Article on Buchanan v. Warley

In 1917, the Supreme Court decided Buchanan v. Warley, holding that it was unconstitutional to ban blacks from buying property on blocks where mostly whites resided, and vice versa. Buchanan was, in my opinion, a very important case, but it has mostly languished in obscurity.

Last week, however, Senator Rand Paul talked about Buchanan on the Senate floor during his filibuster, sparking some curiosity about the case. I therefore decided it would be useful to post my 1998 Vanderbilt Law Review article on the case, which I believe is the most extensive existing treatment of Buchanan. Not surprisingly, I wouldn’t write the article precisely the same way now as I did then, and some of those changes are reflected in a later piece I co-authored with Ilya Somin for the Yale Law Journal and in my discussion of Buchanan in Rehabilitating Lochner. Still, if you’re curious about the case, the Vanderbilt article is very informative and would be the best place to start.