A Brooklyn federal judge recused himself from a panel that will determine the fate of the most significant legal challenge to the Atlantic Yards development, citing his early support for the 16-skyscraper-and-arena project — and now the plaintiffs want to re-argue the case in front of the replacement judge.
Last week, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a new oral argument before the reconstituted three-judge panel, arguing that the new judge did not hear answers to the numerous questions raised during the October 2007 hearing.
The motion came after Judge Edward Korman stepped down two weeks ago.
Korman admitted that during the “early days” of the project, he checked a box on a promotional flier indicating his support for the 16-skyscraper-and-arena development. At the October hearing, Korman said he didn’t give “any thought to the legal issues” when he filled out the flier’s postcard expressing support, but offered to recuse himself if either side wished. Neither side objected.
In the case, Goldstein v. Pataki, 13 property owners in the project’s footprint (including Daniel Goldstein, the spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn), argue that the state is violating the Constitution by using eminent domain to make way for a project initiated by a private developer, rather than by the government.
Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs has replaced Korman, presiding alongside Judges Robert A. Katzmann and Debra Ann Livingston.