What do raisins and rent laws have in common?

A constitutional takings case recently heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (Horne, et al., v. U.S. Department of Agriculture) may be decided on purely procedural grounds without reaching the question of whether the government’s expropriation of raisins from farmers is a taking. Nevertheless, a decision could be significant for future takings cases such as those contemplated by the Madison Group. It is also interesting that Justice Elena Kagan took note of the fact that the Federal law in question may simply be outdated. Coincidentally, the unsuccessful Harmon constitutional challenge also raised the issue of whether the rent laws failed to, or not longer, serve their purpose, having existed for almost as long as the Federal statute governing the taking of raisins.

– Jack Freund

 

 

Additional sources:

America’s raisin regime, De minimis curat lexThe Economist, 4/30/13

Raisin Farmers Have Constitutional Rights Too– The CATO Institute, 1/18/2013

Cato Institute Explains its Support of Harmon Lawsuit



Will The Supreme Court End New York’s Rent Control Laws?

by Reason TV
Posted Jan 20th 2012 


“If you wanted to destroy a city’s housing – short of bombing – the best way to do it is rent control,” says Cato legal associate Trevor Burrus.


While most cities in America long ago got rid of rent control, New York remains a bastion of government-mandated limits on what landlords can charge renters. About 50 percent of New York’s rental market is affected by rent control or rent stabilization, policies that keep rents artificially low and produce housing shortages, higher overall housing costs, and all sorts of corruption.




The court case Harmon v. Kimmel may finally bring an end to rent control laws that have been on the books in one form or another since the 1940s. James D. Harmon owns a building in Manhattan where the tenants are paying rents that are about 60 percent below the going market rate. After losing various legal battles at lower levels, Harmon has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his argument that rent stabilization is a form of takings that should be prohibited under the Constitution. The Court has not yet announced whether it will hear the case but has asked the state and city of New York to respond to Harmon’s argument.

Cato’s Burrus wrote a friend of the court brief on the case and explains why rent control and rent stabilization are bad at promoting affordable housing and abridgments of economic freedom.
Shot and edited by Joshua Swain.
Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to receive notifications when new material goes live.



Source: Big Government / reason.tv

Harmon v. Kimmel – Pacific Legal Foundation Amicus Brief

 

No. 11-496
In the
Supreme Court of the United States
Ë
JAMES D. HARMON, JR., and JEANNE HARMON,
Petitioners,
v.
JONATHAN L. KIMMEL, in his official capacity
as Member and Chair of the New York City Rent
Guidelines Board, City of New York; DARRYL C.
TOWNS, in his official capacity as Commissioner,
New York State Homes and Community Renewal,
Respondents.
Ë
On Petition for Writ of Certiorari
to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit
Ë
BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE OF
PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION,
CATO INSTITUTE, AND SMALL PROPERTY
OWNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO INSTITUTE
IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS JAMES D.
HARMON, JR., and JEANNE HARMON