‘Our Joy: An Inclusive Right of Enjoyment in Property and Contract Law’

Nancy Leong, ‘Enjoyed by White Citizens’, 108 Georgetown Law Journal (forthcoming, 2021), available at SSRN. I recall being confused by how the average 1L Property course treated the ‘important’ property provisions. I was struck that we spent all of our time on the 5th Amendment clause that required compensation by the government for the ‘taking’ of private property by the government. But we did not cover the 13th Amendment, which eliminated slavery, thus impacting the property rights of (predominately) white citizens. Why were we not talking about the 13th Amendment and the supporting legislation, §1981 and §1982 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which granted property rights to freed blacks? What did it mean in these statutes that all persons should have the ‘same right’ of property as that ‘enjoyed by white citizens’? … (more)

[Kali Murray, JOTWELL, 19 July]

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