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Full-Text Articles in Law

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, …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Tiny Homes: A Big Solution To American Housing Insecurity, Lisa T. Alexander Mar 2022

Tiny Homes: A Big Solution To American Housing Insecurity, Lisa T. Alexander

Faculty Scholarship

“There’s no place like home,” said Dorothy. Yet, millions of people in the United States may face eviction, foreclosure, or homelessness in 2021 and beyond. America is on the brink of an unprecedented housing crisis in the wake of Covid-19. The federal government, and various states and localities, have taken actions to avert a housing crisis in the aftermath of Covid 19. While these actions have undeniably helped mitigate widespread foreclosure and eviction crises, they do not fully address the more fundamental American housing challenge—an inadequate supply of affordable housing at all income levels, a longstanding problem that Covid-19 has …


Reclaiming The Streets, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Jul 2021

Reclaiming The Streets, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Pedestrians have been getting the short end of the stick in street policies and regulations. Drivers and cars dominate our streets even though automobiles’ externalities kill thousands of people every year. Given the environmental, health, safety, and community effects of cars, municipalities should embrace a policy that puts pedestrians at the center and produces more miles of wider, well-maintained sidewalks. Sidewalks make communities greener, healthier, safer, more socially connected, and even, wealthier. COVID-19 lockdowns have shown both the relevance of sidewalks, as well as the possibility of pedestrians regaining space currently allocated to cars by widening sidewalks.

This Essay identifies, …


When Drills And Pipelines Cross Indigenous Lands In The Americas, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez May 2021

When Drills And Pipelines Cross Indigenous Lands In The Americas, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

From the Missouri River, passing through the Sonora Desert, all the way down to the Amazon Forest and the Andean Mountains, drills and pipelines are crossing over indigenous lands. In an energy-thirsty continent, there is no land left to spare, not even tribal land. Many of these energy infrastructure projects involve international investments that are protected by treaties and enforced by arbitral tribunals. At the same time, tribal communities have an internationally recognized right to receive prior and informed consultation before they are affected by projects of this nature. The Article focuses on the clash of rights between energy extraction …


Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2021

Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Conflicts over “sanctuary” cities, minimum wage laws, and gender-neutral bathrooms have brought the problematic landscape of contemporary state preemption of local governance to national attention. This Article contends that more covert, although equally robust, state interference can be found in property, with significant consequences for our understanding of takings law.

Takings jurisprudence looks to the states to mediate most tensions between individual property rights and community needs, as the takings federalism literature recognizes. Takings challenges, however, often involve local governments. If the doctrine privileges the democratic process to resolve most takings claims, then, that critical process is a largely local …


Walling Out: Rules And Standards In The Beach Access Context, Timothy M. Mulvaney Dec 2020

Walling Out: Rules And Standards In The Beach Access Context, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

The overwhelming majority of U.S. states facially allocate exclusionary rights and access privileges to beaches by categorically deciding whom to wall in and whom to wall out. In the conventional terms of the longstanding debate surrounding the design of legal directives, such “rules” are considered substantively determinant ex ante and, in application, analogically transparent across similarly situated cases. Only a small number of jurisdictions have adopted “standards” in the beach access context, which—again, on the conventional account—sacrifice both determinacy and transparency for the ability to accommodate ex post the complexities of individual cases. This Article contends that beach access policy …


Expansion Of New Law In Southeast May Stave Off Black Land Loss, Thomas W. Mitchell, Sarah Stein, Ann Carpenter Oct 2020

Expansion Of New Law In Southeast May Stave Off Black Land Loss, Thomas W. Mitchell, Sarah Stein, Ann Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

Landownership and homeownership are significant contributors to the creation of wealth and thus, drivers of intergenerational economic mobility. However, many people who have inherited family land are unable to realize these opportunities because of the legal effect of their particular form of landownership, often called heirs' property. These landowners are more likely to lose their land through what is known as a partition sale—a property sale resulting from a dispute between co-owners, often ignited by an outside party with an investment interest in the land. This Partners Update article explores the repercussions of heirs' property ownership and examines legislative solutions …


A World Of Distrust, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jun 2020

A World Of Distrust, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In District of Columbia v. Wesby, the Supreme Court recently considered whether a prudent officer had probable cause to make warrantless arrests at a festive house party. While reactions from scholars of criminal law are beginning to emerge, this Essay is the first to conceive of the decision through the lens of property theory. In this regard, the Essay offers two principal claims. First, on interpretive grounds, it contends that Wesby generated a de facto reallocation of property interests by abolishing both (a) the right held by the general public to access without fear of arrest those properties to which …


Community In Property: Lessons From Tiny Homes Villages, Lisa T. Alexander Nov 2019

Community In Property: Lessons From Tiny Homes Villages, Lisa T. Alexander

Faculty Scholarship

The evolving role of community in property law remains undertheorized. While legal scholars have analyzed the commons, common interest communities, and aspects of the sharing economy, the recent rise of intentional co-housing communities re-mains relatively understudied. This Article analyzes tiny homes villages for unhoused people in the United States, as examples of co-housing communities that create a new housing tenure—stewardship—and demonstrate the growing importance of community, co-management, sustainability, and flexibility in con-temporary property law. These villages’ property relationships challenge the predominance of individualized, exclusionary, long-term, fee simple ownership in contemporary property law and exemplify property theories such as progressive property …


The State Of Exactions, Timothy M. Mulvaney Oct 2019

The State Of Exactions, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Supreme Court slightly expanded the range of circumstances involving conditional land use permits in which heightened judicial scrutiny is appropriate in a constitutional “exaction” takings case. In crafting a vision of regulators as strategic extortionists of private property interests, though, Koontz prompted many takings observers to predict that the case would provide momentum for a more significant expansion of such scrutiny in takings cases involving land use permit conditions moving forward, and perhaps even an extension into other regulatory contexts, as well.

Five years on, this Article evaluates the extent …


Historic Partition Law Reform: A Game Changer For Heirs’ Property Owners, Thomas W. Mitchell Jun 2019

Historic Partition Law Reform: A Game Changer For Heirs’ Property Owners, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

Over the course of several decades, many disadvantaged families who owned property under the tenancy-in-common form of ownership—property these families often referred to as heirs’ property—have had their property forcibly sold as a result of court-ordered partition sales. For several decades, repeated efforts to reform State partition laws produced little to no reform despite clear evidence that these laws unjustly harmed many families. This paper addresses the remarkable success of a model State statute named the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), which has been enacted into law in several States since 2011, including in five southern States. The …


From Nuisance To Environmental Protection In Continental Europe, Vanessa Casado-Pérez, Carlos Gomez Liguerre May 2019

From Nuisance To Environmental Protection In Continental Europe, Vanessa Casado-Pérez, Carlos Gomez Liguerre

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the evolution and complexity of the legal response to neighboring conflicts in European civil law countries. All of the civil codes analyzed (France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Catalonia) are based on Roman Law rules that are not always clear. The fuzziness of those Roman Law rules explains, in part, why despite this common origin, the Civil Codes did not respond homogeneously to nuisances. The first subsection briefly describes the institution of nuisance in Roman Law. Then, the paper describes the original codification of nuisance and the changes in the treatment of this institution. After assessing the initial …


Specialization Trend: Water Courts, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Mar 2019

Specialization Trend: Water Courts, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Definition of property rights is not useful unless there is an enforcement system, either public or private, that backs it up. While the definition of property rights as a solution to the tragedy of the commons has been carefully analyzed in the literature, the enforcement piece has been somewhat overlooked. Water is becoming scarcer and conflict is rising. As a result, the need for an efficient and fair enforcement system is more necessary than ever due to climate change.

Given the complexity of water law and the backlog in the judicial system, introducing specialization in the resolution of water cases …


The Street View Of Property, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Feb 2019

The Street View Of Property, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Parking on public streets is scarce. The current allocation system for parking spots based on rule of capture coupled with low parking fees creates a tragedy of the commons scenario. The misallocation of parking has consequences for commerce, for access to public spaces, and for pollution and congestion. Municipalities have not widely adopted the solution that economists propose to solve this scarcity problem: increase the price. Politics aside, the reluctance of municipalities to do so may be explained by the unique nature of public property as reflected in well-rooted legal and societal constraints. This unique nature helps explain, for example, …


Property-As-Society, Timothy M. Mulvaney Oct 2018

Property-As-Society, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Modern regulatory takings disputes present a key battleground for competing conceptions of property. This Article offers the following account of the three leading theories: a libertarian view sees property as creating a sphere of individual freedom and control (property-as-liberty); a pecuniary view sees property as a tool of economic investment (property-as-investment); and a progressive view sees property as serving a wide range of evolving communal values that include, but are not limited to, those advanced under both the libertarian and pecuniary conceptions (property-as-society). Against this backdrop, the Article offers two contentions. First, on normative grounds, it asserts that the conception …


Non-Enforcement Takings, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jan 2018

Non-Enforcement Takings, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

The non-enforcement of existing property laws is not logically separable from the issue of unfair and unjust state deprivations of property rights at which the Constitution's Takings Clause takes aim. This Article suggests, therefore, that takings law should police allocations resulting from non-enforcement decisions on the same "fairness and justice" grounds that it polices allocations resulting from decisions to enact and enforce new regulations. Rejecting the extant majority position that state decisions not to enforce existing property laws are categorically immune from takings liability is not to advocate that persons impacted by such decisions should be automatically or even regularly …


Legislative Exactions And Progressive Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney Dec 2016

Legislative Exactions And Progressive Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Exactions — a term used to describe certain conditions that are attached to land-use permits issued at the government’s discretion — ostensibly oblige property owners to internalize the costs of the expected infrastructural, environmental, and social harms resulting from development. This Article explores how proponents of progressive conceptions of property might respond to the open question of whether legislative exactions should be subject to the same level of judicial scrutiny to which administrative exactions are subject in constitutional takings cases. It identifies several first-order reasons to support the idea of immunizing legislative exactions from heightened takings scrutiny. However, it suggests …


Restoring Hope For Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition Of Heirs Property Act, Thomas W. Mitchell Nov 2016

Restoring Hope For Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition Of Heirs Property Act, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

For well over 125 years, many Americans have lost their tenancy-in-common property involuntarily in various legal proceedings. For example, courts throughout this country have often resolved partition actions, a legal proceeding in which a tenant in common seeks to exit a tenancy in common, by ordering a forced, partition sale of the property even when these courts could have ordered a remedy that would have preserved the property rights of the tenants in common. Though partition sales have negatively impacted a broad cross section of people in this country, the sales have particularly impacted poor and disadvantaged African-Americans, Hispanics, white …


On Bargaining For Development, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jan 2015

On Bargaining For Development, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In his recent article, Bargaining for Development Post-Koontz, Professor Sean Nolon concludes that the Supreme Court’s recent ill-defined expansion of the circumstances in which land use permit conditions might give rise to takings liability in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District will chill the state’s willingness to communicate with permit applicants about mitigation measures. He sets out five courses that government entities might take in this confusing and chilling post-Koontz world, each of which leaves something to be desired from the perspective of both developers and the public more generally.

This responsive essay proceeds in two parts. First, …


Progressive Property Moving Forward, Timothy M. Mulvaney Sep 2014

Progressive Property Moving Forward, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In his thought-provoking recent article, “The Ambition and Transformative Potential of Progressive Property,” Ezra Rosser contends that, in the course of laying the foundations of a theory grounded in property’s social nature, scholars who participated in the renowned 2009 Cornell symposium on progressive property have “glossed over” property law’s continuing conquest of American Indian lands and the inheritance of privileges that stem from property-based discrimination against African Americans. I fully share Rosser’s concerns regarding past and continuing racialized acquisition and distribution, if not always his characterization of the select progressive works he critiques. Where I focus in this essay, though, …


Reforming Property Law To Address Devastating Land Loss, Thomas W. Mitchell Jul 2014

Reforming Property Law To Address Devastating Land Loss, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

Tenancy-in-common ownership represents the most widespread form of common ownership of real property in the United States. Such ownership under the default rules also represents the most unstable ownership of real property in this country. Thousands of tenancy-in-common property owners, including members of many poor and minority families, have lost their commonly-owned property due to court-ordered, forced partition sales as well as much of their real estate wealth associated with such ownership as a result of such sales. Though some scholars and the media have highlighted how thousands of African-Americans have lost an untold amount of property and substantial real …


Foreground Principles, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2013

Foreground Principles, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court has declared for decades that, for Takings Clause purposes, property interests are not created by the Constitution but rather are determined by “existing rules or understandings that stem from an independent source such as state law.” However, the Court has exhibited a strong normative preference for a certain type of independent source — “background principles” of the common law — over others, namely state statutory and administrative law. This Article calls this preference into question.

The Article develops a model to demonstrate the four basic categories, or quadrants, of takings decisions that extensive reliance on the …


Of Smart Phone Wars And Software Patents, Stuart Graham, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Feb 2013

Of Smart Phone Wars And Software Patents, Stuart Graham, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Among the main criticisms currently confronting the US Patent and Trademark Office are concerns about software patents and what role they play in the web of litigation now proceeding in the smart phone industry. We will examine the evidence on the litigation and the treatment by the Patent Office of patents that include software elements. We present specific empirical evidence regarding the examination by the Patent Office of software patents, their validity, and their role in the smart phone wars. More broadly, this article discusses the competing values at work in the patent system and how the system has dealt …


Exactions For The Future, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2012

Exactions For The Future, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

New development commonly contributes to projected infrastructural demands caused by multiple parties or amplifies the impacts of anticipated natural hazards. At times, these impacts only can be addressed through coordinated actions over a lengthy period. In theory, the ability of local governments to attach conditions, or “exactions,” to discretionary land use permits can serve as one tool to accomplish this end. Unlike traditional exactions that regularly respond to demonstrably measurable, immediate development harms, these “exactions for the future” — exactions responsive to cumulative anticipated future harms — admittedly can present land assembly concerns and involve inherently uncertain long-range government forecasting. …


The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance Of Donative Transfers In The Sherlock Holmes Canon, Stephen R. Alton Mar 2011

The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance Of Donative Transfers In The Sherlock Holmes Canon, Stephen R. Alton

Faculty Scholarship

This article presents a recently discovered and previously unpublished manuscript written by John H. Watson, M.D., and annotated by Professor Stephen Alton. Dr. Watson’s manuscript records an extended conversation that took place between the good doctor and his great friend, the renowned consulting detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes, regarding issues of gratuitous transfers of property – issues involving inheritances, wills, and trusts – that have arisen in some of the great cases solved by Mr. Holmes. This felicitous discovery confirms something that Professor Alton has long known: these gratuitous transfer issues permeate many of these adventures. Often, the action in the …