November 3, 2010
All Politics is Property
Mark wrote a great post at the end of the summer arguing that we're underselling the importance of property to our first year students. He argued that, as a group, we don't make it clear what's really at stake. Afterall, "property rights are at the center of the most massive struggles in world history." I think Mark's argument is largely correct.
However, in addition to that point, I think we also need to drive home that property rights are at the very center of almost every local election. Check out this election guide (pdf) that covers the city council races here in Lexington. Of the six "Big Issues" facing Lexington, four are directly related to property: the preservation of local horsefarms, the expansion of our urban service boundary, design standards for downtown, and the demolition of old buildings (the other two issues were about investigating fraud and reducing spending). You simply can't be an informed citizen without some basic knowledge of property stuff.
And if that doesn't make property the most important subject on the first year curriculum then I don't know what does...
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I just read the post from June. A very interesting approach to Property Law pedagogy. And conceptually, it is absolutely correct. All wars are about economics, and the economics that underlie them are real property and what it contains or is built upon it.
I came from a rural background to first-year Property Law and enjoyed the real property issues. Later, when I went into corporate practice, my interest in property rights issues quickly faded. So imagine the delight I took in helping a friend work up an adverse possession case in rural Indiana.
Posted by: Todd Ianuzzi | Nov 4, 2010 7:32:16 AM
Thanks for the kind comments about my previous post, Steve. I realize now with more than a hint of embarassment, however, that one of my comments to that previous post has a big mistake. I describe Hannah v. Peel as taking place in context of World War I. It was World War II. Just shows what happens to my brain over the summer. I think the point is equally valid, however.
Posted by: Mark A. Edwards | Nov 4, 2010 2:21:53 PM