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Amicus Briefs

Apartment Association of Los Angeles County v. City of Los Angeles

NCLA was distutbed by the trend, epitomized by this case, of lower courts deferring to states and cities in their flimsy justifications for substantially impairing landlord-tenant contractual obligations. The Supreme Court’s immediate intervention would have been warranted to rescue the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution from oblivion and ensure that it served its original purpose during the COVID-19 pandemic response and afterwards.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, the City of Los Angeles imposed an eviction moratorium and gave tenants up to a year after the emergency ended to repay their back rent interest-free. The national emergency caused by COVID-19 led several states and cities to interfere with residential leases. But the Contracts Clause was specifically designed by the Framers of the Constitution to prohibit states from altering contractual obligations or preventing parties from enforcing their contractual rights—especially during emergencies. The Supreme Court had historically struck down contractual interference unless the state law had certain limiting characteristics—which were absent here—to protect the parties’ vested interests.

Mark Chenoweth
President and Chief Legal Officer
Kara Rollins
Litigation Counsel

Amicus Curiae Brief of the New Civil Liberties Alliance in Support of Petitioner

December 29, 2021 | Read More


NCLA Calls on Supreme Court to Reinvigorate Contracts Clause and Stop State Interference with Leases

December 29, 2021



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