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ALBANY-Reversing a lower court ruling that the use of eminent domain for Columbia University’s expansion was unconstitutional, the state’s highest court on Thursday upheld the condemnation of 17 acres in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem. In a statement, one of the business owners affected by the ruling says he may take it to the US Supreme Court.

In the 7-0 opinion written by Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, the New York State Court of Appeals referred back to its earlier decision upholding the Empire State Development Corp.’s use of eminent domain for the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. As in that ruling, Judge Ciparick wrote, the court found that the ESDC’s “findings of blight and determination that the condemnation of petitioners’ property qualified as a ‘land use improvement project’ were rationally based and entitled to deference. We also conclude that the alternative finding of ‘civic purpose,’ likewise, had a rational basis.”

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