The thing I best recall from my Property class was the odd pale-green tile ceiling. It evidently fascinated me so much that most of the actual law conveyed is now a blur.
So I don’t have much in the way of scholarly response to this Illinois Supreme Court decision, and wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t been the subject of a blog post by Eugene Volokh… but it’s interesting.
It involves a trust made by Max and Erla Feinberg. Putting aside some interim provisions not particularly interesting the key aspect of their bequest was: everything goes to the grandchildren when they die, except that any grandchild who married outside the Jewish faith or whose non-Jewish spouse did not convert to Judaism within one year of marriage would be considered dead as far as the trust goes, and get nothing.
This provision was challenged, and the trial court upheld the challenge. The appeals court agreed with the trial court, saying that the provision was void on public policy grounds. “Under Illinois law and under the Restatement (Third) of Trusts, the provision in the case before us is invalid because it seriously interferes with and limits the right of individuals to marry a person of their own choosing.”
The Illinois Supremes disagreed.
So… debate? I assume the Illinois Supremes are right on the law (as, indeed, they have to be, since they are the final arbiters of what Illinois law means). But should legislators now step in to change this law? Should we restrict testmentary freedom when it seeks to invade choices like marriage?