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Personhood, Property, And Public Education: The Case Of Plyler V. Doe, Rachel F. Moran Jun 2023

Personhood, Property, And Public Education: The Case Of Plyler V. Doe, Rachel F. Moran

Faculty Scholarship

Property law is having a moment, one that is getting education scholars’ attention. Progressive scholars are retooling the concepts of ownership and entitlement to incorporate norms of equality and inclusion. Some argue that property law can even secure access to public education despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s longstanding refusal to recog- nize a right to basic schooling. Others worry that property doctrine is inherently exclusionary. In their view, property-based concepts like resi- dency have produced opportunity hoarding in schools that serve affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods. Many advocates therefore believe that equity will be achieved only by moving beyond property-based claims, …


Beneath The Property Taxes Financing Education, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jun 2023

Beneath The Property Taxes Financing Education, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Many states turn in sizable part to local property taxes to finance public education. Political and academic discourse on the extent to which these taxes should serve in this role largely centers on second-order issues, such as the vices and virtues of local control, the availability of mechanisms to redistribute property tax revenues across school districts, and the overall stability of those revenues. This Essay contends that such discourse would benefit from directing greater attention to the justice of the government’s threshold choices about property law and policy that impact the property values against which property taxes are levied.

The …


Rethinking Education Theft Through The Lens Of Intellectual Property And Human Rights, Peter K. Yu Jun 2023

Rethinking Education Theft Through The Lens Of Intellectual Property And Human Rights, Peter K. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay problematizes the increased propertization and commodification of education and calls for a rethink of the emergent concept of “education theft” through the lens of intellectual property and human rights. This concept refers to the phenomenon where parents, or legal guardians, enroll children in schools outside their school districts by intentionally violating the residency requirements. The Essay begins by revisiting the debate on intellectual property rights as property rights. It discusses the ill fit between intellectual property law and the traditional property model, the impediments the law has posed to public access to education, and select reforms that have …


How Far Does Natural Law Protect Private Property?, James W. Ely Jr. May 2023

How Far Does Natural Law Protect Private Property?, James W. Ely Jr.

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article first explores the ambiguous relationship between natural law and the rights of property owners in American history. It points out that invocation of natural law principles was frequently conflated with English common law guarantees of property rights in the Revolutionary Era. Reliance on natural law as a source of protection for private property faded during the nineteenth century and was largely rejected in the early twentieth century.

The Article then considers the extent to which natural law principles are useful in addressing contemporary issues relating to eminent domain and police power regulation of private property. Taking a skeptical …


Balancing The Inequities In Applying Natural Property Rights To Rights In Real Or Intellectual Property, Lolita Darden May 2023

Balancing The Inequities In Applying Natural Property Rights To Rights In Real Or Intellectual Property, Lolita Darden

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Eric Claeys’s book, Natural Property Rights, introduces a Lockean-based theory of interest-based natural property rights. Central to Claeys’s theory are the concepts of justified interests and productive use. A justified interest, Claeys writes, exists when an individual demonstrates a stronger interest in a resource than anyone else in the community and uses the resource productively in a manner that is “intelligent, purposeful, value-creating, . . . sociable,” and leads to survival or flourishing. Claeys’s theory demonstrates “how a standard justification for property gets implemented in practice” and how a community’s “goods” build on the individual’s goods.

Claeys’s community “goods” focus, …


Natural Property Rights: An Introduction, Eric R. Claeys May 2023

Natural Property Rights: An Introduction, Eric R. Claeys

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article introduces a symposium hosted by the Texas A&M University Journal of Property Law. The symposium is on a forthcoming book, and in that book the author introduces and defends a theory of property relying on labor, natural rights, and mine-run principles of natural law. Parts I and II of the Article preview the main claims of the book, summarizing part by part and chapter by chapter.

The rest of the Article illustrates how the theory introduced in the book applies to a contemporary resource dispute. The Article studies an ongoing lawsuit styled Campo v. United States, now …


The Natural Right Of Property, Timothy Sandefur May 2023

The Natural Right Of Property, Timothy Sandefur

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article offers a critical examination of Eric Claeys’s argument for natural property rights, focusing in particular on the questions of self-ownership and the so-called “Lockean proviso.” It argues that while Claeys is generally on the right track in his argument for natural property rights, he errs in omitting a self-ownership argument, some version of which is necessary for a proper naturalistic account of property, and that the Lockean proviso is neither necessary for such an account nor defensible in its own right. I conclude that the concerns animating the Lockean proviso argument are adequately dealt with by an alternative …


Ad Coelum And The Design Of Property Rights, Joseph A. Schremmer May 2023

Ad Coelum And The Design Of Property Rights, Joseph A. Schremmer

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article seizes on a specific doctrinal discussion in Eric Claeys’s Natural Property Rights to argue for the importance of understanding property doctrines in the context of a system of interconnecting rules and standards and not in isolation. The ad coelum doctrine provides that land ownership entails ownership of the suprajacent airspace as well as the underlying subsurface. As Claeys’s discussion highlights, scholars disagree about the significance of ad coelum both conceptually, as to what function the rule serves in defining and allocating property, and normatively. It is only by viewing ad coelum in the context of how it interacts …


Natural Property Rights: A Reply, Eric R. Claeys May 2023

Natural Property Rights: A Reply, Eric R. Claeys

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Reply concludes the symposium hosted by the Texas A&M University Journal of Property Law on the author’s forthcoming book Natural Property Rights. The Reply shows how natural law and rights apply to a wide range of doctrinal examples raised in this symposium—including business associations, correlative oil rights, timber extraction, sinking coastlands, water law, nuisance law, property rights in subsurface minerals, and the issues about sovereignty and property disposition associated with Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823). The Reply also addresses a wide range of skeptical objections to natural law—especially the arguments that it relies too much on intuitions and …


A Theoretical Justification For Treating The Contract For Deed As A Mortgage, Matthew J. Blaney May 2023

A Theoretical Justification For Treating The Contract For Deed As A Mortgage, Matthew J. Blaney

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Millions of Americans finance their home using the treacherous contract for deed. Denied access to the conventional mortgage, the contract for deed often is the only alternative for Americans seeking the stability of homeownership. Historically, however, this deceptive financing device disrupted the lives of thousands of individuals by forfeiting their property and all payments made on the contract—even where only one installment was overdue. Low-income Americans and immigrant families disproportionately experience the brunt of the contract for deed. Furthermore, as Americans experience rising prices and increasing financial instability, there is reason to fear sellers—equipped with insight into lenders’ former mistakes—could …


Until The Cows Come Home: Ancillary Probate Reform Is Needed Across The Country To Better Serve Farmers And Ranchers, Emily K. Daniel May 2023

Until The Cows Come Home: Ancillary Probate Reform Is Needed Across The Country To Better Serve Farmers And Ranchers, Emily K. Daniel

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Property law has long established a difference between real and personal property. When an individual dies, if they owned real property in another state, they may be subject to the other state’s probate or estates code. This means that the decedent’s beneficiaries may have to probate the estate again in the secondary state’s courts if the statutes state that is a requirement. This secondary probate proceeding is called ancillary probate. This Article aims to show the negative effects that ancillary probate has on certain people and industries. Specifically, ancillary probate is a problem that negatively affects farmers and ranchers across …


Revisiting Touch And Concern: The Perils Of Degraded Contracts Versus The Perils Of Opportunism, Mark Kelman May 2023

Revisiting Touch And Concern: The Perils Of Degraded Contracts Versus The Perils Of Opportunism, Mark Kelman

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The touch and concern doctrine addresses a very particular problem: Successors, at best, weakly assent to the land use promises that their predecessors made when they take the property with notice that their predecessors intended to bind them. Thus, there is little reason to presume that the deal we may bind them to would be one that they would strike. Of course, whenever deals persist over time, it is possible that one or the other contracting party would no longer feel that the gains from the deal outweighed its costs, but the problem is more pronounced when the identity of …


Property, Psyche, And The Theory Of Tenancy: Independent And Interdependent Lease Law Covenants Through The Lens Of Cultural Psychology, Hanjo Hamann May 2023

Property, Psyche, And The Theory Of Tenancy: Independent And Interdependent Lease Law Covenants Through The Lens Of Cultural Psychology, Hanjo Hamann

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Is it property or contract? This question has perplexed scholars studying the residential lease for most of the last century. The present contribution combines the complementary perspectives of legal history and cultural psychology to clarify our theory of tenancy. From a historical perspective, I find that the oscillation of tenancy between competing doctrinal paradigms has resulted in a compromise solution rather than a coherent theory. While piecemeal reforms in the 1970s revised the doctrine of independent covenants, they did not provide a theoretical justification for increasing interdependence. From a psychological perspective, I suggest that such a theoretical justification may come …


Toward Principled Background Principles In Takings Law, Rebecca Hansen, Lior Jacob Strahilevitz Mar 2023

Toward Principled Background Principles In Takings Law, Rebecca Hansen, Lior Jacob Strahilevitz

Texas A&M Law Review

Oversights by lawyers, judges, and legal scholars have caused the Supreme Court’s opinion in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid to be deeply misunderstood. In Cedar Point, the Court rewrote much of takings law by treating temporary and part-time entries by the government or third parties onto private property as per se takings. Prior to Cedar Point, these sorts of government-authorized physical entries would have been evaluated under a balancing framework that almost invariably enabled the government to prevail. As it happens, there was a well-established rule of black letter law that California’s lawyers and amici failed to invoke …


Essential Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney, Joseph William Singer Dec 2022

Essential Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney, Joseph William Singer

Faculty Scholarship

For a sizable swath of the U.S. population, incomes and wealth are insufficient to cover life’s most basic necessities even in the most ordinary of times. A disturbingly resilient explanation for this state of affairs rests on the view that resource inequities are avoidable through self-reliance, a stance that invites observers to see people in poverty as morally suspect. This Article advances a counterview in contending that the widespread lack of essential resources did not simply arise naturally via individuals’ life choices but instead has been, in very meaningful part, created and perpetuated by our system of property laws.

The …


Compulsory Terms In Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney Aug 2022

Compulsory Terms In Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

The state’s imposition of compulsory terms in property relations—such as habitability warranties binding landlords and tenants and minimum wages binding employers and employees—has long been conceived by analysts generally situated on the political right as an affront to individual freedom and inevitably harmful to the terms’ intended beneficiaries. This critique, though, seems to have special purchase in public discourse today not only within its traditional circle of supporters on the right but, at least in some instances, for a sizable number on the left as well. The bipartisan acceptance of this critique is serving as a substantial roadblock to a …


Ownership Concentration: Lessons From Natural Resources, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Aug 2022

Ownership Concentration: Lessons From Natural Resources, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Concentration of ownership over land or other resources is both a sign and a cause of inequality. Concentration of ownership makes access to such resources difficult for those less powerful, and it can have negative effects on local communities that benefit from a more distributed ownership pattern. Such concentration goes against the antimonopoly principles behind the homesteading land policies and the legal regimes that regulate many natural resources. This Essay suggests that where concentration is a concern, one might draw lessons for reform by looking to the field of natural resources law, which employs a range of deconcentration mechanisms affecting …


The Post-Pandemic Order: A Blueprint For Balancing Health And Ip Interests In The Age Of Covid Variants, Arjun Padmanabhan, Tanner J. Wadsworth Jun 2022

The Post-Pandemic Order: A Blueprint For Balancing Health And Ip Interests In The Age Of Covid Variants, Arjun Padmanabhan, Tanner J. Wadsworth

Student Scholarship

In December 2021, the World Health Assembly (“WHA”) convened to develop a pandemic response treaty for future pandemics. Unfortunately, as presently envisioned, the resulting pandemic response framework will suffer from many of the same inadequacies that prevented existing frameworks from responding effectively to COVID-19. The threat of new pandemics emerging in the future—and new variants developing in the present—call for a more integrated, robust, comprehensive solution.

This Article lays a blueprint for that solution: a global multilateral Council empowered to(1) investigate developing pandemics; (2) incentivize pharmaceutical companies to rapidly-produce vaccines and share them through voluntary licenses or TRIPS compulsory licensing …


Biotechnology Patent Law Top Ten Of 2020: Valeant Victorious, Falling Eagle, And Successful Slayback, Kevin E. Noonan, Andrew W. Torrance May 2022

Biotechnology Patent Law Top Ten Of 2020: Valeant Victorious, Falling Eagle, And Successful Slayback, Kevin E. Noonan, Andrew W. Torrance

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article discusses the Top 10 BioTechnology Patent Cases of 2020. Suffice it to say that biotechnology patent law will continue to vigorously evolve, and we plan to continue our coverage of its evolution beyond the current trilogy of Biotechnology Patent Law Top Tens. As in previous years, we admit it was difficult to choose precisely ten top biotechnology patent law decisions. There are certainly others we did not include that warrant close attention for their reasonings, rules, and future implications. Nevertheless, both we and our readers can count, so we have done our best to select what we consider …


Can You Dig It? Yes, You Can! But At What Cost?: A Proposal For The Protection Of Domestic Fossils On Private Land, Bridget Roddy May 2022

Can You Dig It? Yes, You Can! But At What Cost?: A Proposal For The Protection Of Domestic Fossils On Private Land, Bridget Roddy

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Paleontological resources require similar protections to archaeological resources because the threat of looting, improper excavation, and market demand are analogous. Paleontological resources are responsible for informing much of scientists’ understanding of evolution and the history of the planet, just as cultural property helps to inform the evolution of humanity and culture. Once either object is removed from its original context, there is an immediate and invaluable loss of information that could have illuminated important information about the past. When either is removed from the environment in which they were created, a nonrenewable link to the past is lost.

Existing laws …


Bright Stars Or Unreliable Compasses: Navigating Patent Definiteness During The Fourth Industrial Revolution, N. Thane Bauz May 2022

Bright Stars Or Unreliable Compasses: Navigating Patent Definiteness During The Fourth Industrial Revolution, N. Thane Bauz

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article traces the evolution of the definiteness requirement over the course of two centuries. From the time of inventions relating to flour mills, the definiteness requirement evolved into the consequence for drafting uninterpretable claims. Without considering the reasons for this evolution, the Supreme Court in its Nautilus decision returned the standard for assessing definiteness to its root form. Given the consequences are the loss of patent rights, this Article grapples with the Supreme Court’s decision during an era where complex and convergent technologies are more commonplace. The Article also analyzes empirical evidence six years before and six years after …


2019–2020 Colorado Oil And Gas Law Update, William D. Farrar Apr 2022

2019–2020 Colorado Oil And Gas Law Update, William D. Farrar

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Colorado courts and the state’s legislature were quite active in 2019 and 2020 on the oil and gas administrative law front. Namely, the Colorado General Assembly enacted changes to the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Act in response to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez. While the Martinez case was not principally a substantive oil and gas case, the resulting fallout from the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision made sweeping changes to the state’s statutory laws. The decision will also result in major administrative law changes affecting the Colorado oil & gas …


Appalachian Basin–Pennsylvania, West Virginia, And Ohio–Oil And Gas Law Developments, Ross H. Pifer, Chloe J. Marie Apr 2022

Appalachian Basin–Pennsylvania, West Virginia, And Ohio–Oil And Gas Law Developments, Ross H. Pifer, Chloe J. Marie

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This article addresses oil and gas case law developments that have occurred within the Appalachian Basin’s primary oil and gas producing states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during 2021 by reviewing opinions issued by the highest appellate courts within each of these three states. The oil and gas law topics addressed by these state supreme courts during 2021 have ranged from those occurring upstream, such as leasing, to those occurring downstream, such as approval of a utility rate increase for the extension of a natural gas pipeline.


Alabama, Florida, Georgia, And Tennessee, Brandt P. Hill, Hugh Gainer Apr 2022

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, And Tennessee, Brandt P. Hill, Hugh Gainer

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

There were no decisions by federal or state courts in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or Tennessee between fall 2020 and fall 2021 directly relevant to oil and gas companies or operations. However, there were several decisions that may nonetheless be of interest to the industry, including two opinions by the United States Supreme Court in water-rights cases. We discuss these opinions below.


Louisiana, Keith B. Hall Apr 2022

Louisiana, Keith B. Hall

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This article examines significant developments in Louisiana oil and gas law during 2021, beginning with developments arising from court cases, then legislation, and finally regulations.


Texas: Survey Of Selected 2021 Oil And Gas Cases And Statutes, William D. Farrar Apr 2022

Texas: Survey Of Selected 2021 Oil And Gas Cases And Statutes, William D. Farrar

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The Texas Supreme Court was quite active in 2021, issuing several oil and gas opinions; however, two were quite controversial, drawing numerous amicus curie from industry groups, oil and gas attorneys, and academia. In Concho Resources, Inc. v Ellison, the court held that a subsequently executed, inconsistent instrument, even without words of grant, may divest a record mineral title. And, in Broadway National Bank v. Yates Energy Corp., the court held that prior title holders may divest a current record title holder of their title by executing a correction deed without the joinder of, or notice to, the …


Northern Rocky Mountain Region: Montana, Wyoming, And Idaho, Stephen R. Brown Apr 2022

Northern Rocky Mountain Region: Montana, Wyoming, And Idaho, Stephen R. Brown

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article examines significant developments in oil and gas law for the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, including Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.


New Mexico, Sharon T. Shaheen Apr 2022

New Mexico, Sharon T. Shaheen

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Article examines significant developments in New Mexico oil and gas law.


Perspective On Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee V. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission And The Embracing Of Associated Standing, Ralph A. Cantafio, Miles C. Nowak, Cody J. Watson Apr 2022

Perspective On Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee V. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission And The Embracing Of Associated Standing, Ralph A. Cantafio, Miles C. Nowak, Cody J. Watson

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The ongoing litigations between the Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee (“Wildgrass”) and, among others, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) serve as a microcosm of the political and legal horizons that define the microscope used to examine Colorado oil and gas development. This set of litigations began administratively with the application for permits before the COGCC and, over the passage of time, weaved its way through the District Court of the City and County of Denver (the “State District Court”), the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (the “Federal District Court”), the Colorado Court of …


Groundwater Laws And Regulations: Survey Of Sixteen U.S. States, Abigail Adams, Jack Beasley, Rebekah Bratcher, Justin Clas, Jackson Field, Ian Gaunt, Ashley Graves, Merrick Hayashi, Jenna Lusk, Matthew Maslanka, Erin Milliken, Connor Pabich, Margaret Reed, A. Wesley Remschel, Lauren Thomas, Ashley Wilde Apr 2022

Groundwater Laws And Regulations: Survey Of Sixteen U.S. States, Abigail Adams, Jack Beasley, Rebekah Bratcher, Justin Clas, Jackson Field, Ian Gaunt, Ashley Graves, Merrick Hayashi, Jenna Lusk, Matthew Maslanka, Erin Milliken, Connor Pabich, Margaret Reed, A. Wesley Remschel, Lauren Thomas, Ashley Wilde

EENRS Program Reports & Publications

This report is the second volume in a continuing project designed to explore and articulate the groundwater laws and regulations of all fifty U.S. states. This particular report presents surveys for sixteen states throughout the country. The first volume featured thirteen state surveys and can be found at: http://www.law.tamu.edu/usgroundwaterlaws.

The purpose of the project is to compile and present the groundwater laws and regulations of every state in the United States that could then be used in a series of comparisons of groundwater governance principles, strategies, issues, and challenges. Professor Gabriel Eckstein at Texas A&M University School of Law and …