A Washington court has struck down Seattle’s new law requiring landlords to rent to the first qualified tenant-applicant who applies, supposedly as a way of countering unconscious or implicit bias. Judge Suzanne Parisien
said the law violated property rights by stripping landlords of their ability to “freely dispose of property” and to choose their own tenant, a “fundamental attribute of property ownership.”
The judge also concluded the law violated landlords’ due process rights by imposing the rule without limitation. “A law that undertakes to abolish or limit the exercise of rights beyond what is necessary to provide for the public welfare cannot be included in the lawful police power of the government,” she wrote.
Finally, the judge said the law violated the First Amendment by broadly banning certain types of advertising by property owners absent individualized suspicion of discrimination. [David Kroman, Crosscut, earlier] More: Ilya Somin.