In Brief to SCOTUS, The Buckeye Institute Argues Privileges or Immunities Clause Protects Property Owners’ Rights

Nov 13, 2023

Columbus, OH – On Monday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Yim v. Seattle and tell the city of Seattle, Washington, that it cannot forbid local housing providers from screening their tenants.

“Small-scale landlords provide an invaluable service to their communities. They rent apartments in their homes or rent second homes to tenants, adding to the dearth of housing stock in many of our cities,” said David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute. “But the city of Seattle forbids these landlords from screening their tenants, which can endanger other tenants and violates the landlord’s constitutionally protected property rights.” 

In its brief, The Buckeye Institute argues that Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which forbids landlords from considering applicants’ criminal histories—even violent ones—violates the privileges or immunities clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. In Yim v. Seattle, the U.S. Supreme Court can revitalize the privileges or immunities clause and “begin to correct a long-recognized misstep without opening the floodgates of new ‘substantive’ due process rights.”  

Pacific Legal Foundation is arguing Yim v. Seattle

# # #

UPDATE: On January 22, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court denied cert in Yim v. Seattle.