We have a good idea of what the #BlackLivesMatter agenda regarding criminal justice looks like. Though, as I speculated in a previous post, there's a lot to flesh out about what that agenda might look like in criminal law and civil cases regarding section 1983. But I should leave those areas to the people who work in criminal law and procedure.
That's led to me wonder what the #BlackLivesMatter agenda regarding property law might look like. Some of this is obvious -- take Thomas Mitchell's excellent work on heirs property. Some of the agenda will try to modify the common law of partition to keep heirs who live on property on the property. And I'm guessing that my co-author Kali Murray's work on eminent domain would also suggest that there should be strict limits on the use of eminent domain to take a blighted area. Those are obvious places.
What else, though, would be on the agenda? Surely protections for tenants. The implied warranty of habitability; robust enforcement of the Fair Housing Act -- including construing broadly what are violations of the section 3604(c). Again, fairly easy to identify. Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project is, maybe, the best recent example of #blacklivesmatter jurisprudence.
And certainly the mortgage crisis is a key piece of this. One area that I think needs additional attention are the victims of sub-prime products.
Why does this matter? I think the agenda will influence the presidential race, for one. Bernie Sanders' website, for instance, now has a page on racial justice that mentions the sub-prime crisis. But there are few details as yet -- and so I think this is a place where people (I'm thinking law review students looking for note topics in particular) might try to sketch out some more details and get into the debate. We're going to be hearing a lot more about this in the next fifteen months, I'm pretty sure.