Upcoming Women in Legal Ed Events at AALS in New Orleans

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The AALS Section on Women in Legal Education has some great programs planned for the 2019 Annual Meeting:

Thursday, January 3

10:30-12:15 Co-Sponsoring with the Section on Agricultural and Food Law: Worker Justice in the Food System.

Friday, January 4

8:30-10:15 Building Bridges with Shared Experiences: The Women in Legal Education Oral History Project. Business meeting will be held at the end of the session.

For the past four to five years, a small group of Women in Legal Education Section Members, led by Professor Marie Failinger (Mitchell Hamline School of Law), have been recording oral histories of the women in the legal academy. The Oral History Project’s goal is to gather the stories of as many women in the academy as possible to develop a robust library of histories that can be used for research, study, or enjoyment. More than 40 women have been interviewed as of January 2018. In this session, panelists will explain the Oral History Project and share thoughts, reactions, and experiences, as we show clips from the Oral History Project about decisions that led women into the legal academy, often at a time where there were few women on law faculties.

12:15-1:30 Women in Legal Education Luncheon and Presentation of the 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award to Chancellor Phoebe Haddon. This is a ticketed event; please purchase your ticket in advance.

1:30-3:15 Hot Topic Program: Civil Rights in the Aftermath of the Kavanaugh Hearings and Confirmation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s September 27, 2018 hearing concerning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed assault upon her person proved a watershed political and jurisprudential moment. We have now learned of Justice Kavanaugh’s positions on reproductive freedoms, immigrant rights, presidential power, and female testimonial credibility, which may well transform the protections afforded by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses and the Civil Rights Act. Furthermore, his performance at the September 27 hearing triggers issues about judicial temperament, ethics, and even the judge’s role as a creator of legal and social truth.

In this Hot Topic Panel, legal scholars will address the ways in which Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination, hearings, and confirmation impact a wide variety of legal domains, including sexual harassment and assault laws, workplace equality, policing, substantive and criminal law, administrative law, the field of judicial ethics, and the standards of proof appropriate for criminal, legal, and political processes. We will also engage the ways in which Justice Kavanaugh’s role in today’s political and legal climate intersects with jurisprudence, such as critical legal feminism and the moral theory of epistemic injustice.
1:30-3:15 Co-Sponsoring with the Section on Aging and the Law: The Legal Consequences of Living a Long Life: The Differential Impact on Marginalized Communities.

Saturday, January 5

1:30-3:15 Building Bridges: WiLE Networking, Mentoring, and Discussion.

This is a reboot of our Speed Mentoring session. This session will give us an opportunity to have focused discussion as well as more informal discussion about topics that impact all of us and our students and colleagues. The primary discussion topics grew out of the discussion on our Section’s Listserv this past fall in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings. We have four primary goals for this session:

1.  To address the meaning of the hearings for session participants in their roles as legal academics, lawyers, citizens, and for some, survivors of harassment or assault;
2.  To reveal challenges the participants faced in occupying those roles and charting a path forward;
3.  To mentor one another by sharing strategies that enabled the participants to cope with the challenges posed; and
4. To provide a forum to network and form alliances in the wake of an event in American political history, which galvanized the country and the legal academy.

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Ohio House of Representatives Votes to Repeal Tampon Tax

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Ohio Senate (image from http://www.ohiosenate.gov)

Today the Ohio House of Representatives voted 84-1 to eliminate the state sales tax on menstrual hygiene products.  House Bill 545, a larger tax bill, had significant bipartisan support. The bill included the exemption for menstrual hygiene products contained in HB 61, legislation proposed in February, 2017 by State Representative Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and former State Representative Greta Johnson (D-Akron).

Here’s an excerpt from today’s press release from Representative Kelly’s office:

“Eliminating the tampon tax will put more money into the pockets of women, in-turn strengthening the families they support and nurture,” said Kelly. “I am thankful we were able to come together to even the playing field for women, girls and families on medically necessary products. No one should face extra economic challenges simply because of their gender.”

Not only does taxing menstruation-control products present economic issues for women and families, but also potential health consequences. Without proper feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads, women are at risk of developing health complications such as vaginal infections, disease and even infertility. The medicine prescribed to treat these problems is tax exempt, but the products that can prevent them are not.

“The percentage of working women in Ohio is growing, but they still face burdensome costs that men do not,” said Kelly. “I hope that during the next General Assembly, we can continue working on policies that ensure no one in Ohio is left behind.”

According to a fiscal analysis from the Legislative Service Commission, Ohio women give the state nearly $4 million in annual taxes from purchasing medically necessary feminine hygiene products. If HB 545 is signed into law, Ohio would join 15 other states embarking on the tampon tax push to exempt feminine products from sales tax.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

The bill is especially timely given that there is active class action litigation in Ohio seeking elimination of the tax on menstrual hygiene products and retroactive relief from tax paid in prior years.

All eyes on the Ohio Senate!

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CFP: 21st Annual Women’s History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College – Intersectional Activism in the Age of Gender Based Violence and Authoritarian Oppression

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Call for Proposals
21st Annual Women’s History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College

The Struggle Continues:
Intersectional Activism in the Age of Gender-Based Violence and Authoritarian Oppression

Friday-Saturday March 1-2, 2019
Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY (20 Minutes North of Manhattan)
Free and Open to the Public

Deadline for Proposals: December 14, 2018

Recent high profile legal battles in the U.S. have brought attention to the problems of sexual assault and violence against women. These include the arrest of Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, the conviction and prison sentence of comedian Bill Cosby, and the battle over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Activism against gender based violence has become the focus of attention by both NGO’s and local organizations resulting in social movements like #Sayhername and #MeToo. These concerns are also not isolated to the U.S. Movements in India, Kenya, China and the UK have amplified the voices of victims of individual and state sponsored violence.

Intersectionality, a term first theorized by feminist activist and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, was based on the previous work of Black women in organizations such as the Combahee River Collective and the Third World Women’s Alliance. These activists by foregrounding the notion of “simultaneous oppressions” gave voice to the frustrations surrounding the inability of feminist and anti-racist activists to consider the intersections of oppression that women of color faced. Crenshaw saw intersectionality as a tool to address failures within those movements. It is through Crenshaw’s framework that we seek to interrogate global gendered violence, now and in the past.

The 21st annual women’s history conference, will explore the struggle against global gender based violence through the lens of intersectionality. We seek papers, presentations, and creative works that explore the following questions:

What are the structural and systemic factors that produce gender based violence and how do race, class, gender, ability and orientation inform them? What are the ways in which gender based violence has been used by the state and how have activists addressed these crimes or attempted to force governments to do so? What are the successes and mistakes of past movements to end gender based violence and what lessons can current activists take from previous movements? How can we overcome intersectional failures, to unify and build stronger, more robust coalitions?

We invite scholars, artists, writers, and activists to submit proposals for papers, readings, workshops, and performances.

Proposals may include but are not limited to the following subjects:

  • #Sayhername, #Metoo and Other Movements on Behalf of Victims of Abuse: An Intersectional Perspective
  • Sexual Assault and Women of Color in History and Now
  • Intersections of Race, Class, and Gendered Violence
  • Historical Perspectives on Gendered Violence
  • Women as Targets in Authoritarian Regimes
  • Rape as a Tool of War
  • Work Place Policies
  • Title IX and Sex Based Harassment
  • Legal Responses to Violence and Sexual Harassment
  • Violence Against Transgender and Non-Binary People
  • Gendered Violence as a Public Health Crisis
  • Sexual Exploitation of Domestic Workers
  • Current and Past Gendered Violence and Incarceration
  • Social Media, it’s Uses and Abuses with Regard to Sexual Harassment and Gendered Violence
  • Gendered Violence and the Criminal Justice System

Proposals should include a description of each presentation, no more than one page per person, and a brief C.V. for each presenter. Proposals for panels are especially welcomed but we will also consider individual papers. Email submissions are preferred.

Deadline: December 14, 2018

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Visiting Positions at IU-McKinney

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From colleagues at IU-McKinney:

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will be hiring visitors for the 2019-2020 academic year. Please forward to anyone who may be interested. Please see the announcement below:

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law invites entry-level and experienced applicants for one or more visiting professorships for the 2019-2020 academic year in the following areas: Contracts and Sales, Health Law, Property, Tax, and Trusts and Estates.

Indiana University prohibits discrimination based on arbitrary considerations of such characteristics as age, color, disability, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The University is committed to taking affirmative action, positive and extraordinary, to overcome the discriminatory effects of traditional policies and procedures with regard to the disabled, minorities, women, and veterans. For more information about the school, please visit http://indylaw.indiana.edu/.

Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter to Vice Dean Mike Pitts at mjpitts@iupui.edu. Individuals who require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the application process should give Vice Dean Pitts adequate notice. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with January 15 as the deadline for all applications.

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Dargis on What the Movies Taught Me About Being a Woman @ManohlaDargis @nytimes

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Manohla Dargis discusses film and its messages for female viewers, here, in a piece for the New York Times.

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Equality Law Scholars’ Forum at UC Davis Law, Nov. 16-17, 2018

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The second annual Equality  Law Scholars’ Forum kicks off at UC Davis tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to being one of the commentators on a fantastic set of papers. Here are some details:

Second Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum

Friday, November 16 – Saturday November 17, 2018

The Forum is designed to provide junior scholars with commentary and critique by their more senior colleagues in the legal academy and, more broadly, to foster development and understanding of new scholarly currents across equality law.

This year, the Forum will feature six presenters (chosen from over forty submissions):

The New Coverture, Albertina Antognini (Arizona College of Law)

Stealing Education: Protecting Racial Capital in “White” Schools, LaToya Baldwin Clark (UCLA School of Law)

Affirmative Action Misclassification, Jonathan Feingold (UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)

The Aesthetics of Disability Law, Jasmine Harris (UC Davis School of Law)

Legislating with Tall Tales, Goldburn Maynard (U. of Louisville School of Law)

 Diversity to Deradicalize: A New Theory for How Affirmative Action Became Tied to Intellectual Pluralism, Asad Rahim (American Bar Foundation)

The event is co-organized by Tristin Green, USF Law, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, UC Berkeley Law, and Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis Law.

Comment and critique will be provided by the following scholars:

Bridget Crawford, Pace Law School

Jonathan Glater, UC Irvine Law School

Tristin Green, USF Law School

Angela Harris, UC Davis Law School

Jill Hasday, U. of Minnesota School of Law

Anthony Infanti, U. of Pittsburgh School of Law

Osamudia James, U. of Miami School of Law

Tom Joo, UC Davis Law School

Courtney Joslin, UC Davis Law School

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston U. Law School

Kimani Paul-Emile, Fordham U. School of Law

Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis Law School

We will also hold a panel discussion on Producing Scholarship in Equality Law with the following UC Davis Law School panelists participating: Jack Chin, Kevin Johnson, Courtney Joslin, Tom Joo, Lisa Pruitt, and Brian Soucek.

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Harming Women with Words: The Failure of Australian Law to Prohibit Gendered Hate Speech @latrobelaw

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Tanya D’Souza, Supreme Court of Victoria, and Laura Griffin, Nicole Shackleton, and Danielle Watt, all of La Trobe Law School, have published Harming Women with Words: The Failure of Australian Law to Prohibit Gendered Hate Speech at 41 UNSW Law Journal 939 (2018). Here is the abstract.

In Australia, gendered hate speech against women is so pervasive and insidious that it is a normalised feature of everyday public discourse. It is often aimed at silencing women, and hindering their ability to participate effectively in civil society. As governmental bodies have recognised, sexist and misogynist language perpetuates gender-based violence by contributing to strict gender norms and constructing women as legitimate objects of hostility. Thus, gendered hate speech, like other forms of hate speech, produces a range of harms which ripple out beyond the targeted individual. The harmful nature of vilification is recognised by the various Australian laws which prohibit or address other forms of hate speech. But as we map out in this article, gendered hate speech is glaringly absent from most of this legislation. We argue that by failing to address gendered hate speech, Australian law permits the marginalisation of women and girls, and actively exacerbates their vulnerability to exclusion and gender-based harm.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Schlesinger Library Grants Galore!

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From the FLP mailbox:

SCHLESINGER LIBRARY GRANTS

The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America invites applicants for a variety of research grants.

The library’s special collections document over two centuries of United States history, from abolition to transgender rights. Manuscripts, books, periodicals, audiovisual material, photographs, and other objects make up the collections. These materials illuminate the lives of ordinary women as well as American icons such as suffragist Alice Paul, Harlem renaissance writer Dorothy West, civil rights activist Pauli Murray, feminist Betty Friedan, the Republican Party activist Anna Chennault, poet June Jordan, chefs Zarela Martinez, and zine author Cindy Crabb, among many more. Applications will be evaluated on the significance of the research and the project’s potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge, along with its creativity in drawing on the library’s collections. The awards may be used to cover travel and living expenses, scanning, and other incidental research expenses, but not for the purchase of durable equipment or travel to other research sites. Complete grant information and access to the application portal is available here.

RESEARCH SUPPORT GRANTS

Application Deadline: Monday, February 4, 2019

The Schlesinger Library invites scholars and other serious researchers at any career stage beyond graduate school to apply for support for their work in our collections. Grants of up to $3,000 will be given on a competitive basis. Applicants must have a doctoral degree or equivalent research and writing experience. Priority will be given to those who have demonstrated research productivity and whose projects require use of materials available only at the Schlesinger Library. The awards may be used to cover travel and living expenses, photocopies or other reproductions, and other incidental research expenses, but not for the purchase of equipment or travel to other sites for research.

Deadline: Applications must be received by Monday, February 4, 2019. Awards will be announced in early April 2019, to be used for research at the library from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

TEACHING SUPPORT GRANTS

Application Deadline: Monday, February 4, 2019

The Schlesinger Library invites secondary school teachers to apply for support for research in our collections connected to their work in the classroom. Grants of up to $3,000 will be given on a competitive basis. Priority will be given to those who have demonstrated innovative pedagogy in social studies and history, and whose proposals make a compelling case about the ways materials available only at the Schlesinger Library will be incorporated into the applicant’s curriculum plans. The awards may be used to cover travel and living expenses, photocopies or other reproductions, and other incidental research expenses, but not for the purchase of equipment or travel to other sites for research.

Deadline: Applications must be received by Monday, February 4, 2019. Awards will be announced in early April 2019, to be used for research at the library from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

DISSERTATION GRANTS

Application Deadline: Monday, February 4, 2019

The Schlesinger Library invites predoctoral scholars whose dissertation research requires use of the library’s collections to apply for research support. Grants of up to $3,000 will be given on a competitive basis. Applicants must have advanced to candidacy in a doctoral program in a relevant field and have an approved dissertation topic. Priority will be given to those whose projects require use of materials available only at the Schlesinger Library. The awards may be used to cover travel and living expenses, photocopies or other reproductions, and other incidental research expenses, but not for the purchase of equipment or travel to other sites for research.

Deadline: Applications must be received by Monday, February 4, 2019. Awards will be announced in early April 2019, to be used for research at the library from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

ORAL HISTORY GRANTS

Application Deadline: Monday, February 4, 2019

The Schlesinger Library invites scholars who are conducting oral history interviews relevant to the history of women or gender in the United States to apply for support of up to $3,000.

This grant stipulates that the interviews take place in accordance with guidelines of the Oral History Association, that consent is obtained from interviewees for their words to be viewed by researchers worldwide, and that true copies or transcripts of the original recording of the oral interviews, as well as copies of the consent forms, be deposited in the Schlesinger Library upon completion.

Deadline: See Deadlines for ALL other grants

NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL FELLOWSHIP CONSORTIUM

The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium offers grants to encourage projects that draw on the resources of 18 major cultural agencies, including Schlesinger Library. More info here.

Information for International Applicants

Schlesinger Library Grants are designed to fund research for short periods of time. Thus, international applicants need no special documentation or visa to receive a grant award and research at the library. Applicants who are eligible for ESTA Visas, or are already in the United States via green card, ESTA Visas, or an I-20 are eligible to apply.

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Notre Dame Law Review Online Symposium on “Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court”

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The Notre Dame Law Review Online has published a Symposium featuring several essays relating to Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger & Bridget J. Crawford eds., Cambridge University Press, 2016).  Here’s the table of contents for 94 Notre Dame L. Rev. Online (2018):

One useful aspect of these essays is that individuals and nonprofit institutions are able to copy or distribute any of the essays at or below cost, for educational purposes, as long as the copy includes the full citation and the copyright notice. I know that sometimes I need to direct students to models of what a short review looks like. So these essays may be useful for teaching purposes, separate and apart from their substance (which is quite thought-provoking, if I do say so myself!).

(cross post from The Faculty Lounge, here)

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Detroit Mercy Symposium CFP: Women and the Law

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From the FLP mailbox:

2019 Detroit Mercy Law Review Symposium: Women and the Law

Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline: November 9, 2018

The Law Review at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will be hosting its 103rd annual symposium: Women and the Law.

Call for Proposals

The Detroit Mercy Law Review is accepting proposals for the 2019 Symposium: Women and the Law. The Detroit Mercy Law Review Symposium will take place on Friday, March 8, 2019 (International Women’s Day) in Detroit, Michigan. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: the history of women in the law, how women have impacted the law, how the law impacts women today, how future legal decisions could affect women’s rights (e.g. if Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) were to be overturned), what challenges women still face in the legal profession, the role of gender in the law, and any other topic regarding women and the law.

Proposals should be approximately 250-500 words, double-spaced, and detail the proposed topic and presentation.

Submission Procedure

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, November 9, 2018 at 5PM EST. All proposals should be submitted to Samantha Buck, Symposium Director, at bucksl@udmercy.edu. Please indicate whether your proposal is for a presentation only or if you would also like to publish an article with the Detroit Mercy Law Review on your presentation topic. If you are interested in submitting an article, it will be due to the Law Review on Friday, March 15, 2019. Please submit a current CV or resume along with your proposal. We will notify chosen speakers by November 30, 2018. Preference will be given to those willing to submit an article for publication.

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Recent Gender-Related Scholarship: Faith Jackson & Edieth Wu

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Feminist Law Profs Faith Jackson and Edieth Wu (Texas Southern University) have published two articles that address aspects of discrimination in legal education:

Must We Deploy Drones in the Twenty-first Century to Target Under the Radar Discrimination Against Minority Women at Law Schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS)?, 31 Colum. J. Gender & L. 164 (2015); and

From Theory to Practice: Using the Gender-Sensitive Tracking and Monitoring System, 14 LSD Journal 91 (2017).

Worth a read, especially in light of the disturbing news out of St. John’s Law School and Cornell Law School that the climate for female students may be actively hostile.

As faculty members, we need to think hard and better about how we treat each other, what behavior we are modeling for our students, and how to make the legal profession (and legal academia) welcome to people of all genders).

 

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An Ode to the Marketplace, in a “Go Girl” Friendly Wrapper

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I am a tax lawyer.  I spend much of my academic time thinking about wealth and its opposites.  I read Forbes.  I read the Forbes 100 list. In short: I’m inclined to be curious about articles that cover the marketplace, broadly construed.

My cynical self couldn’t help a little chuckle in response to the Financial Advisor magazine’s gush over “The Nation’s Richest Self-Made Women” (here).  I love that the article focused on women; I love that the article focused on self-created (as opposed to inherited) wealth.  But something about the chirpy, upbeat tone of the article struck me as slightly…off.  I can’t quite identify what made me uneasy or unsatisfied. Maybe it’s just that much of the business press is too surface-level, and that was more obvious in this article.

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CFP: Special Edition of “Laws” Edited by Margaret

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Professor Margaret Thornton (Australia National University) will be guest-editing a special edition of the journal Laws, the international, peer-reviewed open-access journal published by MDPI (based on Basel, Switzerland). Here is the CFP:

The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight the continuing relevance of feminist legal theory (FLT). Contributors are invited to engage with the vexed issues of the time that disproportionately impact women. These include not only the turning away from equality and social justice as a result of the neoliberal embrace, but also the roll-back of pro-feminist initiatives by right-wing governments, such as those of the Trump Administration.  Contributors are at liberty to narrow their focus to a single issue or jurisdiction, as they wish. The only caveat is that the author makes a worthy contribution to the reappraisal of the place of FLT in contemporary scholarship.

In response to the Second Wave Feminism of the late 20th century, feminist legal scholars challenged conventional ways of thinking about law. They have exposed the claims to universality, objectivity, and neutrality of legal positivism as partial and masculinist. Their scholarly endeavors have led to feminist legal theory (FLT) being included in the curricula of many law schools and receiving the endorsement of the academic gatekeepers.

Nevertheless, the honeymoon period was short-lived, because of the ascendancy of neoliberalism. This led to the commodification of higher education, ever-increasing tuition fees, and pressure on universities to produce job-ready graduates to serve the new-knowledge economy. Students then began to say that they no longer wanted FLT on their testamurs, lest it harm their chances in the job market.

The demise of FLT was accompanied by a backlash against feminism and the popular asseveration that we now inhabit a post-feminism age. However, the “post” in post-feminism is ambiguous, as it can mean either that feminism is passé or that it signals a new beginning. The point is that issues such as violence against women, femicide, and sexual harassment have never gone away. Indeed, the world-wide “#MeToo” movement is a powerful reminder of the continuing relevance of feminism.

This Special Issue is intended to show that, far from being a spent force, FLT is a vital means of making sense of the rapidly changing world of the 21st century, which includes a distinctly anti-feminist as well as a pro-feminist dimension. This gives contributors considerable scope to write on a topic and perspective of their choice. Neoliberalism itself is a fertile field in light of its marked reaction against the central feminist values of collective action, equality, and social justice, in favor of individualism and promotion of the self. The impact of the rise of right-wing movements in many parts of the world, including the United States, also has profound ramifications for feminism. To take into account global diversity, specific country perspectives on prevailing sexual politics are encouraged.

The possibilities for innovative scholarly work are endless. The conjunction of neoliberalism and moral conservatism may therefore have given FLT an adrenalin shot in the arm. I very much look forward to receiving a submission from you.

Manuscript submission details are here.  The deadline for manuscript submissions is September 1, 2019.

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Female Law Professors’ Letter to Senators re Kavanaugh Nomination

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A group of female law professors have drafted a letter to the Senate expressing concern over the Kavanaugh appointment.  The letter has been covered by the (UK) Guardian here.  The full text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Senators:

We are a non-partisan group of women law faculty from across the nation charged with training our students to become ethical lawyers and leaders of the bar. We believe in and embrace the Supreme Court and all that it represents – judicial independence, fair-mindedness, and justice and equality under the law. On a daily basis, we teach our students about the importance of the rule of law, impartiality on the part of judges in the United States’ legal system, and professionalism as a mandate for attorneys and judges.

Judicial professionalism is not an abstract ideal. At a minimum, judicial professionalism includes respecting and listening to parties who come before the bench, exercising honesty and integrity, and the ability to control one’s temper. The ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct and the Code of Conduct for United States Judges give guidance to judges on how to perform their duties with impartiality and integrity. These characteristics are the building blocks of a fair and just legal system. They were, however, absent from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 28, 2018. We are deeply concerned that if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will fail to perform his duties in a manner befitting our highest Court. For these reasons, we urge you to vote against Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Canon 2 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges requires that “[a] judge should respect and comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” Manifestations of bias or prejudice with respect to gender and political affiliation are inconsistent with Canon 2.

Judge Kavanaugh demonstrated disrespect towards Democratic senators vested with the constitutional authority to assess his ability to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. He continually interrupted, speaking in a tone that was inappropriate given the seriousness of the proceedings. His condescension was especially evident in his responses to the questions of women senators. One of the worst instances of such behavior was exhibited when Senator Amy Klobuchar asked the Judge whether his drinking meant that he could not remember events. He responded, “You’re asking about blackout. I don’t know, have you?”

Judge Kavanaugh’s lack of respect for our democratic institutions, and for women in positions of power in particular, revealed that he does not have the requisite judicial temperament. We would never allow our students to engage in such conduct even in mock proceedings or the classroom. If the venue for Judge Kavanaugh’s conduct had been a courtroom, a judge might have found him in contempt.

Many of us have participated on search committees for faculty members, deans, provosts, university presidents, and other positions. If job candidates refused to answer probative questions and side-stepped with stock answers about their pedigrees and accomplishments, their behavior would leave us with serious questions about their honesty and credibility.

We are not alone in our assessment of Judge Kavanaugh. Although the Judge has cited the ABA’s endorsement of his nomination in 2006, the ABA actually downgraded the Judge from well-qualified to simply qualified, in part, because of his temperament and concerns about his “ability to be balanced and fair.”

We doubt that Judge Kavanaugh can be impartial. In his lengthy opening remarks during the Senate hearing, he stated:

This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

For over two centuries, Supreme Court justices have set aside their political views to evaluate claims and render rulings that advance the rule of law and reflect changes in our society.  Judge Kavanaugh’s pointed remarks suggest he does not have the capacity to give fair consideration to all cases.

We urge you to reject Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Judge Kavanaugh has shown that he is unable to respect women in positions of power, manifests bias with respect to gender and political affiliation, does not meet basic standards of professionalism, and lacks independence, impartiality, and judicial temperament.

Principal drafters of the letter, signing in an individual capacity, are Felice Batlan (Chicago-Kent College of Law), Kathleen Engel (Suffolk University Law School), Karla McKanders (Vanderbilt University Law School), Teri McMurtry-Chubb (Mercer University School of Law), Jennifer D. Oliva (West Virginia University) and Mae C. Quinn (University of Florida Levin College of Law).

Additional signatories are welcome until Friday. Please contact any of the drafters for more details on how to add your name.

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Ethics Complaint Filed Against Judge Kavanaugh

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Professor Vernellia Randall

Feminist Law Prof Vernellia Randall (Dayton) has filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit an ethics complaint against Judge Kavanaugh on the grounds that his partisan statements and his behavior before Congress call into question Kavanaugh’s ability to be an impartial member of the Federal circuit court and Supreme Court . The complaint specifically refers to, among other things, this portion of the Code of Judicial Conduct, District of Columbia Courts (2018):

A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

A full copy of the Professor Randall’s complaint is here.

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Law Professors’ Letter on Kavanaugh’s “Judicial Temperament”

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The Huffington Post features a short write-up of the letter signed by over 500 law professors expressing concern about Judge Kavanaugh’s lack of judicial temperament.  Here is an except of the HuffPo piece.

More than 500 law professors from nearly 100 law schools around the nation have signed a letter to the U.S. Senate to say that the volatile temperament Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed on Thursday as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee disqualifies him from sitting on the nation’s highest court.

“We regret that we feel compelled to write to you to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Thursday, September 27, 2018, the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land,” the letter says.

The full piece is here. A copy of the letter is here.

The full law professors’ letter, with the list of signatories, is here.  Additional sign-ons are welcome until Thursday at noon Eastern.  If you’d like to sign the letter, directions for adding your name are here.

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The Senate Responds to Kavanaugh’s Accusers

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school has turned Kavanaugh’s judicial confirmation into an extremely polarizing political issue.

In the midst of the #metoo movement, Dr. Ford’s accusation (and the two others that have followed) has brought the issue of prevalence of sexual assaults back into the limelight and political officials’ responses to the accusations have varied widely, leading to a new trending Twitter hashtag: #WhyIDidntReport.  A hearing is set for this Thursday – both Ford and Kavanaugh are scheduled to testify – and it remains uncertain what the vote will be.

Because the midterms are approaching, several Senators’ future political careers are at stake and the media has been pressuring them to make a statement on Kavanaugh’s nomination and his now-multiple accusations of sexual assault.  It is the Senate that will determine whether Kavanaugh is confirmed.  What follows is a summary of every Senator’s response to the sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh, gathered through media interviews or social media postings.  They have been grouped into six categories: (1) believes Ford and calls to investigate, (2) unsure but calls to investigate, (3) Ford is mistaken, (4) Ford is lying, (5) doesn’t care if it’s true, and (6) no response.  In addition, the Senators who are up for re-election are noted with an asterisk.

Murkowski, Lisa – (R – AK): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Sullivan, Dan – (R – AK): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

Jones, Doug – (D – AL): Doesn’t know and investigate.  

Shelby, Richard C. – (R – AL): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

Boozman, John – (R – AR): No response. 

Cotton, Tom – (R – AR): Doesn’t care.

*Flake, Jeff – (R – AZ): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Kyl, Jon – (R – AZ): Doesn’t know and investigate.

*Feinstein, Dianne – (D – CA): Believe and investigate. 

Harris, Kamala D. – (D – CA): Believe and investigate. 

Bennet, Michael F. – (D – CO): Believe and investigate. 

Gardner, Cory – (R – CO): Doesn’t know and investigate 

Blumenthal, Richard – (D – CT): Believe and investigate. 

*Murphy, Christopher – (D – CT): Doesn’t know and investigate.  

*Carper, Thomas R. – (D – DE): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

Coons, Christopher A. – (D – DE): Believe and investigate.  

*Nelson, Bill – (D – FL): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

Rubio, Marco – (R – FL): Doesn’t care.

Isakson, Johnny – (R – GA): No response.

Perdue, David – (R – GA): Doesn’t know and investigate.

*Hirono, Mazie K. – (D – HI): Believe and investigate. 

Schatz, Brian – (D – HI): No response.

Ernst, Joni – (R – IA): She’s lying.

Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Crapo, Mike – (R – ID): No response.

Risch, James E. – (R – ID): No response.

Duckworth, Tammy – (D – IL): Believe and investigate.

Durbin, Richard J. – (D – IL): Believe and investigate.

*Donnelly, Joe – (D – IN): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

Young, Todd – (R – IN): No response.

Moran, Jerry – (R – KS): Doesn’t know and investigate.  

Roberts, Pat – (R – KS): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

McConnell, Mitch – (R – KY): Doesn’t care. 

Paul, Rand – (R – KY): Doesn’t care. 

Cassidy, Bill – (R – LA): She’s lying.

Kennedy, John – (R – LA): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Markey, Edward J. – (D – MA): Believe and investigate.

*Warren, Elizabeth – (D – MA): Believe and investigate.

*Cardin, Benjamin L. – (D – MD): Believe and investigate.

Van Hollen, Chris – (D – MD): Believe and investigate.

Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

*King, Angus S., Jr. – (I – ME): No response. 

Peters, Gary C. – (D – MI): Believe and investigate.

*Stabenow, Debbie – (D – MI): Believe and investigate.

*Klobuchar, Amy – (D – MN): Believe and investigate. 

Smith, Tina – (D – MN): Believe and investigate.

Blunt, Roy – (R – MO): Doesn’t know and investigate. 

*McCaskill, Claire – (D – MO): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Hyde-Smith, Cindy – (R – MS): She’s lying. 

*Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS): She’s lying. 

Daines, Steve – (R – MT): She’s lying.

*Tester, Jon – (D – MT): No response.

Burr, Richard – (R – NC): No response. 

Tillis, Thom – (R – NC): Doesn’t know and investigate.

*Heitkamp, Heidi – (D – ND): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Hoeven, John – (R – ND): No response.

*Fischer, Deb – (R – NE):  No response.

Sasse, Ben – (R – NE):  No response.

Hassan, Margaret Wood – (D – NH): Believe and investigate.

Shaheen, Jeanne – (D – NH): Believe and investigate.

Booker, Cory A. – (D – NJ): Believe and investigate.

*Menendez, Robert – (D – NJ): Believe and investigate.

*Heinrich, Martin – (D – NM): Believe and investigate.

Udall, Tom – (D – NM): Believe and investigate. 

Cortez Masto, Catherine – (D – NV): Believe and investigate. 

*Heller, Dean – (R – NV): Doesn’t care.

*Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY): Believe and investigate. 

Schumer, Charles E. – (D – NY): Believe and investigate. 

*Brown, Sherrod – (D – OH): No response.

Portman, Rob – (R – OH): She’s lying.

Inhofe, James M. – (R – OK): No response. 

Lankford, James – (R – OK): (Probably) doesn’t care.

Merkley, Jeff – (D – OR): Believe and investigate. 

Wyden, Ron – (D – OR): Believe and investigate. 

*Casey, Robert P., Jr. – (D – PA): Believe and investigate.

Toomey, Patrick J. – (R – PA): Don’t know and investigate. 

Reed, Jack – (D – RI): Believe and investigate. 

*Whitehouse, Sheldon – (D – RI): Believe and investigate. 

Graham, Lindsey – (R – SC): Doesn’t care.

Scott, Tim – (R – SC): No response. 

Rounds, Mike – (R – SD): No response. 

Thune, John – (R – SD): She’s lying/confused.

Alexander, Lamar – (R – TN): She’s lying/confused.

*Corker, Bob – (R – TN): She’s lying.

Cornyn, John – (R – TX): She’s lying.

*Cruz, Ted – (R – TX): Doesn’t know and investigate.

*Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT): She’s lying.

Lee, Mike – (R – UT): No response. 

*Kaine, Tim – (D – VA): Believe and investigate. 

Warner, Mark R. – (D – VA): Believe and investigate.

Leahy, Patrick J. – (D – VT): Believe and investigate.  

*Sanders, Bernard – (I – VT): Believe and investigate.

*Cantwell, Maria – (D – WA): Believe and investigate.

Murray, Patty – (D – WA): Believe and investigate.

*Baldwin, Tammy – (D – WI): Believe and investigate.

Johnson, Ron – (R – WI): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Capito, Shelley Moore – (R – WV): She’s lying.

*Manchin, Joe, III – (D – WV) Class I: Doesn’t know and investigate.

*Barrasso, John – (R – WY): Doesn’t know and investigate.

Enzi, Michael B. – (R – WY): Doesn’t know and investigate.

-JoAnn Sweeny and John Slack

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Law Professors’ Letter Regarding Methods Used to Evaluate Kavanaugh Allegations

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More than 250 law professors with expertise in gender violence sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressing our “profound concern” regarding the methods of evaluation of the allegations of Judge Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct. The full text of the letter is copied below the fold. (Thank you to Julie Goldscheid who is the letter’s primary author.) It may be helpful to remind readers of the 2015 national survey of more than 900 advocates and service providers regarding police response to sexual assault & IPV available here.  The survey results demonstrate the many reasons women do not report sexual assault to police.

[A full copy of the letter is also available here. – Ed.]
Continue reading

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Women’s Court of Canada Act and Rules @IISJOnati

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Melinda Buckley is publishing Women’s Court of Canada Act and Rules in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series. Here is the abstract in English and Spanish.

English Abstract: This paper explores the issue of how a feminist court could operate through the device of a model statute and rules for the Women’s Court of Canada. The Women’s Court of Canada is a feminist legal project bringing together academics, activists, and litigators to ‘rewrite’ Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms equality jurisprudence. Over the course of more than a decade, the members of this virtual ‘court’ have reconsidered leading equality rights decisions, rendering alternative judgments with the aim of articulating fresh conceptions of substantive equality in judgment form. Here, the author takes a step away from the substance of equality rights law to focus on legal institutions and procedure.

Spanish Abstract: El presente artículo profundiza en la cuestión de cómo podría funcionar un tribunal feminista mediante unos estatutos tipo y unas normas para el Tribunal de Mujeres de Canadá. El Tribunal de Mujeres de Canadá es un proyecto jurídico feminista que reúne a académicas, activistas y abogadas, quienes ‘reescriben’ la jurisprudencia sobre igualdad de la Carta Canadiense de los Derechos y las Libertades. Durante más de una década, los miembros de este ‘tribunal’ virtual han cuestionado sentencias con el objetivo de articular concepciones nuevas de igualdad sustantiva en forma de sentencia. La autora de este artículo se distancia de lo sustantivo de las leyes sobre derecho a la igualdad y se centra en las instituciones jurídicas y el procedimiento.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Murray on “Epistemic Injustice in Puerto Rico”

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Yxta Maya Murray (Loyola LA) has posted to SSRN her article “FEMA Has Been a Nightmare”: Epistemic Injustice in Puerto Rico, forthcoming in the Willamette Law Review.  Here is the abstract:

The continuing disaster in Puerto Rico, caused by the ravages of Hurricane Maria and federal inattention, cannot be understood without looking at the interrelated problems of power, bias, and epistemology.

Federal power and bias determined which dangers in Puerto Rico would be recognized by government officials, and which would be deemed too indeterminate to plan for and respond to: In the days following Maria’s assault on the island on September 20, 2017, officials such as FEMA’s Administrative head Brock Long, President Donald Trump, and several U.S. senators defended against accusations of an inept and paltry federal aid response by citing “logistics” and Puerto Rico’s location within a body of “big water,” indicating that the island’s topography and physical situation proved so epistemically inaccessible to them – so uncertain — that they could not organize an effective relief response. I call this the federal government’s “uncertainty defense.”

Furthermore, the government’s putative uncertainty about Puerto Rico’s physical features bled into its on-the-ground engagement with its residents: Interviews with residents and responders reveal that FEMA sent to Puerto Rico personnel that 1) did not speak Spanish, 2) used technology to communicate with victims even though poor Puerto Ricans did not have access to intelligent devices and the power grid had been down since September 20, 3) gave out food boxes containing items laden with sugar and salt to victims with heart disease and diabetes, 4) did not reach people in mountainous regions, and 5) could not foresee that the elderly would constitute an especially vulnerable population. This means that Puerto Ricans’ culture, health, and patterns of living were regarded as indeterminacies that the federal government found impossible to calculate and so cope with after the storm.

However, insofar as President Trump and Administrator Long seek to marshal an uncertainty defense to explain their failure to provide meaningful aid to Puerto Ricans, their effort fails. An eloquent legal literature that deals with problems of epistemology and disaster exists, and has been written by Dan Farber, Cass Sunstein, and Robert Verchick. These scholars all define when hazards are discernible, and when they veer so beyond human ken as to become “uncertainties” that become impossible to strategize around in the event of a catastrophe. Their work helps us understand that the factors that Trump and Long characterized as unplannable logistics were not uncertainties at all, but rather “known knowns” that could have been calculated and planned for long in advance of the hurricane.

The real reason that Puerto Rico’s topography and people proved unfathomable to federal officials had nothing to do with their enigmatic qualities, but grew out of a phenomenon called “epistemic injustice,” which has been limned by the philosopher Miranda Fricker.

Deadly epistemic uncertainty did exist in Puerto Rico, however. While uncertainty and risk theorists usually gauge uncertainty from the perspective of governmental decision makers, uncertainty can be detected among the victims themselves: I call this victim uncertainty, and argue that it was caused by the government’s acts of epistemic injustice. Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria experienced uncertainty because they could not predict that the government would prove so psychologically blind to their island’s basic features, and to their status as human beings with a particular culture and set of demographics, that its agents would not be able to help them when the time came. This uncertainty bolstered what is known in psychological writings as “uncertainty paralysis:” Victims’ uncertainty paralysis hampered their abilities to make the crucial decisions of whether to wait for government relief or engage in self-help during the exigencies of the storm.

Like the disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the lack of care that led to so many deaths in New Orleans in 2005, the repercussions of Puerto Rico 2017 will be felt for a long time. In this article, I argue that the government must attend to the problems of power and epistemology revealed by Hurricane Maria: It should do so by listening to the stories of subordinated populations, such as those in Puerto Rico, in order to understand whom they will be helping in foreseeable future disasters, and how to do so.

In this article, I set forth interviews with residents and responders in order to highlight the failures of the U.S. response in the fall of 2017. These interviews illustrate the deadly ways in which the government perpetuated epistemic injustice in the days before and after the storm, and how the victims themselves consequently experienced dangerous epistemic uncertainty. I also set forth recommendations for the critical narrative gathering necessary for transforming government “uncertainties” about subordinated populations into recognized facts: These may take place under the auspices of the Stafford Act, which authorizes the President to send federal agencies (including FEMA) to disaster zones, as well as FEMA policy.

The full article is available here.

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Irina Manta on “Tinder Lies”

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Irina Manta (Hofstra) has posted to SSRN her article Tinder Lies, forthcoming in the Wake Forest Law Review (2019).  Here is the abstract:

The rise of Internet dating — in recent years especially through the use of mobile-based apps such as Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge — forces us to re-examine an old problem in the law: that of how to handle sexual fraud. Many people with romantic aspirations today meet individuals with whom they do not share friends or acquaintances, which allows predators to spin tales as to their true identities and engage in sexual relations through the use of deceit. Indeed, according to some studies, about 80% of individuals lie on at least some part of their online dating profiles, and a subset of those individuals tell lies that undermine the foundation of their sexual mates’ subsequent ability to give consent. Whether or how to criminalize this type of fraudulent behavior has been debated for some time, and the difficulties involved in prosecutions in this context have made the criminal law a fairly ineffective tool. Previous proposals for tort recovery have failed to gain many adherents for similar reasons. This Article seeks to strike a new path by proposing, first, that we harness the tools of trademark law to reduce search costs and deception in the dating marketplace just like we do in the economic marketplace. Second, it argues that we should use a streamlined process through small claims courts to discourage behaviors that may bring significant dignitary, emotional, and other harms to people’s lives. Last, it proposes the use of statutory damages to alleviate the difficulties in accurately gauging the remedy level for the harm from a given instance of sexual fraud. By providing recovery in cases of material lies like trademark law does in cases involving deceptive marks, this Article takes an important step toward aligning the legal framework of sexual fraud with those of other types of misrepresentation, incentivizing transparency in the increasingly murky dating world, and protecting individuals’ ability meaningfully to consent to sexual relations.

The full article is available here.

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Welcome to the Blogroll, 3 Additional Feminist Law Profs!

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Welcome to these colleagues, newly added today!

Our blog roll ranks are increasing.  If you’re a full-time law prof and wish to be listed as a self-identified feminist law professor, whatever that means to you, please reach out to me at bcrawford at law dot pace dot edu.

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CFP: New Trusts & Estates Collaborative Research Network of Law and Society Association

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Trusts & Estates Collaborative Research Network

Law and Society Association

Call for Participation – Deadline October 8, 2018

[feminist scholarship warmly invited! –  Ed.]

Organizers of the newly-formed Trusts & Estates Collaborative Research seek proposals that explore any aspect of the law, practice or effects of trusts and estates, broadly defined. Successful proposals likely will bear in some waimage from www.google.comy on succession (also referred to as inheritance) and/or wealth transfers (whether at death or during lifetime, outright or in trust). Subjects of inquiry may involve any aspect of government or social policy with respect to trusts, estates, inheritance, wealth transfer, equity or courts with jurisdiction over these issues.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a Trusts and Estates CRN panel, please  submit a 500-word abstract by Monday, October 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. GMT to the CRN chairs, Professor Bridget Crawford (bcrawford at law dot pace dot edu) and Professor Kate Galloway (kgallowa at bond dot edu dot au). The CRN chairs will then attempt to organize the papers into panels with cohesive themes.

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working.  We welcome participation from scholars working in any discipline, language, or country.  Although you may submit a proposal to present a paper that is closer to publication, we are especially interested in receiving proposals for works-in-progress that will benefit from discussion that the panels will provide. We welcome participation of junior scholars, those who are untenured or in non-tenure positions, and advanced graduate students, as well as more experienced scholars.

Participants are encouraged to apply multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches in their scholarship. Possible areas in inquiry might include issues related to transfer of wealth between spouses or family members; preferences created for certain types of transfers or transfers to particular classes of individuals; the transfer of wealth to charities or non-profit organizations; generational equity; issues of social and economic inequality; comparative aspects of the law of succession and the law of trusts more broadly; the relationship between/among gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, immigration, language status, disability and the law of succession and the law of trusts; the socio-linguistics of testation and wealth transfer; access to estate planning justice for low- and middle-income individuals; questions of cultural or group inheritance rights; and similar issues.

If you would like to submit a pre-formed panel, with a chair already named, and affiliate your panel with the Trusts and Estates CRN, please also email the CRN chairs.

In addition to individual paper presentations (to be organized into panels) and pre-formed panels, we also welcome programs that fit other formats permitted by Law and Society such as author-meets-reader sessions, salon sessions, and roundtable session.  If you have an idea that you think would work, we welcome hearing from you with a 500-word proposal.

Please note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once, either as a paper panelist or as a roundtable participant.

We will give preference to proposed Trusts and Estates CRN panelists/participants who agree also to serve as a discussant or discussant/chair for another Trusts and Estates CRN panel (those appearances do not “count” for purposes of the 1 appearance rule). Please indicate your willingness to do so in your proposal.  Your volunteering will help us to create and sustain a supportive global community of trusts and estates scholars. We will take into account expertise and topic preferences. Chairs organize the logistics of the panel, as well as moderate at the conference. Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description of the panel for inclusion in the Law and Society program. Discussants will read at least one assigned paper and prepare a short commentary to offer feedback and serve as a basis for discussion among the panelist and audience members. There may be multiple discussants for the same panel, especially if we are able to create panels that include multi-national perspectives.

Those selected by the Trusts and Estates CRN for participation in a panel or program will be informed no later than October 22, 2018.  Each participant will then need to register through the Law and Society system no later than November 7, 2018 using the panel number we assign.

500-word proposals to participate in a program sponsored by the Trusts and Estates CRN are due Monday, October 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. GMT to the CRN chairs, Professor Bridget Crawford (bcrawford at law dot pace dot edu) and Professor Kate Galloway (kgallowa at bond dot edu dot au).

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CFP: Law, Culture & Humanities 2019, Ottawa, Canada

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From the FLP mailbox:

We are pleased to announce that the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities will be held at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada on March 22-23, 2019. The event is co-sponsored by The Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Information regarding the pre-conference Graduate Student Workshop will follow shortly.

We welcome quality proposals on any topic related to law and legal studies. We warmly welcome proposals on all topics, and are particularly interested in proposals addressing the intersections between gender, sexuality, race and law.

All proposals are due Wednesday, October 15, 2018.

Individual proposals should include title and an abstract of no more than 250 words.

We also welcome proposals for panels, roundtables, and streams (two panels on one theme). Panels should include three papers (or, exceptionally, four papers). Specify a title and a chair of your panel. The panel chair may also be a panel presenter. It is not necessary to write an abstract or proposal for the panel itself. To indicate your pre-constituted panel, roundtable, or stream, please ensure that individual registrants provide the name of the panel and the chair in their individual submissions on the registration site. All panel, roundtable, or stream participants must make an individual submission on the registration site.

All proposals must be submitted on this website.

Notifications will be sent by mid-December, 2018.

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How Much Do “Free” Tampons Cost? #MenstrualCapitalism and Examples from New York State

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Spurred by legislation introduced by New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, that state adopted a law that requires public schools to provide free menstrual hygiene products for students in grades 6-12.

In April, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted the news: “Schools in New York State will now be required to provide free menstrual products in restrooms for girls in grades 6 through 12. Menstrual products are as necessary as toilet paper and soap, but can be one expense too many for struggling families.”

Governor Cuomo conveniently left out of his tweet that the mandate is unfunded. In other words, school districts must figure out how to pay for these menstrual hygiene products.

Earlier this week, the Rochester (New York) Democrat & Chronicle reported (here) on what that has meant, in dollars and cents, for some upstate school districts:

The startup costs for having dispensers in bathrooms are thousands of dollars for local school districts.

The upkeep cost implications won’t be known until the machines are being used by the students, said Gates Chili Superintendent Kimberle Ward.

Districts will need to find the money in their budgets this year to comply, Laural Heiden, a spokesperson for Greece Central School District, explained. Greece has spent $8,700 on the purchase of dispensers alone, Heiden said.

Webster Central School District spent about the same. Webster purchased 24 feminine hygiene product dispensers totaling about $8,800. * * *

The East Rochester Union Free School District has its 12 dispensers ready to go. The project cost about $3,700 in materials and $280 in labor, said David Green, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

The Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District is similar to other local schools that worked to get the machines and products installed before the first day of school, according to spokesperson Leah Shepard. Their process started in June and will cost the district about $3,000. * * *

About 42 percent of children in New York live in low-income families, and a monthly supply of feminine hygiene products can be expensive for struggling families.

The need is real. No doubt, this change will help thousands of low-income individuals and families. But to completely analyze the impact of the legal change, it is worthwhile to consider who bears what cost.

Consider the example of Yonkers, a city just outside New York City that I pass through every day on my way to work (and a place with a long history of segregation in housing and education).  The Yonkers school district serves 27,000 students and has 39 schools, according to its website (here). According to local news reports (see here, e.g.), the Yonkers Board of Education approved spending $37,474 for the installation of dispensers installed in 175 restrooms. That’s a cost of just over $214 per restroom.

The larger expenditure will be for the products that fill the dispensers. LoHud.com reports (here) that the Yonkers Board of Education estimates that the supplies will cost $125,000 to $200,000 annually, depending on the rate of consumption.  Let’s assume that only half (or 13,500) of the 27,000 students in the City of Yonkers are in 6th through 12th grades, and only half of those students (or 6,750) menstruate. That means the school district’s estimated spending, at the high end, is just over $29 per year for each menstruating student.

Is that a good “deal” for the school district, or not?

Consider the cost of a box of pads. To take one example, on Amazon, a box of 88 Always Ultra Thin Long/Super Unscented pads costs $21.93 (or, about 25 cents per pad).  Assuming tax and transaction costs out of the equation (be still my tax teacher’s heart!) and the use of 4 pads a day for 7 days every month for 12 months, the annual cost to the retail consumer would be $84.  Certainly, there are brands and products that cost less than 25 cents per pad or tampon.  Some women may need more or fewer or different products.  But just as a ballpark, it looks like the estimate by the Yonkers Board of Education is not unreasonable.

So how much will those “free” tampons cost?  About $29 per year per student. Who bears the cost? The taxpayers, as is true with most expenses by the school district.

My guess is that we will begin to see schools seeking to reduce costs by partnering with manufacturers that will agree to a reduced payment from the schools in return for “product placement.” There’s nothing wrong with that.  But it’s good to be aware of what I call menstrual capitalism (see here, here, here and here, e.g.).  Menstrual capitalism is the complex interaction of the market economy and profit-seeking behavior, on the one hand, and apparent philanthropic, benevolent or even feminist support of menstrual equity efforts, on the other.  The two sides of the issue can and do co-exist; I have no critique of that. But often, the philanthropic/benevolent/feminist position may be used to obscure or even deny traditional profit-seeking activity. That is a complex interaction worthy of further examination.

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CFP: Literature and International Law at the Edge

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From the FLP mailbox:

Call for Papers: Literature and International Law at the Edge

New York City, December 14/15, 2018

Abstracts/proposals due by October 31, 2018

The past decade has seen a steady increase in interdisciplinary scholarship interested in the relationships between literature and international law. Much of this scholarship has remained deeply rooted in the home disciplines of the scholars, who not only operate with the prevailing assumptions and methodologies of those disciplines, but also tend to treat the other disciplines as stable and unproblematic. Moreover, while claiming to tell a global history, that scholarship largely repeats the Eurocentric bias that has historically characterized the fields of comparative literature and international law. In fact, much of the new scholarship on comparative literature and international law not only fails to take account of imperialism and its histories in the formation of disciplinary knowledge, it also tends to marginalize events and thinkers at the colonial and global edges, ignoring their roles as actors and agents of literary and legal world-making. In doing so, this new scholarship seems to be replicating the traditional prejudices of its contributing disciplines.

Through a series of events to be held in 2018 and 2019 (in, amongst other places, New York, London and Nairobi) this project aims to explore the imbrications of literature and international law at the edges. The project seeks to challenge many of the basic disciplinary blindnesses and Eurocentric assumptions that have characterized the emerging conversation by putting the Global South at the center of our interdisciplinary inquiry.

For a day-long workshop/conference, to be held in New York City on December 14/15, 2018, we are seeking contributions that:

– Explore interdisciplinary interfaces among literary, historical, and legal studies, and from positions of geo-historical marginalization across the Global South.

– Address the intersections between particular texts of “world literature” and Third World Approaches to International Law.

– Map the theoretical and historical relationships between comparative literature and international law as world-making, world-imagining, and world-governing regimes.

– Trace the historical global flows of knowledge at the “margins” of world literary and legal space that have been overlooked in the canonical and narrow focus of the separate disciplines, as well as new flows of global knowledge among the disciplines and across (and about) the Global South.

– Consider how the basic assumptions and doctrines of international law and comparative literature (e.g., sovereignty, self-determination, territoriality, equality of states, ethno-cultural nationalism, national languages, and rights to natural and cultural resources) were worked out historically in the Global South.

Please email short proposals/abstracts/inquires by 31 October 2018 to: iL.Lit.events@gmail.com

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Pruitt on “The Women Feminism Forgot: Rural and Working-Class White Women in the Era of Trump”

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Feminist law prof Lisa Pruitt (UC Davis) has posted to SSRN her article The Women Feminism Forgot: Rural and Working-Class White Women in the Era of Trump, forthcoming in the University of Toledo Law Review.  Here is the abstract:

This article, based on a keynote address delivered at the University of Toledo Law Review Symposium “Gender Equality: Progress and Possibilities,” takes up the task of theorizing gendered aspects of the current chasm between progressive elites on one hand and rural and working-class whites on the other. Pruitt offers observations that aim to cultivate empathy and ultimately temper elite derision toward

Professor Lisa Pruitt

these populations. The article also lays the groundwork for robust consideration of how feminist legal theory has failed rural and working class white women. Perhaps most importantly, Pruitt begins to think practically about what progressive feminists can and should do to bridge the current divide and, in so doing, cultivate a broad, inclusive sisterhood that better transcends spatial, racial, and socioeconomic differences.

The article proceeds by outlining evidence of our nation’s burgeoning metro-centricity, as well as our ongoing denial of and inattention to issues of socioeconomic disadvantage when they intersect with white skin privilege. Pruitt offers these observations with special attention to the context of the legal academy and legal scholarship. Part II discusses how this neglect of white working-class and rural populations evolved into disdain during the 2016 election season and has hardened into contempt in the era of Trump’s presidency. Part III is a brief overview of socioeconomic and public health trends among these increasingly vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on what has been happening to rural and working class white women since Pruitt began writing about them more than a decade ago. Part IV summarizes what we know about the female vote in election 2016, with some attention also to gendered voting patterns in the special election for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat in 2017. Part V digs into media profiles of female Trump voters, which reveal some themes Pruitt has addressed in prior work, including the understudied and widely ignored tension among various strata within what is broadly perceived as a monolithic white working class. This part also scratches the surface of a major issue in the wake of the 2016 election: the liberal elite tendency to label as “racist” anyone who voted for Trump, as well as the disconnect between this usage and many communities’ far less capacious understanding of the term. Before concluding with thoughts on how to bridge the divide between elites and the white working class, Pruitt uses a personal story (à la Hillbilly Elegy) in an effort to humanize female Trump voters. The postscript holds up the successful West Virginia teachers’ strike of 2018 as a model for cross-class coalition building.

The full article is available here.

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Welcome to the Blogroll, 8 Additional Law Profs!

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Feminist Law Profs is pleased to add to the blogroll 8 more colleagues.  Some are new to the academy. Some are long-time teachers, scholars and friends.  All self-identify as feminists, whatever that means to them.

Our blog roll ranks are increasing.  If you’re a full-time law prof and wish to be listed as a self-identified feminist law professor, whatever that means to you, please reach out to me at bcrawford at law dot pace dot edu.

Welcome to these colleagues, newly added today!

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Research Fellowships at Harry Random Center at UT Austin

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From the FLP mailbox:

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin invites applications for its 2019­-2020 research fellowships.

Ten dissertation fellowships and up to 50 postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded for projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections. The fellowships support research in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history.

The deadline for applications, which must be submitted through the Center’s website, is November 15, 2018, 5 p.m. CST. Applicants, with the exception of those applying for dissertation fellowships, must have a Ph.D. or be independent scholars with a substantial record of professional achievement.

The fellowships range from one to three months, with stipends of $3,500 per month. Travel stipends and dissertation fellowships provide stipends of $2,000. International fellows receive an additional $500 stipend to offset visa and travel costs. Applicants will be notified of decisions on March 31, 2019.

Fellowship residencies may be scheduled between June 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020. During the fellowship, scholars will work on-site at the Ransom Center in Austin, Texas.

Fellows will become part of a distinguished group of alumni. Since the fellowship program’s inauguration in 1990, the Ransom Center has supported more than 1,200 research projects.

For details and application instructions, visit here.

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New Children’s Book: “My Mom Has Two Jobs”

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I recently took a break from writing law review articles to publish my first children’s picture book, which celebrates working moms — including lawyer moms. The book is titled, My Mom Has Two Jobs.

I had the idea for this book after returning from maternity leaves and struggling to find children’s books that could help my kids process my return to work in a positive and inspiring way. My Mom Has Two Jobs gives women a platform to talk with their kids about their work, and to help kids see how moms bring the the same love, passion, and dedication to both their parenting jobs and their professional jobs.

On each page of the book, children proudly describe how their moms care for them in a special way, while also making the world better through their careers. The book highlights moms in a wide range of professions, including a lawyer, teacher, engineer, police officer, doctor, secretary, dentist, firefighter, nurse, waitress, military sergeant, veterinarian, and pilot. The book is illustrated to embrace diverse moms and kids of different races and ethnicities and to show the wide range of important roles that women play.

For more information about the book, please see here.  To purchase the book, please visit DartFrog Books here.

-Michelle Travis

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CFP: Psychology of Women and Equalities Review Special Issue – Feminisms and Leadership

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From the FLP mailbox:

Call for Papers: Psychology of Women and Equalities Review Special Issue –  Feminisms and Leadership

‘Leadership’ is a highly regulative practice, and is pervasive in our personal and political realms. Under late capitalism, academic and popular discourse continues to represent leadership in gender essentialist terms, through the figure of the ‘great man’. Notions of the ‘great leader’ are rarely tied to colonial domination, which consolidated leadership as the natural and legitimate enterprise of white, ‘civilizing’ masculinity (Mohanty, 2004). This is reflected in the ongoing proliferation of leadership as a marker of individual stature, and the reproduction of white patriarchal power in global corporate and political spaces.

Feminist attention has been dedicated to understanding differential leadership experiences within this highly gendered terrain. However, a wealth of feminist literature continues to promote women’s leadership in these spaces without dismantling the spaces themselves. Moreover, unchecked histories of racism, sexism, classism, and ableism function to keep notions of ‘successful’ leadership firmly within the confines of dominant globalizing forces.

The call: “Do not become the master’s tool!” (Ahmed, 2017, p. 160), inspires the commitment that we will never use the master’s tools (Lorde, 1984) to resist these forces. Following this commitment, current feminist work in psychology calls for collective feminist leadership and resistance through ‘feminist counter-publics’ (Rúdólfsdóttir & Jóhannsdóttir, 2018). More broadly, Lewis and Pullen (2018) call for the strengthening of feminist work in organizational studies, arguing: “…we have never needed it more than we do now” (p. 108).

In the spirit of these calls to action, this special issue invites feminist work that rewrites notions of ‘successful’ leadership in psychology and related academic and non-academic disciplines. Contributions may include, but are not limited to work that considers:

* Intersections of race and class, gender, sexuality, and/or disability, with leadership.
* Leadership in contexts of feminist activism, movements, and political resistance.
* Reimagining leadership in/outside of elite or corporate contexts.
* Bad or ‘toxic’ leadership.

Contributions may include original articles (up to 3000-7000 words), observations and commentaries (up to 2500 words) or creative pieces (up to 2000 words). Submissions will be subject to the usual peer review process. The deadline for submissions is January 7th 2019. Queries can be sent to editor.powsr@gmail.com Lucy Thompson (aymorluc@msu.edu<mailto:aymorluc@msu.edu>).

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Tax Law: Where the Right to Bodily Privacy Means Something?

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The Ninth Circuit ruled today that the IRS may not invoke qualified immunity for allegedly breaching the taxpayer’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy, when a (female) agent required the (female) taxpayer to use the bathroom in the taxpayer’s own home in the presence of the (female) IRS agent.

The reasoning in Ioane v. Hodges? “The agent’s general interests in preventing destruction of evidence and promoting officer safety did not justify the scope or manner of the intrusion into plaintiff ’s most basic subject of privacy, her naked body.”

The taxpayer’s husband, also under IRS investigation in the case, had been permitted by a different (male) IRS agent to use the bathroom alone.

Add this to the pile of the cases worthy of  rewriting for Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions – The Second Volume.

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Gonzaga Law Hiring Announcements (4) – Legal Writing; Low Income Taxpayer Clinic; Environmental Law, Health Law, Natural Resources Law, Business Law, and/or Privacy Law

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Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington) seeks to fill up to four positions. The full job descriptions/hiring announcements (available here) are summarized below:

Up to 2 Doctrinal Hires (tenure-track faculty positions) (details here)

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW seeks applicants for up to two entry-level full-time tenure-track positions beginning in the fall of 2019. Our curricular interests include at least one first-year required course as well as upper-level courses, such as Environmental Law, Health Law, Natural Resources Law, Business Law, and/or Privacy Law. Candidates must demonstrate an excellent scholarly promise and the ability to be an outstanding teacher.

This position is a full-time Assistant Professor who will teach up to two courses per semester and may teach first-year required course(s).  Law faculty provide instruction to law students, service to the law school and University, and engage with other professionals and the public to contribute to the intellectual exchange of ideas, to improve the law, and to educate the profession about the law.

Legal Writing Position (tenure-track faculty position) (details here)

This position is for a full-time Assistant Professor who will teach up to three sections of Legal Research and Writing each semester. The position is a 9-month annual position beginning August 2019. Faculty provide instruction to law students, service to the law school and University, and engage with other professionals and the public. The candidate is to contribute to the intellectual exchange of ideas to improve the law, and to educate the profession about the law.

Director of Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (adjunct faculty position) (details here)

Law faculty provide instruction to law students, service to the law school and University and engage with other professionals and the public to contribute to the intellectual exchange of ideas, to improve the law, and to educate the profession about the law. Clinical faculty members supervise and teach students and direct the function of particular clinics within Gonzaga Law School’s Clinical Law Program. This position is dependent on a Law Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant awarded from the IRS. Gonzaga Law School has been receiving the LITC grant for over 15 years.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE (for all positions):

Gonzaga Law embraces its humanist mission of educating the whole person and preparing lawyers to serve marginalized populations in an increasingly international legal market.

To apply, please visit our website at www.gonzaga.edu/jobs . Applicants must complete an online application and electronically submit a (1) cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, and (3) the names and contact information for three professional references. Inquiries may be directed to the Chair of the Faculty Recruitment Committee, Professor, Ann M. Murphy at murphya@gonzaga.edu.  The position closes on November 15, 2018, midnight, PST. For assistance with your online application, call Human Resources at 509.313.5996.

Gonzaga University is a Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic institution, and is therefore interested in candidates who will contribute to its distinctive mission. Gonzaga University is a committed EEO/AA employer and diverse candidates are encouraged to apply.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their disability status and/or protected veteran status.

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Welcome to Blogroll, 25+ Additional Law Profs!

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Feminist Law Profs is pleased to add to the blogroll 25 30+ colleagues (updated 9/10/18).  Some are new to the academy. Some are long-time teachers, scholars and friends.  All self-identify as feminists, whatever that means to them.  Welcome!

We look forward to following their work and news.

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In Memoriam: Margo Shire Melli, 1926-2018

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From colleagues at Wisconsin, I just learned of the death of Feminist Law Prof Margo Melli (Wisconsin) earlier this year.  Here is an excerpt from her obituary:

Professor Margo Melli

Marygold “Margo” Shire Melli, age 91, a Voss-Bascom Professor of Law Emerita at the University of Wisconsin, died Saturday, January 6 in Madison. She was born in Rhinelander, WI in 1926 to Osborne and May R. (Bonnie) Shire. The family eventually settled in Madison where Margo attended the University of Wisconsin and was named to Phi Beta Kappa. While in Law School, she met fellow law student Joe Melli, and they were married in 1950. Despite graduating at the top of her class, as a woman, she had difficulty getting hired as a lawyer, so she took research jobs which eventually helped reform the Wisconsin child support system and reorganize the state’s court system. She began teaching at the UW Law School in 1959, becoming the first female tenure-track professor in the Law School’s history, teaching in the areas of family, juvenile and criminal law.

She served as Chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, Associate Dean of the Law School, Chair of the University Committee, Chair of a Chancellor’s Task Force on Gender Equity, and many, many other positions. Seriously…just too many to list!

Margo received numerous awards, including the 2013 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, honoring outstanding female lawyers who paved the way for women in the legal profession. Additionally, the Legal Association of Women established the Marygold Melli Achievement Award to recognize individuals who make outstanding contributions to the interest of women in law.

Outside of the University, she worked with A Fund for Women, Wisconsin Law Foundation, the Dane County Bar and Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin. Both Margo and Joe enjoyed the arts, working with and supporting MMOCA, Tandem Press, the Madison Print Club, Madison Ballet and others. They travelled around the globe, returning with stories ranging from the driving hazards of ancient towns in Sicily to the breathtaking views at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

Margo was passionate in her roles as educator, lawyer, feminist, wife and mother. And with her unique style, she wore those hats well. She was a mentor for many, and truly a role model for us all.

Professor Melli’s faculty biography page here includes a list of representative publications and other information about Professor Melli’s career.

May her memory be a blessing.

Thank you, Professor Melli, for paving the way for so many more of us.

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Gambert and Linné on “The Disruptive Possibilities of Plant Milk”

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Feminist Law Prof Iselin Gambert (GW) and Tobias Linné (Lund University) have posted to SSRN their article Got Mylk? The Disruptive Possibilities of Plant Milk, forthcoming in the Brooklyn Law Review (2019). Here is the abstract:

Gallium luteum = Caillelait jaune. [Yellow flowers used for curdling milk]. 1772-1793. NYPL Digital Images Public Domain Collection.

Milk is one of the most ubiquitous and heavily regulated substances on the planet – and perhaps one of the most contested. It is tied closely to notions of purity, health, and femininity, and is seen as so central to human civilization that our own galaxy – the Milky Way – is named after it. But despite its wholesome reputation, milk has long had a sinister side, being bound up with the exploitation of the (human and nonhuman) bodies it comes from and being a symbol of and tool for white dominance and superiority. The word itself, in verb form, means “to exploit.” It is also a word at the center of a decades-old, multinational battle taking place in courthouses, the halls of congress, on social media, and in the streets. This article explores the contradictions inherent in the substance as well as the word “milk” and examines the legal, political, cultural, and linguistic forces behind the “milk wars” between dairy milk and plant milk advocates in both Europe and the United States. It examines the US-based battle over the word “milk” through the lens of letters and citizen petitions to the FDA, class action lawsuits, and a 2017 bill called the DAIRY PRIDE Act, as well as the EU-based battle through the lens of EU regulations, a 2017 decision by the European Court of Justice, and a 2014 lawsuit filed by Sweden’s dairy lobby against small-scale oat milk producer Oatly. This article argues that while plant milk should not be legally prohibited from being called “milk,” it may not be a word worth fighting for given the entanglements of milk with the oppression and exploitation of women, people of color, and nonhuman animals. It explores plant milk’s potential as a “disruptive milk,” one that can break free from the exploitation and oppression long bound up in dairy milk, and argues that an act of verbal activism – replacing the “i” with a “y” to create “mylk” – may present plant milk advocates with an opportunity to reclaim and reinvent the word for the “post milk generation.”

The full article is available here.

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Adler on “A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform”

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Libby Adler (Northeastern) has published Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform (Duke University Press, 2018). Here is the publisher’s description:

In Gay Priori Libby Adler offers a comprehensive critique of mainstream LGBT legal agendas in the United States and a new direction for LGBT law reform. Adler shows how LGBT equal rights discourse drives legal advocates toward a narrow array of reform objectives—namely, same-sex marriage, antidiscrimination protections, and hate crimes statutes. This approach means that many legal issues that greatly impact the lives of the LGBT community’s most marginalized members—especially those who are transgender, homeless, underage, or nonwhite—often go unnoticed. Such a narrow focus on equal rights also fixes and flattens LGBT identities, perpetuates the uneven distribution of resources such as safety, housing, health, and wealth, and limits the capacity for advocates to imagine change. To combat these effects, Adler calls for prioritizing the redistribution of resources in ways that focus on addressing low-profile legal conditions such as foster care and other issues that better meet the needs of LGBT people. Such a shift in perspective, Adler contends, will serve to open up a new world of reform possibilities that the law provides for.

One can read the book’s introduction here.

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Grants for Undocumented Immigrant Entrepreneurs

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From the FLP mailbox:

Undocumented entrepreneurs working to create social change can apply for grants and support through Immigrants Rising’s Entrepreneurship Fund.

The Fund showcases the talents of undocumented young people and amplifies the positive impact of their work. In 2018, we will award $250,000 in funding through $5,000 to $50,000 one-year grants. Grantees will also be offered support and guidance from professional advisors as well as opportunities to network with other undocumented entrepreneurs.

Six undocumented entrepreneurs have already received grants and support from the Entrepreneurship Fund, previously called the Fund for Undocumented Social Entrepreneurs (FUSE). Read profiles of our Previous Entrepreneurship Fund Grantees.

We welcome proposals for entrepreneurial projects that address a variety of needs, target diverse populations, and employ different strategies. We are open to supporting projects that serve and advocate for undocumented people as well as ones with broader potential impact. Projects can be non-profit or for-profit initiatives—or hybrid projects that include both nonprofit and for-profit components. Most importantly, projects must create positive social change and must be designed and led by undocumented young people.

Applicants must be born outside of the United States and cannot be U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR). Applicants do not need to be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to qualify.

Preliminary applications are due October 4, 2018.

Entrepreneurship Fund Frequently Asked Questions

Entrepreneurship Fund Application Preview (PDF)

Entrepreneurship Fund Online Application

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Shaming and Blaming Mothers Under the Law: It’s Time We Stop Expecting Mothers to Be Perfect

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The perfect mother is a ubiquitous, if impossible, part of American life. We see her in spandex at the gym, working out—self-care!—a week after delivering twins. She’s at center-stage when internet experts opine about how mothers can prevent teenagers’ opioid addictions. In the shadow of this unattainable, idealized vision of a mother as a virtual guarantor of their children’s health and happiness, actual mothers berate themselves for falling short of perfection, feeling ashamed and inadequate.

The idealized image of motherhood is incorporated into law through the standard of “the reasonable person”; juries are asked to decide, in a particular case, whether the defendant’s behavior falls below this standard and is therefore negligent or worse. In a society that expects women to be more careful than men and holds mothers to an even higher standard of care and solicitude, many people will unconsciously impose the attributes of “the perfect mother” on the “reasonable person” or “reasonable mother.”

For example, in 2004, Utah prosecutors charged Melissa Rowland with murder after one of her twins was delivered stillborn. The prosecutors asserted that Rowland had demonstrated “maternal selfishness” by declining to have a caesarian section and her “depraved indifference to human life” meant she should be convicted of murder.  In 2010, Christine Taylor fell down the stairs in Iowa; since she was pregnant, she went to the hospital to make sure that both she and her pregnancy were okay. When Taylor, whose husband had just abandoned her and their two young daughters, disclosed that she was ambivalent about the pregnancy, she was arrested—her fall was taken for attempted feticide. Another mother, Ginger McLaughlin of Oregon, was convicted of criminal child neglect after her husband, who had been violent to her other children eight months prior, killed their young infant while Ginger was grocery shopping.

Blaming Mothers by Linda Fentiman (NYU Press 2017)

My book, Blaming Mothers: American Law and the Risks to Children’s Health, demonstrates how powerful images of maternal perfection unconsciously influence key players in the legal and health care systems, making it more likely that mothers, and not others, will be held responsible for adverse effects on their children’s health.  Because the legal system largely assesses criminal responsibility and civil liability with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy for unconscious psychological mechanisms to influence our judgments about risk (how likely is it that a bad event will occur) and whether a mother/parent could have acted to prevent that risk.

Blaming Mothers builds on the research of leading social science and legal scholars – Martha Chamallas, Dan Kahan, Cynthia Lee, and Paul Slovic, to name a few – to explain how judges and jurors can have skewed perspectives when it comes to the culpability of mothers, particularly when these mothers are poor, black, or brown.

Every year, American mothers are prosecuted for homicide or child abuse when their children are killed or injured by their male partners. The converse—a father being prosecuted for abuse perpetrated by his female partner—is far less likely.  Most of these “child abuse by omission” cases are resolved by plea bargains; a small number of cases go to trial, and even fewer are the subject of an appeal.  In Blaming Mothers, I examined 108 appellate court decisions involving a parent’s failure to act to protect a child from a spouse or partner, published from 1960 to 2014. Eighty-seven of these defendants were mothers and eleven were fathers; ten defendants were either stepparents or the boyfriend or girlfriend of the abuser.  In about 40% of these cases, the mother was abused by her partner; in a cruel irony, that abuse is often used as evidence against mothers. Reflecting a persistent failure to understand how difficult it is for battered women to flee their abusers, one Oklahoma prosecutor reframed the mother’s status as a victim of abuse as a personal preference.  He argued against the mother of a murdered child, “She made the choice to stay…. It’s about putting your child at risk because of the choices you make, and the choices you make to stay in an abusive relationship.”

Substantial numbers of jurors, judges, and prosecutors appear predisposed to believe that single mothers, in particular, are highly sexualized beings, whose behavior must be closely scrutinized for evidence that lust overcame their maternal instincts. Nearly a quarter of American children live with a single mother, compared with 4% who live with single fathers. More than three quarters of children under eight living with single mothers are poor; two-thirds of these families receive no child support from the father.  Poor children are seven times as likely to be abused as those who live in middle-class and wealthier homes, and it is often the single mother who is blamed, both for the abuse and even for the poverty itself.

In contrast, consider how easily corporations have escaped responsibility for the harm they have caused children. Many corporations have successfully dodged public accountability for causing environmental harms, including lead poisoning, by exploiting society’s relentless focus on the perceived failings of mothers. Corporate defense attorneys have traded on our unrealistic expectations of mothers, deflecting blame away from their clients. In a leading commentary on childhood lead poisoning litigation, Daniel J. Penofsky, notes, “the chief defense strategy in such cases is to ‘trash’ the family.” Usually the “family” means the mother.

The federal government banned lead in paint in 1978, yet four decades later, children are poisoned by lead poisoning, condemned to struggle in school and in the job market.  The Centers for Disease Control put new annual cases of childhood lead poisoning at half a million, and one-third of our nation’s housing stock is still contaminated with lead paint. A landmark Wisconsin case, Thomas v. Mallett, involved Steven Thomas, a toddler who was severely injured by exposure to toxic levels of lead in the paint of his dilapidated home. Steven’s blood tests revealed very high lead levels, and psychological testing showed learning disabilities and low IQ, yet the jury declined to hold lead paint manufacturers accountable. Their attorneys argued that Steven’s limited intellectual abilities and behavioral problems were not due to lead exposure, but rather to “the home, the environment, [and] the genetics that he came from.”  The manufacturers’ expert witness explicitly attributed Steven’s disabilities to his mother, who had a “history of alcohol abuse” and a “poor diet,” as well as a “borderline” IQ.

Amid serious, documented injury caused by lead-containing products, not one American lead paint manufacturer has been held liable for harms like these. California is the only state in which manufacturers have been held responsible for cleaning up the public nuisance created by decades of marketing paints they knew to be toxic to children, and that appellate court ruling has been submitted for Supreme Court review.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized that poverty is the single biggest risk to children’s health and well-being. Poor children are much more likely than their wealthier peers to live in substandard, toxic housing, and to lack nutritious food, safe places to play, and quality health care. The result is more physical and mental illness, lower academic achievement, and shorter lifespans.

We must educate the public, health care professionals, and legal players about the power and dangers of unconscious stereotyping, and we must seek legal change. The law must actively constrain the exercise of discretion by police and prosecutors, to narrow broadly worded statutes to limit the opportunities for overzealous charging, and provide robust judicial review of charging decisions and convictions.  Further, rather than responding to realized harms with criminal charges after the harms have occurred, government should act prophylactically, identifying and intervening when children and families are at risk for environmental harm, domestic violence, and other health problems. Girls and women need high quality health care if we are to promote healthy pregnancies and minimize the risks of preterm birth, and there are plenty of proven programs, like the Nurse-Family Partnership, that could be effectively expanded to provide health education and support to mothers. Because the perfect mother is a myth, strong social safety nets and precautionary legal interventions can and should help safeguard children.

-Linda Fentiman

(cross-post from the University of Minnesota’s Gender Policy Report, here)

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Inspiration from Audre Lorde: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing”

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Photograph of Audre Lorde, Staten Island, NY, by Robert Giard. 1978. From NYPL Digital Images Collection (public domain)

The day feels put together hastily
like a gift for grateful beggars
being better than no time at all
but the bells are ringing
in cities I have never visited
and my name is printed over doorways
I have never seen
While extracting a bone
or whatever is tender or fruitful
from the core of indifferent day.

* * *

I am deliberate
and afraid
of nothing.

From Audre Lorde, A Land Where Other People Live (1973)

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The Unconstitutional #Tampon Tax

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My Pace colleague Emily Gold Waldman and I have a new draft article, The Unconstitutional Tampon Tax, forthcoming in the Richmond Law Review.  Here is the abstract:

Thirty-six states impose a sales tax on menstrual hygiene products, while products like spermicidal condoms and erectile dysfunction medications are tax-free. This sales tax—commonly called the “tampon tax”—represents an expense that girls and women must bear on top of the cost of biologically-necessary items that they need in order to go to school, work, and otherwise participate in public life. This Article explores the constitutionality of the tampon tax and argues that it is an impermissible form of gender discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause. First, menstrual hygiene products are a unique proxy for female sex, and therefore any disadvantageous tax classification of these products amounts to a facial classification on the basis of sex. There is no “exceedingly persuasive justification” for taxing menstrual hygiene products, and so the tax must fail intermediate scrutiny. Even assuming arguendo that the tampon tax is not viewed as a tax on female sex, it is still unconstitutional because it cannot pass rational basis review.

Since 2016, four states and the District of Columbia have repealed their sales tax on menstrual hygiene products. Many state legislatures will consider similar repeal bills in upcoming legislative sessions. At the same time, women also have brought class action litigation in four jurisdictions, seeking a declaration that the state tampon tax is unconstitutional and requesting a refund of prior taxes paid. The Article develops the constitutional arguments that can be used by litigators in any ongoing or future case, recognizing that menstrual equity activism, including impact litigation, is likely to continue in the future.

Ultimately what and who a society seeks to tax signals its larger values. The continued imposition of state sales tax on menstrual hygiene products, seemingly without a principled distinction from other products that are exempted as necessities, exacerbates the aggregate economic inequality that already exists between the sexes. The tampon tax should be repealed in all states.

The full paper is available here.

There’s also a new student note on the tampon tax, published in the Northwestern University Law Review: Jorene Ooi, Bleeding Women Dry: Tampon Taxes and Menstrual Inequity, 113 Nw. U. L. Rev. 109 (2018).

I’m looking forward to reading more tax and constitutional scholarship that addresses the state sales tax on menstrual hygiene products!

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Call for Authors – Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Health Law Opinions

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Professor Seema Mohapatra

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on those opinions for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Health Law Opinions. This edited volume, proposed to be published by Cambridge University Press, is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Subsequent volumes in the series focus on different courts or different subjects.

Professor Lindsey Wiley

This call is for contributions to a volume of health law decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective. Health Law volume editors Seema Mohapatra and Lindsay Wiley seek prospective authors for fifteen rewritten health law opinions covering a range of topics. With the help of an Advisory Committee, the editors have chosen a list of cases to be rewritten. The definition of feminism on which the series is premised is quite broad and certainly includes intersectional analysis of cases where sex or gender played a role alongside racism, ableism, classism, and other concerns. Applications are due by September 22, 2018.

To facilitate collaboration between commentators and opinion writers across the entire volume, the editors will host a workshop on December 7, 2018 at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. All commentators and opinion writers are invited, but not required, to participate in the workshop. The Hall Center for Law and Health at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will host a welcome dinner the night prior to the workshop and provide the meals at the workshop. Authors must cover their own travel expenses. Selection of authors does not depend on their ability or willingness to attend the December workshop. The editors are also tentatively planning to host a conference celebrating publication of the volume at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC in fall 2020.

More details about the project and how to apply are available here.

A tentative list of cases to be rewritten appears below the fold. Continue reading

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St. Thomas (Miami) Hiring Announcement

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From colleagues at St. Thomas:

ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW seeks to fill entry-level tenure-track or, lateral tenure-track,-position(s) beginning in Fall 2019 in the areas of: Contracts, Business Associations, Tax Law, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Health Law, Tax Clinic, Academic Support and Bar Prep. Other doctrinal areas may be considered depending on the institutional needs. All applicants must have a strong academic record and be committed to outstanding teaching, scholarship and service. Prior teaching experience preferred.

St. Thomas University School of Law trains lawyers capable of applying legal principles to address and solve problems in an increasingly complex and changing society. The rigorous academic program of the Law School emphasizes lifelong learning and scholarship in a personalized, caring environment under Catholic auspices with a diverse student body and faculty. To this end, the Law School remains committed in teaching, scholarship, and service, to fostering a public order of human dignity, to training lawyers sensitive to the needs of the region’s underrepresented communities, and to expanding access to professional opportunities which includes active partnerships with business, government and the South Florida community.

St. Thomas encourages applications from all candidates, including women and minorities, who will contribute to our stimulating and diverse cultural and intellectual environment. The Faculty Recruitment Committee will review applications on a rolling basis, and anticipate attending the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference in October 2018. Applicants should send a cover letter indicating teaching and scholarly interests, a curriculum vitae to Professor Mark Wolff, Chair Faculty Recruitment Committee at St. Thomas University School of Law, 16401 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33054 or email mwolff@stu.edu.

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Unintended Corporate (and Tax) Consequences of India’s Repeal of the #TamponTax

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In July, 2018, India repealed its 12% goods and services tax (GST) on menstrual hygiene products. (News coverage here and here, e.g.) One (unintended, I suspect) consequence is the likely disadvantaging of domestic Indian manufacturers of these products. When the GST was in place, the manufacturers received what is known as an “input tax credit,” or a credit for certain component parts of the final product. For example, cotton is taxed at a rate of 5%, plastic packaging sheets are taxed at 18%.

When the Indian GST on menstrual hygiene products was eliminated, the credit available to the manufacturers evaporated.  That means domestic Indian producers now must pay the 5% tax on cotton, 18% tax on plastic packaging sheets, etc. Foreign corporations, not subject to those input taxes, therefore will be able to offer the product more cheaply, in all likelihood.

Some commentators believe that the Indian government caved to popular demand and/or pressure from multinational corporations (see, e.g., here), without understanding how the repeal of the GST on menstrual hygiene products would impact domestic Indian manufacturers. That may be true, and it points to the need to have tax lawyers involved at all levels of discussion about potential changes to a jurisdiction’s laws.

Mayuri Bhattacharjee, a menstrual equity activist and founder of the Sikun Relief Foundation has written (here) that the GST repeal was “an emotional victory and the silver lining was that it got people talking about a taboo topic,” despite the negative knock-on effect for Indian manufacturers.  She urges (here) mandatory menstrual hygiene education in schools; government incentives for making menstrual hygiene products more environmentally friendly; and holding state governments accountable for their obligations to make available water, toilets and safe methods for disposal of menstrual hygiene products.

I fully support Ms. Bhattacharjee’s call for a future that is “free from menstrual taboos and no one is held behind by their periods.” I believe it is possible to do that while also creating tax incentives that will keep domestic manufacturers of menstrual hygiene products competitive with foreign companies.

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Boso on “Rural Resentment and LGBT Equality”

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Luke Boso (Visiting Professor, University of San Francisco School of Law) has posted to SSRN his  article, Rural Resentment and LGBT Equality, forthcoming in 70 Fla. L. Rev. (2019).  Here is the abstract:

In 2015, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges settled a decades-long national debate over the legality of same-sex marriage. Since Obergefell, however, local and state legislatures in conservative and mostly rural states have proposed and passed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills. Obergefell may have ended the legal debate over marriage, but it did not resolve the cultural divide. Many rural Americans feel that they are under attack. Judicial opinions and legislation protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination are serious threats to rural dwellers because they conflict with several core tenets of rural identity: community solidarity, individual self-reliance, and compliance with religiously informed gender and sexual norms. This conflict is amplified by the relative invisibility of gay and transgender people who live in rural areas, and the predominately urban media representations of gay and transgender people. In several respects, the conflict is merely perceived and not real. It is at these junctures of perceived conflict that we can draw important lessons for bridging the cultural divide, thereby protecting LGBTQ people across geographic spaces.

This Article examines the sources and modern manifestations of rural LGBTQ resentment to provide foundational insights for the ongoing fight to protect all vulnerable minorities. Pro-LGBTQ legislation and judicial opinions symbolize a changing America in which rural inhabitants see their identities disappearing, devalued, and disrespected. The left, popularly represented in rural America as urban elites, characterizes anti-LGBTQ views as bigoted, and many people in small towns feel victimized by this criticism. Drawing on a robust body of social science research, this Article suggests that these feelings of victimization lead to resentment when outside forces like federal judges and state and big-city legislators tell rural Americans how to act, think and feel. Rural Americans resent “undeserving” minorities who have earned rights and recognition in contrast to the identities of and at the perceived expense of white, straight, working-class prestige. They resent that liberal, largely urban outsiders are telling them that they must change who they are to accommodate people whom they perceive as unlike them. Opposing LGBTQ rights is thus one mechanism to protect and assert rural identity. It is important to unearth and pay attention to rural anti-LGBTQ resentment in the post-Obergefell era because it is part of a larger force animating conservative politics across the United States.

The full article is available here.

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Feldthusen on Justice Beverley Mclachlin: Canadian Tort Law’s Most Influential Judge

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Bruce Feldthusen, University of Ottawa, Common Law Section, is publishing Justice Beverley Mclachlin: Canadian Tort Law’s Most Influential Judge – Who Knew? in Common Law Controversies at the McLachlin Court, Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda and Owen Rees, eds., UToronto Press, 2018) (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.

No judge has had a greater influence on modern Canadian tort law than Justice Beverley McLachlin. During her 28 years on the Supreme Court she sat on all but 13 of the 145 torts cases that came before the Court. Nine of the 13 she missed came during her first year. She was present for every torts hearing from outside Québec between 1992 and 2002, and for every torts hearing from 2002 until she retired in 2017. She was in the majority in 81.8% of the torts cases on which she sat, and gave the majority judgement in 25.7% of them. Her most important contributions were in the development of novel duties of care in negligence based on proximity, and in liability for sexual battery. This article searches for themes and patterns in these judgments, including both the triumphs and the inevitable failures. Either way, it is a remarkable story.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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Judging Politeness At the SCT

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Scholars Tonja Jacobi and Dylan Schweers have already examined the phenomenon of who interrupts whom among the Supreme Court Justices, noting that to a fairly large extent we can correlate interruptions during SCT oral arguments to sex  and seniority, for example. Now, they’ve turned their attention to courtesy, asking (to the extent one can do so) who interrupts politely? They conclude that female Justices begin their SCT careers by being more polite than their male colleagues. As time goes on, they skew closer to the male norm but it seems that they still maintain more of that female “excuse me” we know so well in their approaches when speaking. More here.

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Lens on “Tort Law’s Devaluation of Stillbirth”

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Professor Jill Wieber Lens (Arkansas) has posted to SSRN her article Tort Law’s Devaluation of Stillbirth, forthcoming in the Nevada Law Journal.  HProfessor Jill Wieber Lensere is the abstract:

In the United States, more than sixty-five babies die daily due to stillbirth—death of an unborn baby after twenty weeks of pregnancy but before birth. New medical research suggests that at least one fourth of those deaths are preventable with proper medical care. Stated differently, one fourth of stillbirths are due to medical malpractice. In almost all states, tort law provides recourse for mothers after the death of their children due to stillbirth.

This Article uses feminist legal theory and empirical research of parents after stillbirth to demonstrate that tort law devalues stillbirth. That devaluation is due to the cognitive bias associating stillbirth with women. Historically, stillbirth only appeared in women’s claims for emotional distress. Instead of recognizing her child’s death, courts treated, and some courts continue to treat, stillbirth as just as a physical manifestation of the woman’s emotional distress. Even when modern courts recognize stillbirth as the death of a child, they still devalue that injury by characterizing the child as a nameless, genderless “fetus.” Also historically, courts were resistant to claims based on relational injuries, another injury stereotypically associated with women. Even though prenatal attachment theory demonstrates a parent-child relationship is lost in stillbirth, some courts are especially reluctant to recognize the relational injury in the context of death before birth. The cognitive bias associating stillbirth with women has also stunted the development of tort recourse for fathers, as it also will for non-biological parents. Fathers, the “forgotten bereaved,” are sometimes denied a claim or given a more limited claim.

The remedy for this devaluation is a wrongful death claim for the death of a child—not just a fetus—available to both parents, including recovery for the relational injury. Tort law must also guard against possible undervaluation of the parents’ injury based on the supposed replaceability of children or the presence of other living children, and against damage caps’ mandatory undervaluation of the parents’ injury. The Article also explains how these reforms are supported by tort law theories, and explains that the wrongful death claim should be available for all stillbirths, not depending on viability. Last, the Article necessarily explains that tort law’s proper recognition of stillbirth poses no threat to the legality of abortion.

The full paper is available here.

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Murray on “Editing the Wiktionary for ‘Female'”

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Professor Yxta Maya Murray

Yxta Maya Murray (Loyola-LA) has posted to SSRN her essay Editing the Wiktionary Entry for “Female,” Berkeley J. Gender, Law & Justice.  It is one essay in a series of pieces about “legal fictions” and the intersections of law, language, art and female identity. (For some of Professor Murray’s other work, see here and here, e.g.)

Here is an excerpt from Editing the Wiktionary Entry for “Female”:

In academic year 2007-2008, 22-year-old Yale art student and radical etymologist Aliza Shvarts deconstructed the alarming Proto-Indo-European base word of “female” by self-inducing many possible pregnancies and then aborting them. Shvarts offered her project to her professors as a senior thesis, announcing that it consisted of two elements: The first component involved a series of videos showing her cramping in various Connecticut motel bathtubs as a result of ingesting unnamed abortifacients. The second feature consisted of an objet Shvarts compiled out of Saran wrap, Vaseline, and blood that she collected from her procedures.

Shvarts’s rebellion constituted an offense against international linguistics but it did not qualify as a crime under the Connecticut Penal Code: In 1971’s Abele v. Markele, federal judge Edward J. Lumbard liberated females from their jurisprudential if not etymological dilemma by striking down an 1860’s state statute that penalized self-induction with a five year prison sentence. “The Connecticut anti-abortion laws take from women the power to determine whether or not to have a child,” Lumbard proclaimed. “In 1860, when these statutes were enacted in their present form, women had few rights. Since then, however, their status in our society has changed dramatically.”

Had it? While Shvarts could not be arrested, manacled, tried, and incarcerated for putting daylight between her body and its putative *dʰeh₁-m̥n-eh₂||who sucks derivation, she was punished . . . .

The full essay is available here.

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Brooklyn Law School Hiring Announcement

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From colleagues at Brooklyn:

BROOKLYN LAW SCHOOL seeks to hire two full-time, tenure-track or tenured faculty members. We are interested in outstanding candidates in all fields, including civil procedure, constitutional law, labor law, tax law, business law and regulation, antitrust, and torts. Applicants should have a strong academic record and demonstrated commitment to scholarly activity and publication. We are interested in both entry-level and lateral candidates, and we are especially interested in candidates who will enhance the diversity of our faculty. Entry-level and lateral candidates should apply via the Faculty Appointments Register or by email to Professor Minor Myers, Chair, Faculty Appointments Subcommittee (minor.myers@brooklaw.edu). The members of our committee are William Araiza, Julian Arato, Miriam Baer, Robin Effron, Beryl Jones-Woodin, and Minor Myers (chair).

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