Category: Constitution

The antidote to majoritarianism: Part 2, There are outer limits

12 February, 2015 (09:00) | Apartments, Constitution, Fifth Amendment, Housing, Law, Local issues, Markets, Rent control, Rental, San Francisco, Takings, US News | No comments

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.] By: David A. Smith As we saw in yesterday’s Part 1, essential to democracy is the protection of minority rights against the majoritarian impulse to rewrite the rules by increments, and as property rights are human rights, they must be protected by an entity or branch of government that stands […]

The antidote to majoritarianism: Part 1, On its face fails both tests

11 February, 2015 (10:00) | Apartments, Constitution, Fifth Amendment, Housing, Law, Local issues, Markets, Rent control, Rental, San Francisco, Takings, US News | No comments

By: David A. Smith In case of emergency, think for yourself Once a society has decided that a particular group of people is morally guilty against the public interest, it can and often will embark on a series of exactions, each of which it justifies as necessary to ‘level the playing field,’ ‘correct historical inequity,’ […]

Evicting the victim: Part 2, “I was afraid I’d lose my house, my job, and my daughter”

6 September, 2013 (09:00) | Affordability, Apartments, Constitution, Domestic violence, Enforcement, Eviction, Families, Gender dynamics, Informality, Landlords, Law, Nuisance ordinance, Regulation, Rental, SROs, Supportive housing, US News |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   Yesterday’s post, taking off from an article in the New York Times (August 17, 2013), demonstrated the real-world consequences of an abstract-legal-principle law that simplifies a lawmaker’s job by deciding that if there’s “too many” disturbances at someone’s apartment, then either the tenant or the […]

Evicting the victim: Part 1, “If I called the police, I’d be evicted”

5 September, 2013 (09:00) | Affordability, Apartments, Constitution, Domestic violence, Enforcement, Eviction, Families, Gender dynamics, Informality, Landlords, Law, Nuisance ordinance, Regulation, Rental, SROs, Supportive housing, US News |

By:David A. Smith   In the realm of law, boundaries are neatly drawn and readily discernible.  Landlords rent to families, and violence in an apartment must of necessity be someone’s fault – either the family’s or the landlord’s.  So broken-windows theory laws like this one, reported in the New York Times (August 17, 2013), appear […]

Sail away, sail away? Part 2, potential sea change

6 April, 2012 (10:23) | Boats, Constitution, Housing, Law, Litigation, Oceans, Real estate taxes, Supreme Court, US News | 2 comments

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By: David A. Smith   When I awoke this morning Dove beneath my floating home – Crosby Stills and Nash, Lee Shore   Yesterday’s post introduced us to combative Fane Lozman, whose quest to have its houseboat declared real estate, even after its demolition as a waterborne vessel, has […]