ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To Protect and Disempower

A I've been fiddling with my teaching materials this fall, substantially increasing the amount of time I devote to historical and theoretical materials, I've been juxtaposing "freedom of contract" cases like Lochner v. New York and Muller v. Oregon, with earlier cases restricting the contracting power of free African-Americans (Bryan v. Walton, 14 Ga. 185 (1853)) and married women (Goulding v. Davidson26 N.Y. 604 (1863)), with more modern incapacity cases (Ortelere v. Teachers' Retirement Fund; Ex parte Odem, 537 So. 2d 919 (Ala. 1988)) and recent consumer protection decisions.  It's been a really enjoyable and fruitful conversation in class.

So I'm interested in the guest blogging that Timothy Sandefur is doing over at the Volokh Conspiracy blog.  Sandefur is the author of  The Right to Earn A Living: Economic Liberty And The Law and Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America.  He's one of the leaders of the movement to rehabilitate the old "freedom of contract" notion, and he's got some very interesting ideas.  There's a very lively discussion in the comments.  Check it out.


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