Is it legal for a seller to say ‘No Trump supporters’?
April 16, 2018 – A Sacramento, Calif., area woman is selling her family’s 60-year-old home, complete with antique fixtures and lots of wood in the interior. She’ll consider any interested buyer – as long as they don’t support President Donald Trump.
The woman (who asked not to be named) told her Realtor, Elizabeth Weintraub, that she doesn’t want to sell to a Trump supporter. Though unnamed, the homeowner appears in a video explaining that it’s an issue of “principals, morals and ethics.”
It’s unclear how strictly Weintraub and the homeowner plan to adhere to this requirement, or how they’ll check for it. Weintraub explained to CBS 13, a local TV station, that while Realtors are allowed to ask who people they voted for, potential buyers have no obligation to answer.
What also seems unclear is the legality of the homeowner’s request. Lawyer Allen Sawyer told CBS 13 that denying based on politics is an “unlawful contractual term” that violates the First Amendment.
However, some legal experts may disagree. As pointed out by a few other publications, the federal Fair Housing Act (1968) does not explicitly prohibit discrimination in home sales on the basis of politics alone. The seven bases that are considered are: race, color, handicap, religion, sex, family status and nationality.
The story picked up national attention in the following days, being mentioned by Fox News and Breitbart. Former Trump administration White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was a founding member of the latter publication, whose article called the Sacramento homeowner’s policy “obnoxious.”
Though the homeowner’s name and the address of the residence remain anonymous, information found on realtor Weintraub’s website indicates that the home in question is very likely located in Carmichael.
Trump received about 39 percent of the Sacramento region’s votes in the 2016 election, and about 33 percent overall in California.
© 2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.), Michael Mcgough. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.