My Talks at #AALS2015 – Backdoor Zoning, Popular Constitutionalism Post-Kelo, and Gridlock and Executive Power

December 31st, 2014

On Sunday, I will be giving three talks during #AALS2015. First, I will be giving a brief presentation at the Property Law Breakfast (7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. in McKinley Room). I will be discussing my work on backdoor zoning, with a focus on Houston’s Ashby High Rise.

Second, I am speaking on the AALS Hot Topic/Bridge Program – Public Use Since Kelo (2:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. in Wilson A). Many thanks to my friend Ilya Somin for organizing this panel. I will be discussing eminent domain and popular constitutionalism post-Kelo.

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm


Wilson A, Mezzanine Level, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Public Use since Kelo

Moderator and Speaker:

Ilya Somin, George Mason University School of Law


Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law
Carol N. Brown, The University of Richmond School of Law
David A. Dana, Northwestern University School of Law
Alexandra B. Klass, University of Minnesota Law School
Julia D. Mahoney, University of Virginia School of Law

Kelo v. City of New London (2005) was one of the most controversial rulings in the modern history of the Supreme Court. This panel addresses the decision’s legal and political impact over the last decade. Among the topics covered will be the massive political reaction generated by Kelo, which led to the enactment of eminent domain reform laws in 45 states (more legislation than has ever been generated by any other Supreme Court decision). There is much disagreement about the desirability of these reforms and their likely effects. In addition to its political and legislative impact, Kelo has had a substantial influence on property rights jurisprudence in state and lower federal courts. We will also consider the ongoing controversy over the costs and benefits of the use of eminent domain in the years since Kelo. The debate ranges over such seemingly disparate issues as “blight” condemnations and the use of eminent domain for pipelines and public utilities. Finally, some of the panelists will focus on the ongoing debate over the meaning of the Public Use Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which many believed to be effectively over until it was rekindled by Kelo.

Third, across the street at the Omni at the Federalist Society not-so-much-in-the-shadow-anymore Conference, at 11:30 a.m. I’ll be presenting my work on Gridlock and Executive Power, along with a really impressive roster of scholars.

7 Minute Presentations of Works in Progress 2-A
11:30 am-1:00 pm
Palladian Ballroom

  • Prof. Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law,  “Gridlock and Executive Power”
  • Prof. Tara Helfman, Syracuse University College of Law, “The Dread Pirate Who? Challenges in Interpreting Treaty and Customary International Law in the United States”
  • Prof. Anthony Johnstone, University of Montana School of Law, “The Federalist Safeguards of Politics”
  • Prof. Jeff Pojanowski, Notre Dame Law School, “Reading Statutes in the Common Law Tradition”
  • Prof. Stephen Sachs, Duke University School Law and Prof. Will Baude, University of Chicago Law School, “The Law of Interpretation”
  • Mr. Ilan Wurman, Winston & Strawn, “Law Historians’ Fallacies”
  • Moderator: Prof. Michael Moreland, Villanova University School of Law

I hope to see everyone in D.C.