Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Conservative critics of the reviled 2005 eminent domain decision of Kelo v. City of New London face the dilemma that their criticism amounts to an argument for judicial “activism” in “legislating” over the heads of the people’s elected representatives. Despite considerable reaction to Kelo in the halls of the state legislatures, its effects continue to reverberate. Yesterday, a U.S. Court of Appeals held that a rent control law does not violate the Constitution, citing Kelo as precedent. (The case is Action Apartment Assoc. v. Santa Monica Rent Control Board. No. 05-56533 (U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir. Dec. 3, 2007.)
Landlords in Santa Monica, which like much of the Los Angeles area is both diverse and expensive, argued that changes in the housing market have made the city’s rent control laws (first adopted in 1979), especially rules that make it difficult to evict residents, both “arbitrary and irrational.” But Kelo and other precedent hold that a court must defer to a legislature, even in the face of factual evidence that the later’s decision was unwise or outmoded. The federal court cited a precedent from 1991 that rent control “substantially alleviated hardships to Santa Monica residents.” The court did not add, but could have, that even if it could be shown that more renters are harmed by the laws than helped, it is up to the legislatures, not the courts, to make these policy decisions. As conservatives are wont to say, if you don’t like a law, don’t complain to a court; rather, tell your elected representative: “There oughta be a law!”
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen Miller on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Josh Galperin on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jesse Richardson on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Can UberPOOL Make Carpooling Cool?
- Are Earth Day cookies an endangered species?
- Fordham Urban Law Center's Sharing Economy | Sharing City Conference - April 24
- Land Use, Telescopes and Sacred Land in Paradise
- Tekle on Percent-for-Art Ordinances