From the New Jersey Law Journal (subscription required):
As soon as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the U.S. Constitution does not bar public takings for private redevelopment, the question arose: would states follow suit or enact their own prohibitions?
Perhaps nowhere was the issue more pronounced than in small, densely populated New Jersey, where buildable land is scarce and large swathes of it are off-limits to developers.
Last June 13, the New Jersey Supreme Court answered resoundingly – construing the state constitution to curtail drastically the power to condemn property for redevelopment.
The architect of the doctrine of Gallenthin Realty Development v. Borough of Paulsboro, 191 N.J. 344, was Public Advocate Ronald Chen, who appeared as amicus curiae and whose prior research and advocacy on the subject of eminent domain laid the groundwork for the decision.
For his instrumental role in bringing about the Gallenthin decision, and for his continuing efforts to achieve reform of eminent domain in New Jersey, Chen is the Law Journal’s Lawyer of the Year.