Federal Judge Blocks Oregon’s Ban on Real Estate Love Letters
In early March, a federal judge blocked implementation of a new Oregon law that effectively banned personal letters (aka Love Letters) written by prospective homebuyers to sellers. According to the Washington Examiner, the law, which went into effect in early January, sought to stop sellers from making decisions based upon factors such as race, gender, or sexual orientation as a result of the influencing letters. The suit was brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of a real estate firm arguing that the law violated the First Amendment. They said the ban violated the free speech of real estate brokers and prospective homebuyers and were pleased with the ruling.
“Today’s ruling preserves the opportunity of home-buyers to speak freely to sellers and make the case why their purchase offers should win out…Love letters communicate information that helps sellers select the best offer. The state cannot ban important speech because someone might misuse it. Oregon’s overly broad speech restriction is clearly not justified, and today’s decision is a major victory for free speech and economic opportunity.” Said the Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Daniel Ortner in a news release.
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