Author Archives: David S. Cohen

Windsor Same-Sex Marriage Aftermath: Everyone Just Sue the Bastards

Cross-posted at The Faculty Lounge. In 2004, after Massachusetts became the first state in the country to allow same-sex marriage, the ACLU distributed a memo warning people against bringing new same-sex marriage litigation.  It was titled “Don’t Just Sue the Bastards.” … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Where Are the Liberal Justices on Gay Rights?

Cross-posted on The Faculty Lounge In re-reading the marriage cases this afternoon, something struck me: where are the liberals? There are six opinions in the two cases.  Justices Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Windsor, with Chief Justice Roberts and … Continue reading

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Obama Administration Appeals Bankruptcy Ruling Finding DOMA Unconstitutional

Two weeks ago, the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.  The case involved two men who were legally married in California (in that small window of legality back in … Continue reading

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Today’s Prop 8 Decision – Increasing the Chances of Mootness Before the Supreme Court Gets the Case

Back in August, I wrote that the Prop 8 case might never get decided by the Supreme Court.  The theory was that by the time the Supreme Court could hear and decide the case, the California voters would vote to … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | Comments Off

MTV Airing Abortion Special Tonight

I’ve lamented here in the past pop culture’s lack of attention to the issue of abortion.  And MTV has been a big culprit, with not one but two shows about teen pregnancy/moms. But tonight, MTV will do a bit to … Continue reading

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Posted in Reproductive Rights, Sexism in the Media | 1 Comment

A Banner Year for Gay Rights Litigation

Although not necessarily the issues that most impact the day-to-day lives of LGBT people in this country, marriage and military service have been at the forefront of the gay rights movement in recent years. Efforts to reverse discriminatory policies in … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, LGBT Rights | Comments Off

Will the Prop 8 Case Be Moot Before It Gets to the Supreme Court?

Following last week’s decision finding that California’s Prop 8 was unconstitutional, much of the talk centered around what the Supreme Court would do when presented with the question whether a ban on same-sex marriage was constitutional. The thinking is that … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, LGBT Rights | Comments Off

Attacking Bias in Law Reviews: Jonathan Gingerich on Blind Review

With all the attention here on the paucity of female authors in the top law reviews, here’s an interesting paper from Jonathan Gingerich calling for blind review as the norm at law reviews: Abstract: A number of studies suggest that … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminists in Academia, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

Killing an Abortion Doctor Might Be Voluntary Manslaughter, Not Murder

That is, according to the Kansas judge presiding over the trial of Dr. George Tiller’s murder.   Apparently, murdering someone in cold-blood for performing a lawful medical procedure for women who seek it might be a form of “deadly force … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

It’s Never Too Early for Gender Stereotyping

Via Alternet – 4-Year-Old Boy Suspended From School for Months Because His Hair Is ‘Too Long’.   This is a public school holding a four-year old boy to a different standard than girls for hair length.   The Fourteenth Amendment … Continue reading

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How Much Do You Pay Your Research Assistant?

I know I’ve been pretty much absent here for the past several months, and unfortunately I will continue to be for another couple of months as I finish up two big projects. But in the meantime, I’d like to survey … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia | 13 Comments

Chris Matthews Takes on Abortion and the Catholic Church

Chris Matthews does a great job skewering the Rhode Island bishop who denied Patrick Kennedy communion. With apologies for linking to the videos as posted by Americans United for Life (it was the only version I could figure out to … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Religion, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

Law and Order’s Shameful Abortion Episode

I’ve never really been a Law and Order fan.   The combination of the sensationalistic (not to mention completely uncreative) “ripped from the headlines” approach as well as Sam Waterson’s sleepwalking/drunk/both acting style has kept me from watching it.   … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Reproductive Rights | 2 Comments

Permission: Powerful Short About Marriage Equity

With the vote on marriage equity coming in Maine in less than two weeks, this powerful short film perfectly captures the issue. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2nsGtd7y3c[/youtube] Vote No on 1.   And if you’re not in Maine, show this video to your friends … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 2 Comments

Rape a Pre-existing Condition to Insurance Companies?

Well, not exactly, but pretty damn close.   And in one case, maybe so. Here’s the story from the Huffington Post. Basically, women who are raped who need medical treatment of some form, for possible HIV-contraction or post-traumatic stress disorder, … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law | 2 Comments

Expanding Hyde to Cover All Insurance Plans?

One of the goals of feminists going into the health reform debate this year was to work on repealing the Hyde Amendment (the federal budget clause that prohibits Medicaid from paying for abortions in all but the most limited of … Continue reading

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Posted in Reproductive Rights | 1 Comment

The True Test of President Obama’s Commitment to Diversity on the Supreme Court

President Obama’s appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court this past summer was hailed as a landmark moment in Supreme Court history as Justice Sotomayor became the first Latina on the Court.   But looked at in a … Continue reading

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The Portia Hypothesis for South Carolina Judges

Two Clemson economists have a new paper in the American Law and Economics Review (available here on Westlaw – sorry, I can’t find a free link to it) titled:   Do Masculine Names Help Female Lawyers Become Judges?   Evidence … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and Law | Comments Off

The Republicans’ Hypocrisy (So What’s New?) About Health Privacy

The whole discussion these days about the health care bill is outrageous.   In particular, the discussion of end of life care has become a joke.   Yup, most of the Republicans now outraged about “death panels” voted for the … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

Sonia Sotomayor: Everything the Republicans Could Hope For . . . Except Her Race and Gender

The Republicans really are showing their stripes these days, aren’t they? We have a Democratic President who has a background as a progressive activist.   We have a Democratic Senate, now with 60 votes.   And yet, instead of nominating … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law | 2 Comments

Dr. George Tiller Murdered

I wish I could label this an unbelievably tragic event, but it’s all too believable, unfortunately.   Today, Dr. George Tiller was murdered while ushering at his church. If you don’t know of Dr. Tiller, he’s one of the modern … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

What the World Has Badly Needed: The Pink Ouija Board

Wonderfully described here, by the Onion.   An excerpt: In case you’re wondering, girl, about what makes this Ouija game different from other Ouija games, girl, besides the fact that the whole thing seems to have been dipped in Pepto … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture | 1 Comment

Supreme Court Rules Against Plaintiffs in AT&T v. Hulteen

We previewed this case back in December when it was argued.   It boiled down to whether employers could pay pension benefits based on discrimination against pregnant employees that occurred before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act took effect.   As predicted … Continue reading

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Momentum: Is DC Next for Same-Sex Marriage?

Well, to answer my question, not exactly, but the City Council voted yesterday 12-0 to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions (now Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and mid-2008 California).   The twist, of course, is that nothing becomes law in … Continue reading

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BREAKING NEWS: Iowa Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage OK

From KCCI.   More to come…. Summary of the decision from the Iowa court website is here.   It looks like the court rules that sexual orientation is a protected class that gets intermediate scrutiny under the state constitution.   … Continue reading

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John Yoo and Jesse Choper on Gay Marriage

I’ve long maintained the following:   as unwaveringly committed as I am to being pro-choice and anti-death penalty, I can understand the arguments on the other side.   I completely disagree with them, but I get the logic behind the … Continue reading

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“Corrective Rape” of Lesbians in South Africa

The Guardian had a chilling story yesterday about what is horribly being called “corrective rape” in South Africa.   The details are very tough to read, but the story is important to know about: The partially clothed body of Eudy … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off

Obama Administration To Rescind Bush “Conscience” Rule

From the American Constitution Society’s blog today: The Obama administration is planning to rescind an executive order allowing health care providers to deny services that offend their religious beliefs. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Obama administration will make the … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law | Comments Off

Rush Limbaugh Trying to Find Out Why Women Don’t Like Him

This just in from the feminist humor department: Rush Limbaugh is concerned that there’s a gender gap in his audience and is holding a “summit” to figure it out. The whole story is here. Hmmm…. what a difficult inquiry. Put … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Politics | 2 Comments

Beth A. Burkstrand-Reid, “The Invisible Woman: Availability and Culpability in Reproductive Health Jurisprudence”

Abstract: Women’s health is widely assumed to be a central consideration in reproductive rights cases. I examine court decisions relating to contraception, abortion and childbirth and demonstrate that while this assumption has historical validity, consideration of women’s reproductive health as … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia | Comments Off

Update on Justice Ginsburg

Great news from the Supreme Court’s public information office (via SCOTUSblog): The pancreatic cancer for which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery on February 5 has been determined as TNM Stage 1 by doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law | 1 Comment

Advising Students Who Want to Practice Feminist Law

Of the professors on the blogroll here, I’m still one of the newer ones.   So I’m looking to those who have been doing this for a longer time for some advice.   A regular part of our job is … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Law Teaching, Legal Profession | 2 Comments

Senate Passes Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Yesterday, the Senate passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.   As has been written about many times on this blog, the bill would overturn the Supreme Court’s decision from 2007 that severely restricted equal pay claims by imposing an … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Happy Roe Anniversary Day!

36 years ago today, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.   Whatever you think of the decision itself (and there are plenty of feminists who criticize the decision from a feminist perspective), the effect of it has been to … Continue reading

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Posted in Reproductive Rights | 1 Comment

Title IX Victory at the Supreme Court

Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court unanimously decided, in Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee, that a plaintiff bringing a Title IX claim is not precluded from also bringing a constitutional claim against the school.   I am thrilled that I … Continue reading

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House Passes Lilly Ledbetter Act (and More!)

Yesterday, the House passed the two bills — one that overturns the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear and the other that expands opportunities to sue under the Equal Pay Act.   More analysis later in the weekend … Continue reading

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The Rick Warren Controversy

Looking for some good reading on the Rick Warren inauguration controversy?   Here are some various takes from the opposing sides.   First, the pro-Obama/Warren side: Melissa Etheridge writes on the Huffington Post that those who are angry at Obama … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics, LGBT Rights | Comments Off

AT&T v. Hulteen Argument Preview

The ACSBlog has a good review of the pregnancy discrimination case that the Supreme Court will hear later this morning.   As laid out in the summary, the issue is too similar to Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. … Continue reading

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Title IX Oral Argument Yesterday

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Community.   I wrote about the case Monday, mentioning that I was going to DC for the arguments.   Unfortunately, because of the quality of the lawyering, the … Continue reading

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Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee.   The issue in the case is whether Title IX precludes a litigant from suing under the Equal Protection Clause as well.   Despite the fact … Continue reading

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Early Election Returns

As Obama is now slated to become the next President of the United States, it appears that voters in South Dakota and Colorado have voted down the anti-choice ballot measures that were up in their states.   Now we just … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Samantha Bee on John McCain, Abortion, and Women’s Health

When I get back from paternity leave next week, I’ll start posting more substantive items again, but in the meantime, here’s a great clip from the Daily Show earlier this week.   In it (starting at about 2:50 – although … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Catharine MacKinnon’s Endorsement of Obama

Professor Catharine MacKinnon’s editorial endorsing Barack Obama appears in today’s Wall Street Journal (of all places!).   It is titled “Obama is the Way Forward for Women: Abortion Rights and Equal Pay Are at Stake in the Election” and focuses … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Women for McCain

Comedian Katie Halper has made a compelling spoof video entitled “Women for McCain.”   It’s worth watching and sending to anyone you know who cares about women’s rights but also might be thinking about voting for McCain: Women for McCain … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Imagine the Reverse

I’m not the first to utter this thought, but it’s worth putting out there on this blog as well: imagine if, instead of Bristol Palin being the pregnant teenager related to someone running for office this year, it was one … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Have We Won the Rhetorical Issue on Choice?

Sarah and Todd Palin’s announcement of their daughter’s pregnancy included this statement:   “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” And when John McCain was asked during the 2000 primary what his … Continue reading

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Posted in Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

The Gendered Reaction to Palin

Early polling data shows that the gendered reaction to John McCain choosing Sarah Palin is exactly the opposite of what pundits and presumably John McCain thought it would be.   The wonderful FiveThirtyEight website has the information here.   Basically, … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

John McCain: Pro-Life Zealot

That’s the tagline of this New Republic article analyzing McCain’s stance on abortion and reproductive rights issues. The point of the article is that McCain, in furtherance of his deceptive “maverick” title, likes to obscure just how conservative he is … Continue reading

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Posted in Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

Imagining Left/Progressive Judicial Appointments

I recently read both Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Nine” and Jan Crawford Greenburg’s “Supreme Conflict.” Both cover the Supreme Court from the 1980s forward. Toobin’s focuses a bit more on the cases and the law; Greenburg a bit more on the … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law | Comments Off

HHS: Contraception Is Abortion

The George Bush not-dead-yet-Presidency lives on! And it’s trying to redefine abortion for all federal grant recipients to include contraception. Read about the story here from RH Reality Check and commentary here from feministing. – David S. Cohen

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Posted in Reproductive Rights | Comments Off