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Second Circuit Review: The Relevance of Pretextual Motives in Takings Clause Challenges

May 21, 2024

Litigation of counsel Martin Flumenbaum and firm Chairman Brad Karp’s latest Second Circuit Review column, “The Relevance of Pretextual Motives in Takings Clause Challenges,” appeared in the May 21 issue of the New York Law Journal. The authors discuss the Second Circuit’s decision in Brinkmann v. Town of Southold, which addressed whether compensated takings for public use may be challenged as the product of bad-faith or pretextual motives under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Takings Clause states that private property may not be taken for public use without just compensation. In Brinkmann, the court held that the Takings Clause permits the use of eminent domain for public purposes even when there are plausible allegations that the government had “ulterior motives.” The decision confirms that the court will continue to extend maximum deference to legislatures exercising the eminent domain power as long as a public use is established. Litigation associate Matthew Clarida assisted in the preparation of this column.

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