Unraveling the Conundrum that is Shelley v. Kraemer: Enforcement of Racially Restrictive Covenants is State Action

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Johnson, Alex M., Jr.
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2024-04
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Journal Article
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During the last ten years I have taught four law school courses: Property, Modern Real Estate, Contracts, and Trusts and Estates—an eclectic mix. In an earlier article, I characterized these four areas of law as historically developing in “Silos” with their own individualized rules and formalities to validate conveyances. My primary thesis is that these functional formalities or requirements that developed in each Silo to validate conveyances are designed to ensure that a court may later adjudicate a dispute over the validity of that conveyance with low error and adjudicative costs. As I was finalizing the article and thinking about the rules that developed in each Silo, I was struck by the fact that there is only one case that is addressed in all four courses. That case is the infamous Supreme Court opinion, Shelley v. Kraemer.
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Creighton University School of Law
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