Those of us who follow such things know that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t protect people in Homeowners Associations. The one exception, of course, is if you’re ‘colored,’ whatever that means. There actually is some case law to protect racial minorities and the handicapped. But other tenets of the Constitution? Forget it. Due process? Forget it. Free speech? Forget it.
This latest story comes from a Fort Collins, Colorado resident who put up a Bernie Sanders sign on her balcony. It was OK for a while. After all, it’s a college town and college kids are taught all about the Constitution. They just aren’t told that Homeowners Associations are private corporations in which residents don’t have access to the Bill of Rights.
The new management company at the Baystone Apartments sent out threatening letters, warning of fines of up to $5000 for people who incorrectly display political signs. Once the story ended up in the newspaper the management company cried, “Oops!” But that’s only temporary. As soon as the public furor dies down they’ll start assessing fines all over again.
Long live the First Amendment! Well, that is if you’re not in an HOA! And 20 to 25% of Americans have already surrendered their right to Constitutional protection.