Racial Disparities and the Political Function of Property

Spencer Overton, Racial Disparities and the Political Function of Property, 49 UCLA L. Rev. 1553 (2002).

Abstract:  Race theorists have noted that racial discrimination has shaped the existing distribution of economic resources, and have used this observation to justify reparations, to defend affirmative action, and to call for other legal changes that would improve the socioeconomic status of people of color. This Article takes the theorists’ observation further. Property has a political function. Racially discriminatory allocation rules not only impose economic and social harms upon people of color, but also impair the ability of these people to engage in political expression and participation through structures such as the privately financed campaign finance system.

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