Thursday, August 13, 2015

Brophy on Rights and Race in Georgia History

Alfred L. Brophy, University of North Carolina School of Law, has posted Re-Integrating Spaces: The Possibilities of Common Law Property, which appears in the Savannah Law Review 2 (2015): 1-20:
"Re-Integrating Spaces" is part of a symposium on progressive property held at Savannah Law School as part of the re-dedication of their building, which was constructed in the early nineteenth century and used as a hospital for much of its existence.

The essay uses the building's long history as a guide for exploring the history of property rights and race in Georgia and the United States. It emphasizes that while the central tendency of property is about exclusion and control -- as Georgia's history with slavery, Native American removal, and Jim Crow demonstrate. Yet, it points out that sometimes the protection of property rights benefits racial minorities. And it also discusses the long history of the critique of such robust property rights. This lead to discussion of some of the instances where other elements of common law property (and statutory rights) help to shift away from the right of exclusion and control.

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