Supreme Court Denies Cert on Manhattanville Eminent Domain Case

December 14th, 2010

Lousy news from the Columbia Spectator:

The nation’s highest court has decided not to reconsider the legality of eminent domain for Columbia’s campus expansion, marking the end of a two-year legal battle between the state and the remaining private landowners in Manhattanville.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision to deny the property owners’ appeal—the last recourse for Nick Sprayregen, owner of Tuck-It-Away Self-Storage, and gas station owners Gurnam Singh and Parminder Kaur, who have refused for the past six years to sell their land to the University.

This gives a clear green light for the state to use eminent domain on behalf of Columbia’s 17-acre campus expansion in West Harlem. The Supreme Court will not reassess a June ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals, which said that the state could transfer private property to the University in exchange for market-rate compensation for the current owners.

More commentary from the two Ilyas, Shapiro and Somin.