File under “o” for occasionally we make some progress

One of the (many many) things I love about legal research is that you can get swept up in the interesting stories that cases tell, many of them totally irrelevant to the point you’re researching.   This is also a happy by-product of ADD.   I think of it as the legal research scenic route, and have no fear, I don’t bill for it.

Today’s scenic route was not so scenic, but was instead a startling history lesson.  I’ll let it speak for itself:

The Court notes that until 1950, the National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB) counseled its members to maintain segregated neighborhoods in the interest of maintaining property values. The Code of Ethics of the NAREB provided until then that:  ‘A REALTOR SHOULD NEVER BE INSTRUMENTAL IN INTRODUCING INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD A CHARACTER OF PROPERTY OR OCCUPANCY, MEMBERS OF ANY RACE OR NATIONALITY, OR ANY INDIVIDUALS WHOSE PRESENCE WILL CLEARLY BE DETRIMENTAL TO PROPERTY VALUES IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD.’

Zuch v. Hussey, 394 F. Supp. 1028, 1054 n.12 (E.D. Mich. 1975).

So, yeah, we’ve made some progress.

Gratuitous political comment:  and this is what Ron Paul would take us back to.

1 thought on “File under “o” for occasionally we make some progress

  1. BlueLoom

    There is a section of Washington, DC, known as Spring Valley. Beautiful, large homes on huge plots of land. When I was growing up in the city, we were made to understand that Spring Valley was under a covenant: no Jews, no Blacks, no Arabs.

    Over the last 20 or so years, it has been discovered that the land on which Spring Valley was built was some kind of munitions dump. All kinds of dangerous and unattractive things were buried there. Lots had to be dug up and occasionally inhabitants had to move out for a period while their land was decontaminated.

    The covenant is long gone, and I don’t really wish anyone ill. Nonetheless, as a member of one of the excluded categories, it’s a delicious irony.



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