Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Immigration Article of the Day: Titles of Nobility: Property, Poverty, and Immigration in a Free and Democratic Society by Joseph William Singer

 

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Titles of Nobility: Property, Poverty, and Immigration in a Free and Democratic Society by Joseph William Singer Harvard Law School June 12, 2013

Abstract: This keynote address was delivered at the AALS conference on Property, Poverty, and Immigration in June 2013. Both property and immigration are premised on exclusion yet both human rights and democratic norms require us to treat every human being with equal concern and respect. While neither sovereigns nor owners can have completely open borders, they have obligations to respect the human dignity of "the stranger." Biblical sources link the stranger with the poor and develop a version of the Golden Rule that requires both to be accorded "love." The related secular principle of equal concern and respect means that poverty is, in principle, incompatible with the norms of a free and democratic society. That principle is embodied in the constitutional prohibition on titles of nobility which mandates treating every human being as of equal value and importance. While the nobility clauses do not mandate particular policies, they do outlaw treatment that places some as occupying a lower status than others.This has consequences for both immigration and property law, as well as laws and policies designed to alleviate and prevent poverty.

KJ

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2013/09/immigration-article-of-the-day--2.html

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Comments

Interesting link between real property titles and citizenship as principles of exclusion. Brings to mind another feature of Constitutional law, the federal government's claim to underlying title to tribal lands. The US doesn't occupy or otherwise treat tribal lands as property, but uses title to govern and to define the limited jurisdiction of tribes, their racial and physical boundaries.

Posted by: Sheldon Novick | Sep 11, 2013 5:45:51 AM

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