by Timothy Sandefur
Inversecondemnation.com points to this very significant victory in an eminent domain case in New York. So far as I know, this is the first post-Kelo decision to be based on the idea of pretext: that is, in which the court has found that contrary to the government's claims, the taking was actually to benefit a private party. That's different from cases like the Ohio decision in which the court found that the concept of "public use" did not include economic development. Unfortunately, because courts generally use the "rational basis" standard of review (read: cover their eyes and look the other way) judges are usually incapable of discriminating between supposedly "public" economic development takings and the private takings that are done to serve a private interest.