Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy


Right to destroy


Courts tend to frame right-to-destroy disputes in terms of a conflict between respecting individual autonomy and avoiding social waste. That framing unduly obscures what is involved in these cases. Autonomy is a rich value that requires discerned investigation, and social waste masks the existence of community capabilities of legitimate concern. A human flourishing perspective illuminates these multiple values and capabilities. Conflicts involving the right to destroy resist neat categorical solutions, but that does not mean that they cannot be resolved rationally or even with a relatively high degree of predictability, as I have tried to show in this Article.