August 31, 2008
Final judgment against Farmers Branch

That headline sounds more apocalyptic than I intend for it to be, but it's just a reference to the fact that U.S. District Court Judge Sam Lindsay entered a final judgment striking down Ordinance 2903, the law in Farmers Branch that required landlords to verify a potential renters residency status before renting a house or apartment to them. He had previously issued a permanent injunction against Ordinance 2903 in May.

[Judge Lindsay's] action triggered the 15-day countdown to the city's enactment of the newer version, Ordinance, 2952. [Farmers Branch attorney Michael] Jung said the new ordinance is scheduled to take effect Sept. 13.

Ordinance 2952 contains revisions that the city made in an attempt to answer legal challenges to Ordinance 2903. But, like the earlier version, Ordinance 2952 is expected to draw a prompt legal challenge. And Judge Lindsay signaled in May that he would be inclined to strike it down, too.

"The new ordinance is yet another attempt to circumvent the court's prior rulings and further an agenda that runs afoul of the United States Constitution," he said at the time.

But of course that won't stop them from going ahead with this charade and wasting however much more money in doing so. On the other hand, since the guy who pushed through these laws was elected Mayor by a wide margin this year, apparently the people there approve of using their tax moneys for this folly. So much for good policy being good politics.

One more thing:

Ordinance 2952, by contrast, would require prospective renters to pay $5 to the city and declare their citizenship or legal U.S. residency to obtain a license to rent a house or apartment.

Is it just me, or does that sound like a tax on apartment renters to you? I thought people who called themselves "conservative" opposed that sort of thing. Guess it's different if the tax doesn't apply to you.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 31, 2008 to National news
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