory of the season. Unfortunately for the hapless NBA team, their win did not come on the basketball court, but in the State Court. The New York Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision in Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corporation. The case is centered around a dispute between home owners and corporate developers, who intend to build a massive new complex, including the new home of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. Not surprisingly, New York’s legal system has once again sided with politically connected developers, and against homeowners and small businesses.  

Following jurisprudence similar to the Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo v. New London decision, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the state may seize privately owned property to make way for commercial development. Last week’s decision from the State’s highest court gives the green light to developers who plan to take and demolish private homes and businesses in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards neighborhood.  The plan includes plans to build sixteen high-rise towers and a new arena for the NBA’s worst team. 

Property owners are now in a more precarious position than ever. The Institute for Justice asserts that ethically dubious tactics used in this case open the door to corporate influence peddling in the court, and will undoubtedly lead to the invasion of property rights. This decision continues a pattern of attacks on property rights in the Empire State. Since Kelo v. London 43 states have strengthened laws protecting property rights, but New York legislators have failed to get the message. This decision sets a disturbing precedent that has potentially devastating consequences. Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corporation was a slam dunk for corporate developers, and the New York legislature must step in before the fight for property rights becomes a blow out.

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Strong IP Rights Important in Climate Change Negotiations
Friday, November 6, 2009 9:00 am | By Kelsey Zahourek

Property Rights Alliance (PRA) praised Senators for signing on to a letter urging the Obama Administration to protect intellectual property (IP) in continued negotiations over climate change policy. The letter was signed by forty-two Republican and Democrat Senators.

“Strong protection of property rights is key to long-term economic growth and prosperity. The Property Rights Alliance applauds the bipartisan group of forty-two Senators for recognizing the importance of IP protections to American workers and innovators,” stated Kelsey Zahourek, executive director of the Property Rights Alliance.
The letter comes weeks before the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), one of the main entities in the fight against climate change, is set to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to continue negotiations on a global pact to address climate change. Throughout the negotiations, there has been strong international pressure to weaken IP protections by advocating the transfer of technology between countries through a removal of IP.   
At the base of any movement to address climate change lies the green or clean technology industry, where innovators work to provide more energy efficient technologies,” continued Zahourek, Forsaking IP protections would limit the possibility of future invention and improvement in exchange for trivial short-term benefits. This would be a grave and unfortunate error and detrimental to the long-term economic health of the United States.”

Click here to view pdf version of the release

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Net Neutrality Infringes on Private Property Rights
Monday, September 21, 2009 9:00 am | By Kelsey Zahourek


Property Rights Alliance Executive Director, Kelsey Zahourek released the following statement on the announcement by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski to initiate a rulemaking notice concerning the agency’s Internet Policy Statement:
“PRA opposes any plan that could lead to so-called “network neutrality”, viewing the policy as firmly against private property rights. Simply put, “network neutrality” would provide the federal government extensive power to mandate how businesses can provide Internet service to their consumers. Innovation and investment in the Internet has occurred due to an absence of government regulation and interference. Allowing the government to step in to impose mandates on network management would represent a dangerous precedent in terms of Internet regulation and a clear infringement of private property rights by government.” 


Click here to view pdf version of the release

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