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Downtown Brooklyn Ready For Razing

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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  • Brooklyn homeowners have failed in their attempt to get the Supreme Court to undo the damage of that court's 2005 decision in Kelo v New London—its third anniversary is today, by the way! The Court declined to hear an appeal by homeowners whose property is being seized for the massive Atlantic Yards development in downtown Brooklyn. In Kelo, the Court agreed 5-4 that "Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted governmental function...." Yes. As Sandra Day O'Connor wrote in the dissent, "Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded." It's enough to make anyone into a wackjob libertarian! Just yesterday, the house at the center of Kelo was picked up and moved to New London's downtown. There will be a little plaque there. Perhaps there will be a little plaque downtown Brooklyn someday too. Now the Atlantic Yards folks will take it to state court, where, whatever, fat chance. Bring on the bulldozers!

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