What we're reading today:
- Grand Central Station and The Takings Clause - from the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, a link to a WNYC/NPR podcast about Grand Central Terminal and the Penn Central takings case. Worth listening, if only to hear the money quote near the end: "you see New Yorkers all the time staking claim in this building, pointing up at cerulean blue sky saying 'hey, this belongs to us.'" Yes, we guess it does. And you know what? You didn't pay for it.
- Another one about the 100th anniversary of Grand Central: Gideon Kanner writes Calling All Grand Central Junkies!, linking to the NY Times's republication of its 1913 special celebrating the opening of the terminal.
- In that vein, a snarky commentary about the wonders of Pennsylvania Station. Who needs a cerulean blue sky?
- In what reads more like a redeveloper's press release, the Washington Post reports about the Skyland Shopping Center project -- a series of cases that generated more heat than light -- in Skyland Shopping Center re-development will come at a price. The narrative of the story is those darn property owners made it really difficult for the D.C. mayor's pet project to evict the existing property owners and tenants from the site and put in a Wal-Mart. "Skyland's developers, selected in May 2002, have spent $3 million of their own money[.]" The horror!
- Remember that case we posted about a few weeks ago about an oyster farming operation in a Marin County, California National Seashore? Well, the other shoe has dropped. The court has denied the company's request for a preliminary injunction allowing the farm to remain open while the issues are litigated. See this story from the San Francisco Chronicle, and this story from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for more, including this quote from a spokesman for the "National Parks Conservation Association," that the decision "affirms that our national parks will be safe from privatization schemes, and that special places like Drakes Estero will rise above attempts to hijack Americans' wilderness." We're not sure how an operation that was there prior to the existence of the National Seashore can be considered "hijacking" of wilderness or a "privatization scheme," but there you have a reflection of a certain mindset in a tidy little quote.
- "Screwed by the Town" - When land use codes kill free speech - from J. David Breemer at PLF's Liberty Blog. In the Fourth Circuit, painting a motto on your house could be a violation of local sign and zoning ordinances, the First Amendment notwithstanding.
- From the Legal Planet blog, If the Constitution is Dead, where does that leave Takings? A critique of the originalist theory of construction.