Does New York’s “rent stabilization” law violate the federal Constitution? The law, which regulates approximately 1 million apartments in New York City, was enacted more than fifty years ago and remains in effect based on an every-three-year declaration of a housing “emergency.” The law does not merely regulate rent levels. It also limits a property owner’s right to determine who uses an apartment, to convert the property to new uses or to replace the existing building with a new structure, and to occupy the property for use by the owner and his or her family.

A lawsuit filed in 2019 asserts that the New York law—including 2019 amendments that significantly increased the restrictions on property owners— violates due process and effects both physical and regulatory takings of the property that it regulates. After being dismissed at the District level, the case now moves to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Rent regulation is not just a New York phenomenon. Other cities across the country have enacted, or are considering, rent regulation legislation. Andrew Pincus, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, and Dean Reuter, Federalist Society Senior Vice President and General Counsel, will discuss the constitutional challenge in the context of the Supreme Court’s evolving property rights jurisprudence—including last Term’s decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid.


— Andrew Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown

— Moderator: Dean Reuter, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Federalist Society

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