Tearing off the Fig Leaf

In 2019, New York finally did it. They gave up pretending that they can ever run the state under the state constitution and the normal rules of American governance. After pretending since WW II that the state’s housing situation was in a temporary state of emergency started by that war and periodically renewing the state of emergency this year, the rent control and stabilization kept the emergency but got rid of the time limit. The state of emergency is now permanent.

On pages three and four of the bill, six separate edits make it clear that New York has adopted a permanent state of emergency. There’s no more renewals, no more expirations, no more re-examination, no return to normalcy.

Most importantly, there is no state Constitutional amendment. The guarantee for just compensation for a taking of property remains. The prohibition of using the government to provide private benefit remains. In a time-limited emergency, such guarantees can be temporarily suspended, but not permanently. The state of New York has been claiming Hitler as their justification for suspending the New York Constitution for decades. No longer.

Now New York claims the right to suspend their Constitution permanently and to widen the suspension from a few limited districts to the entire state. This is a horrifically bad idea. It’s also probably unconstitutional. But will anyone notice?

5 thoughts on “Tearing off the Fig Leaf”

  1. The noxiously named SAFE Act was jammed through under “emergency” rules to prevent a few upstate Dems from chickening out if the public was given a chance to know what was going on and start lobbying them.

    The GOP in NY has been shockingly long-lived for a large blue state, but they were completely obliterated last year. Already most of upstate has been seriously hollowed out, but it’s going to be a real steep, real fast crash from here on out.

    I really hate the way that people say things like “Well, they voted for the Democrats, so they are just getting what they deserve”, when the fact is that “one person one vote” was a despicable act of judicial usurpation. The NY state constitution was always explicit about NYC not being able to have a majority of the state senate, but that was thrown in the garbage by the Supreme Court, and the downfall of the state, like all similar states dominated by a large metropolis, began shortly thereafter.

  2. With Chicago, downstate Illinois might have a chance for a divorce when the state goes bankrupt.

    I know there is an active movement to create a new state outside Cook County but I know no details.

    Too bad NYC did not secede as it threatened to do during the Civil War.

  3. Don’t be so negative: this time rent control, like socialism, will work, because they’ll have the right people in charge.

    In unrelated news, pending legislation will repeal the law of gravity and make pi equal to 3.0 exactly.

  4. I’m with Jay, this is Federalism in action. I’ll go one better, If the minimum wage needs to be $15 an hour, rents should be capped at $0.30/SF as well. How better to solve the homeless crisis.

  5. I didn’t know there was a movement in Illinois to divorce Cook County. Thanks for letting me know. I live in Kane County, a Chicago exurb. I would be happy to join this movement. Actually, it would help if Mike Madigan, Dem Speaker of the Illinois House for the last 40 years, disappeared. A lot of Republicans in this state are also part of the problem.

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