Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

How do YOU feel about it?

I concur, this town is taking a moral stand that all should follow
 1 (2.8%)
I disagree, living in sin is my Constitutional right!
 35 (97.2%)
I'm not sure, they may have pledged themselves to Jesus and be living in celibacy
 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 31

Author Topic: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together  (Read 1448 times)

joespecial

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Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« on: May 17, 2006, 12:37:42 PM »
BLACK JACK, Missouri (AP) -- The City Council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/17/unmarried.ap/index.html

J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 12:47:11 PM »
I might be wrong, but isn't this the country that PIONEERED common-law marriage?  ???
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 04:51:26 PM »
One interesting point about the ordinance is that it only applies to adults who aren't related by "blood, marriage, or adoption."  Legally, any adult can adopt any other adult (although I don't know how hard it is to do practically; certainly the process for adopting children is very difficult).  Anyone else smell a loophole?  ;)
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2006, 04:57:07 PM »
I'm not sure that is one, if one member of a couple adopted the other and they were having sex, wouldn't that be incest?

I don't know.  It's a thought that may be worth exploring.  Or you might just mount a constitutional challenge on the basis of Lawrence.  The Supreme Court is still basically still the same as far as that particular case is concerned, and might strike this baby down, since the Lawrence majority strongly implied that moral objections (at least in matters of sexual and reproductive autonomy), standing alone, is not a legitimate state objective that can justify an exercise of the police power.  That, coupled with the recent reliance on "rational basis with teeth" in these kinds of cases, would probably mean they would invalidate the ordinance.  That assumes, however, that Lawrence is the sign of a more enduring jurisprudential trend, and not just some fluke.  ;)
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 05:05:37 PM »
I would bet this law would not hold up in court. First of all, the ability to prevent two people from living together for no real reason except that they are not married seems unlikely. Does this mean two college students can't be roommates? How about a facility housing 3 nuns and 4 priests? I can see if the state was saying two convicted felons cannot live together if they are not family members, for example, but that would be different.

And if you are saying the people can't live together if they are having sex, that sounds very similar to the Lawrence v. Texas circumstances...

Excellent use of the next-case scenario ("Quick, call the Sheriff!  We've got a convent on our hands!")!  Now you're starting to *really* think like a lawyer, probably even more than myself, since you're making a less controversial absurdity argument.  If you can get the court to rule for you on non-constitutional grounds, you should always make that argument; exercises of judicial review on constitutional grounds are scary things, and judges tend to, in general, despite what you hear in the media, be wary of them.  Good use of the Ashwander logic. ;)
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 05:11:00 PM »
Am I a lawyer yet? Maybe I will skip law school and just take the bar...

Don't get too far ahead of yourself; I said you were starting to think like one.  We both still have a long way to go...
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

jorge

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 07:36:33 PM »
I was just coming over here to post this story.

What got me was the idea of an occupancy permit. I've never heard of such a thing. It seems un-American.

J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 08:10:11 PM »
I was just coming over here to post this story.

What got me was the idea of an occupancy permit. I've never heard of such a thing. It seems un-American.

Ordinances which regulate occupancy are actually not uncommon; typically though, they have a more plausible connection with the public welfare, in a "there aren't enough toilets in this house for all 15 of you!" kind of way.  This doesn't look like zoning, though; it's more like a "nuisance control" law, something trying to forbid a use of property in a way thought to be injurious to the public morals, which makes no exception for prior non-conforming uses (typically with zoning, older houses that don't meet the requirements don't have to be torn down and rebuilt, but instead are "grandfathered in").

Sorry if I'm starting to get annoying, but I just turned in my journal writing competition entry today, and I stillhaven't quite recovered from 1L, which, as many of you will soon learn, teaches you to spot legal issues and potential applications of obscure rules EVERYWHERE.  In advance, I apologize.   :-[
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

Little D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 08:49:29 PM »
anyone else see the irony of something such as that being forbidden in a place called blackjack?
They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."

Do it now!!!!
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J D

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Re: Town Won't Let Unmarried Couples Live Together
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2006, 03:07:27 PM »
Yeah, you're probably right.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein