CORRECTING YEE V. ESCONDIDO BY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION: PART 2, THE QUESTION TO ASK

April 4, 2012
By: David A. Smith

Everything that follows is a result of what you see here.
Everything that follows is a result of what you see here.

Yesterday’s post was at pains to show how the Supreme Court, in Yee v. Escondido, both the decision itself (blue Georgia) and its syllabus (black Georgia), didn’t exculpate all rent control, such as New York City’s rent control being challenged in James Harmon’s lawsuit against New York City, from being a taking, it merely exculpated it of being a physical taking.  (And not every rent control, just the Escondido ordinance.)  The Yee court also clearly understood that laws can have economic consequences while also having public purpose, with this passage whose meaning and relevance will undoubtedly be a central focus of argument should the Court take the case:

Ordinary rent control often transfers wealth from landlords to tenants by reducing the landlords’ income and the tenants’ monthly payments…

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CORRECTING YEE V. ESCONDIDO BY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION: PART 1, THE QUESTION NOT ASKED


April 3, 2012
By: David A. Smith

I’m sorry. My responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.

For more than a quarter of a century, I’ve been baffled as to why rent control hasn’t been declared Unconstitutional, but it took until just recently, with James Harmon’s lawsuit against New York City, for me to read the critical Supreme Court decision, Yee v. Escondido, both the decision itself (blue Georgia) and its syllabus (black Georgia), to understand why:
Nobody has asked the Supreme Court the right question.
New York City’s rent control could be Unconstitutional on any of three grounds:
Rent control could be a physical taking, an invasion.  Yee asked the court that.
Rent control could be a regulatory taking – an economic deprivation.  Nobody’s asked the court that.
Rent control could be a violation of substantive due process.  Nobody’s asked the court that.

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Affordable Housing Advocates Support Harmon Rent Control Challenge, Part 2

 



RENT CONTROL’S CONSTITUTIONALITY: PART 2, COMETH THE MAN

January 26, 2012 
Continued from yesterday’s Part1.]


In yesterday’s Part 1, we met the Don Quixote of rentcontrol, lifelong New Yorker James Harmon, whose case challenging the statutelost on appeal to the U. S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but may be heardby the Supreme Court granting certiorari.  To fill in the legalarguments, I’ve used RichardEpstein’s Wall Street Journal op-ed (Palatino brown) and Cato’sdescription of its amicus brief (Georgia gray), because the NewYork Times’s (December 19, 2011) story, though sympathetic,glides over them, preferring to focus on the long-suffering plaintiff:


A couple’s home is its castle … unless it’s rent stabilized, that is

Affordable Housing Advocates Support Harmon Rent Control Challenge, Part 1

 


RENT CONTROL’S CONSTITUTIONALITY: PART 1, COMETH THE HOUR
January 25, 2012 


Even dropped from the Empire State Building, it can’t kill anyone
Even dropped from the Empire State Building, it can’t kill anyone

Though ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished, I had given up believing that rent control would ever be ruled an economic taking without due process or just compensation (even though it is both), because the procedural and administrative defenses mounted by a determined confiscatory local government are so tortuous to besiege and scale that for nearly forty years no one has. 

Destined to have his name in the law books? James Harmon


Destined to have his name in the law books? James Harmon

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