In addition to a subpoena from the NJ Attorney General, Jackson officials have received a similar request for documents from the US Department of Justice:
The DOJ’s request focuses more on the recent school and dormitory ordinances and asks for 10 years worth of zoning and planning documents. Presumably this is to determine if the new bans are part of a coherent long-term development plan or created to target land use by a specific religion or group, thus falling afoul of RLUIPA and the Fair Housing Act.
There is a bit of irony here: while these ordinances were being conceived, Jackson actually had their attorneys send their own request to the NJ Attorney General and the US Department of Justice for investigations into housing practices:
They allege blockbusting by the Orthodox Jewish community, a charge which centers in general around real-estate professionals spreading fear in order to lower housing prices. Jackson’s proof? In addition to citing rumor, they give links to two videos of speeches, one where individual Orthodox Jews are encouraged to move to new neighborhoods, and the other in Yiddish (we bet the federal government sent it straight to their language specialists). Hardly compelling evidence that there is a professional effort to scare people from their houses.
We do however feel that there are some peddling panic in Jackson and scaring people into selling. Not the Orthodox Jews moving in, but so-called “strong” and “watchdog” community groups that harp on their every move and constantly invoke hyperbolic statements about the inevitable destruction of Jackson Township.
In response to the Township’s letter, the NJ Attorney General declined to investigate while the DOJ doesn’t seem to have ever responded. In the end though, both turned their sights to discriminatory behavior by Jackson officials themselves.