It’s amazing to me and a little bit funny that both the State and the Federal judges evaluating the Moratorium are not finding so far that it’s unconstitutional yet I have yet to meet a single person black or white, male or female, rich or poor, tenant or landlord who doesn’t think that if the Government forces you to provide and maintain up to Sanitary Code a home to a non-paying tenant who uses utilities on top of that for which you are responsible, even temporarily, they (the Government) should compensate you somehow.
It’s also so clear that the Legislature cannot order another co-equal branch of Government, the courts, to close its doors to most eviction cases the same way the Courts or the Governor cannot order the Legislature to close its doors even temporarily.
The issues are really simple even though these judges are doing everything to allow themselves to get lost in the legal minutia of what “standards” to use and which court said what no matter how out of context or how long ago cheered to do so by the State. I listened to all the live hearings and it takes courage by a judge to rise above it and see the bigger picture. On the other hand it may be too much to ask from a single judge to go against millions of tenants.
Judge Wolf, the Federal Judge, was pontificating the other day how long is too long, how the situation on the ground has changed (as if though that makes this Moratorium more constitutional), how Housing Court has opened its doors now (not true), how sometimes the courts have it wrong and he was hoping History won’t judge him harshly and he brought up the example of how the Courts ruled at the time that it was constitutional to have the Japanese-American Internment camps during the 2nd World War just to completely reverse their thinking about 75 years later. I am not comparing MA landlords to the Japanese-Americans who unconstitutionally lost their freedom. I am just trying to make a point about lack of courage among judges. I am pretty sure even back then judges knew what the right thing to do was. They just didn’t have the courage to do it.
I don’t know what comes next but hope attorneys Vetstein and Greenman will NOT stop this case regardless of whether or not the Governor quietly decides not to extend the Moratorium beyond 10-17-20 and let it expire. The case will NOT be moot just because there is no longer a Moratorium.
We don’t ask for money (even though we should), we don’t ask for punishment (even though we should). We only ask that it is found that this version of the Moratorium WAS unconstitutional! I hope it doesn’t take us 75 years.
We do this for History and we need this to discourage what’s trying to come next in MA – the rent cancellation bills, rent control, eviction and credit report sealing, etc.
We must see this thru till the bitter end as a form of public service.
Our constitutional rights were violated and it may be too late for us but we want to establish the precedent so future generations won’t find themselves in similar situations. There is a right way and a wrong way to do an eviction moratorium. We simply need an acknowledgement that this was done the wrong way. That’s all.