Law Student Scholarship: M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship

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From the FLP mailbox:

The M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship Fund was named in memory of the late M. Katherine Baird Darmer, an activist, law professor, and champion of change for the LGBT community in Orange County and beyond. The Fund, which is sponsored by the Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) and the Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), will award one or more scholarships each year to academically qualified law students who have demonstrated commitment to advancing equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Orange County. Determinations regarding the amount and number of awards are at the sole discretion of the scholarship committee jointly appointed by OCLBA and OCEC and the Liberty Hill Foundation.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

To be considered for the Darmer Equality Scholarship, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a current or incoming law student.
  • Demonstrate commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community in Orange County.
  •  Make every effort to be available for a personal interview should one be required.

More information and applications are available here.  Deadline is 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2016.

H/T Francine Lipman

-Bridget Crawford

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Egg Freezing in Three Easy Steps?

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The folks at motherboard.com report here on a London pop-up shop called “Timeless.” It looks like a beauty-product store but is designed to inspire conversations about female fertility and egg freezing. Here’s how the article describes the shop:

The Timeless displays are simple but arresting. One wall is devoted to a graph representing women’s decreasing fertility with age, rendered in numbered cosmetics bottled filled to different levels. The difference between age 20 and 30 is stark.

Here is the display that has inspired strong reactions both pro and con:

Image source: here

One of the most interesting details from the article is that the project is supported by Wellcome Trust and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Anne Phillips, a professor of political science at LSE, appears in a film associated with the project. I suspect we’ll be reading a few academic papers associated with this project fairly soon.

H/T Kara Swanson.

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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society: Special Feminist Legal Theory Issue

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A new issue of the interdisciplinary journal Studies in Law, Politics, & Society is devoted to feminist legal theory.

Here’s an excerpt from the Intro:

Half a century after the beginning of the second wave, feminist legal theorists are still writing about many of the subjects they addressed early on: money, sex, reproduction, and jobs. What has changed is the way that they talk about these subjects. Specifically, these theorists now posit a more complex and nuanced conception of power. Recent scholarship recognizes the complexities of power in contemporary society, the ways in which these complexities entrench sex inequality, and the role that law can play in reducing inequality and increasing agency. The feminist legal theorists in this volume are emblematic of this effort. They carefully examine the relationship between gender, equality, and power across an array of realms: sex, reproduction, pleasure, work, money. In doing so they identify social, political, economic, developmental, and psychological and somatic forces, operating both internally and externally, that complicate the expression and constraint of power. Finally, they give sophisticated thought to the possibilities for legal interventions in light of these more complex notions of power.

The articles are:

Introduction — Maxine Eichner & Clare Huntington

Going Wild: Law and Literature and Sex — Susan Frelich Appleton & Susan Ekberg Stiritz

Women’s Sexual Agency and the Law of Rape in the 21st Century — Katharine K. Baker & Michelle Oberman

Care and Danger: Feminism and Therapy Culture — Angela P. Harris

Market-Cautious Feminism — Maxine Eichner

Unequal Terms: Gender, Power, and the Recreation of Hierarchy –June Carbone & Naomi Cahn

Schrödinger’s Child: Non- Identity and Probabilities in Reproductive Decision-Making — Jennifer S. Hendricks

The journal’s (short-sighted, IMHO) policy prohibits the posting of the articles on SSRN, but all are available for download here.

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MacLean, Verrelli, and Chambers on the Battered Woman Defense and the Canadian Supreme Court’s Ruling in R. v. Ryan

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Jason MacLean, Lakehead University Faculty of Law, Nadia Verrelli, Laurentian University, and Lori Chambers, Lakehead University, are publishing Battered Women Under Duress: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Abandonment of Context and Purpose in R. v. Ryan in volume 28 of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (2016). Here is the abstract.

The case of R. v. Ryan presented the Supreme Court of Canada with a novel question: may a wife, whose life is threatened by her abusive husband, rely on the defence of duress when she tries to have him murdered? In this article we argue that by answering this novel question in the negative, the Court missed an opportunity to clarify the nature and scope of the defence of duress in the context of battered and abused women in a principled manner and thereby enhance access to justice and equal benefit of the law. Instead, the Court retreated into a purely formalist doctrinal defence of the boundary separating duress and self-defence. In doing so, the Court not only failed in its responsibility to make the law less unsettled and piecemeal, more coherent and more just, but it also set back the judicial treatment of battered woman’s syndrome by more than a quarter century, harking back to the period prior to the Court’s groundbreaking decision in R. v. Lavallee.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions – Potential Cases

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bumping to the front; February 29 deadline

Cases that applicants to Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions may wish to consider (not an exhaustive list; all tax-related cases are appropriate for rewriting):

U.S. v. Rickert, 188 U.S. 432 (1903) (tribal trust lands and improvements are exempt from state and local taxes)

Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189 (1920) (stock dividend not taxable income)

Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 311 (1930) (income splitting)

Poe v. Seaborn, 282 U.S. 101 (1930) (elective community property regime does not entitle married couple to split income)

Smith v. Commissioner, 40 B.T.A. 1038 (1939) (deductibility of child care costs)

Commissioner v. Harmon, 323 U.S. 44 (1944) (in case of an elective community property regime, no income splitting allowed)

Commissioner v. Wemyss, 324 U.S. 303 (1945) (transfer of stock as inducement to marriage not supported by full and adequate consideration)

Farid-es-Sultaneh v. Commissioner, 160 F.2d 812 (2d Cir. 1947) (transfer of certain marital rights for consideration)

U.S. v Davis, 370 U.S. 65 (1962) (transfer by husband to wife pursuant to property settlement agreement was taxable event triggering recognition of gain)

U.S. v. Gotcher, 401 F.2d 118 (5th Cir. 1968) (wife’s expenses on trip paid for by husband’s employer are taxable income and not deductible)

Moritz v. Commissioner, 469 F.2d 466 (10th Cir. 1972) (gender-based classification for eligibility for certain dependency deduction constitutes denial of equal protection)

Boyter v. Commissioner, 668 F.2d 1382 (4th Cir. 1981) (sham divorces should be disregarded for tax purposes)

U.S. v. Rogers, 461 U.S. 677 (1983) (1983) (federal district court may order sale of property to satisfy tax indebtedness of husband where wife has homestead interest in same property)

Nicholas v. Commissioner, 62 T.C.M. 467 (1991), T.C. Memo. 1991-393 (no spousal exemption allowed where relationship is in violation of local law)

U.S. v. Burke, 504 U.S. 229 (1992) (backpay awards in settlement of Title VII claim are included in gross income)

Westphal v. Commissioner, 68 T.C.M. (CCH) 1038 (1994) (Tax Court rejects Commissioner’s disallowance of a business deduction where female attorney had taken time off from her law practice to care for an ailing relative and suffered downturn in revenue)

Estate of Clack v. Commissioner, 106 T.C. 131 (1996) (eligibility for QTIP treatment)

Klassen v. Commissioner, 76 T.C.M. (RIA) 98241 (1998), aff’d 182 F.3d 932 (1999) (AMT limitation on dependency exemptions)

Cheshire v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 183 (2000), aff’d, 282 F.3d 326 (5th Cir. 2002) (innocent spouse relief)

U.S. v. Craft, 535 U.S. 274 (2002) (tax lien attaches to husband’s interest in property owned as tenants by the entirety with his wife)

Magdalin v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2008-293 (deduction for certain infertility treatment)

O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. 34 (2010) (deduction for gender reassignment surgery)

Windsor v. United States, 570 U.S. (2013) (estate tax exemption for same-sex couples)

Perez v. Commissioner, 144 T.C. 51 (2015) (sale of human egg gives rise to taxable income)

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Robson on “The Legacy of Antonin Scalia: Don’t Mourn, Organize”

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Feminist Law Prof Ruthann Robson (CUNY) has published “The Legacy of Antonin Scalia: Don’t Mourn, Organize” over at the Women’s Review of Books.  Here is an excerpt:

With the unanticipated death of Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, the United States Supreme Court has become a more hospitable forum for feminist causes. While Justice Scalia was not alone in his hostility to feminism—remaining Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are equally unsympathetic—Scalia proved himself particularly rancorous during his three decades on the high court bench. In opinion after opinion, Scalia expressed views inconsistent with women’s equality: he believed that an historically all-male military academy should be able to continue to exclude women; that the constitution did not protect a woman’s right to abortion or her right to be free from domestic violence; and that the constitution should not prohibit attorneys from excusing potential jurors based on their gender. He was an ardent foe of sexual minority rights, contending that the constitution did not protect against the criminalization of same-sex intimacies or the prohibition of same-sex marriages. He believed a state should be able to prevent local laws that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation. He did credit theconstitution as having rights for some: if you claimed to be “disadvantaged” by an affirmative action program; or if you wanted to purchase, own, or use firearms; or if you challenged environmental regulations on your beach front property, then Scalia’s constitution proved most accommodating.

Read the rest of the post here.

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CFP: U.S. Feminist Judgments Project: Rewriting the Law, Writing the Future

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THE U.S. FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT:

REWRITING THE LAW, WRITING THE FUTURE

Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline April 15, 2016

We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented during the U. S. Feminist Judgments Project conference October 20-21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law in Akron, Ohio. We are also seeking proposals for “snapshot” presentations to be included in the final plenary of the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law.

This conference will celebrate the 2016 publication of U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. That volume brought together more than fifty feminist legal scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, significant Supreme Court cases from the 1800s to the present day. (For more information, see the project website here.) Illustrating the value of this method of practical scholarship, the volume demonstrates that different processes and different outcomes would have been possible had decision makers applied feminist theory and methods in critical Supreme Court cases despite the restrictions of stare decisis.

The conference is designed to provide the appropriate setting and the essential participants for a structured conversation that explores and assesses the effects of feminist methods and theories on real-world judicial decision making. We expect the conference will identify common core principles and propose directions for future scholarship.

To this end, we seek proposals for papers that incorporate feminist theory and methods or report on research that furthers feminist thought. The organizers view feminism and feminist theory broadly as covering issues of inequality related to gender and gender norms, but also intersectional dynamics related to race, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic class, and disability.

Potential topics cover a broad range, including women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We welcome with enthusiasm proposals from faculty in disciplines other than law, and we would especially appreciate proposals from new voices in feminism and feminist theory.

Our hope is to build on the insights of the U.S. Feminist Judgments book and to explore new avenues of inquiry for feminist legal scholarship. We hope to provide a supportive atmosphere to foster scholarship and networking among teachers, scholars, and others who are interested in gender equality and the law.

The conference will include plenary sessions related specifically to the U.S. Feminist Judgments book as well as sessions that will be more general in focus, concurrent sessions drawn from this Call for Papers, and a closing panel also drawn from this Call for Papers. The closing panel will be a brainstorming session to consider future directions for scholarly and practical projects that relate to gender equality, the judiciary, future Feminist Judgments projects, or all of the foregoing.

Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals

The concurrent sessions will feature presentations on any topic related to gender equality issues, with preference given to presentations related to the topics of women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We will organize the presentations into panels based on the subject matter of the proposals.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed paper (no more than 1000 words) and a resume. Please let us know in the proposal which of the above categories or what other, non-listed category best fits your proposal. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Paper Proposals” and e-mail these materials to Maria Campos (maria.campos@unlv.edu) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals

The final plenary session of the conference will feature snapshots, or very brief presentations, of ideas for future projects that will advance gender equality in the law. Each selected participant will be limited to five minutes to present her or his idea or project. The presentations will be followed by audience feedback and comments. We welcome proposals for this brainstorming session on any topic related to gender equality.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed presentation (no more than 300 words) and a resume. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Snapshot Proposals” and email these materials to Maria Campos (maria.campos@unlv.edu) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Eligibility

Anyone interested in issues of law and gender equality is eligible to submit a proposal, including full-time faculty members, fellows, visitors, and adjuncts who teach in undergraduate or graduate schools; judges; practitioners; government officials; and business, community, and non-profit leaders. The conference is free and open to the public.

There is no publication commitment associated with the conference. Presentation abstracts will be made available on the website of the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron, and by mutual agreement of interested authors and journal editors, remarks may be published in a special symposium issue of ConLawNOW, the online companion journal run by the Center for Constitutional Law.

There is no registration fee for the conference but proposers and panelists must pay all of their own expenses associated with conference attendance. There will be a conference-negotiated rate at a local hotel. The University of Akron is located approximately 15 minutes from the Akron-Canton Airport and approximately 40 miles southeast of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Please direct questions regarding this Call for Papers and Presentations to Kathy Stanchi (kstanchi@temple.edu), Linda Berger (linda.berger@unlv.edu), and Bridget Crawford (bcrawford@law.pace.edu).

 

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Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Seeks New Director

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We’re hiring a new director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project – an incredible opportunity to work at Columbia Law School shaping our work on religious exemptions and sexual liberty and equality. Please share the job description with your networks and send us great folks!  This is such a great job!!!

Job description and applications accepted here

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Call for Contributions – Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions

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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 Tax Opinions. This edited volume, 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, will be published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. (That book’s Introduction and Table of Contents are available here.) Subsequent volumes in the series will focus on different courts or different subject matters. This call is for contributions to a volume of tax decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective.

Tax volume editors Bridget Crawford and Anthony Infanti seek prospective authors for 8 to 10 rewritten tax-related opinions covering a range of topics. Authors are welcome to suggest cases of their own choosing or to consult the editors or others for ideas. All tax-related cases are appropriate for rewriting. Possible cases from U.S. courts are listed here, but that is not an exhaustive list. Cases may come from any jurisdiction and any court, including non-U.S. jurisdictions. The volume editors conceive of feminism as a broad movement concerned with justice and equality, and welcome proposals to rewrite cases in a way that bring into focus issues such as gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, and immigration status.

As the core of the Feminist Judgments Project is judicial opinions, proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case (not administrative guidance, regulations, etc.) or (2) comment on a rewritten case. Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences, as appropriate to the court. Feminist judgment writers will be bound by law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision (with a 10,000 word maximum for the rewritten judgment). Commentators will explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference the feminist judgment might have made (4,000 word maximum for the commentary). Commentators and opinions writers who wish to work together are welcome to indicate that in the application.

In suggesting possible cases for rewriting, the volume editors have had the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Alice Abreu (Temple), Patricia Cain (Santa Clara), Joseph Dodge (Florida State), Mary Louise Fellows (Minnesota), Wendy Gerzog (Baltimore), Steve Johnson (Florida State), Marjorie Kornhauser (Tulane), Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation, Northwestern), Beverly Moran (Vanderbilt), Richard Schmalbeck (Duke), Nancy Shurtz (Oregon), Nancy Staudt (Washington University), and Lawrence Zelenak (Duke).

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project approaches revised judicial opinion writing as a form of critical socio-legal scholarship. There are several world-wide projects engaged in similar efforts, including the U.K.-based Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (2010); Australian Feminist Judgments: Righting and Rewriting Law (2014); the Women’s Court of Canada; ongoing projects in Ireland, New Zealand, and a pan-European project; and other U.S.-based projects currently under way.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten tax cases should fill out an application here.

Applications are due by February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Editors expect to notify accepted authors and commentators by April 15, 2016. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on August 15, 2016. First drafts of commentary will be due on September 15, 2016.

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Tait on “The Return of Coverture”

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Allison Anna Tait (Richmond) has posted to SSRN her essay, The Return of Coverture, 114 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions (2016).  Here is the abstract:

Once, the notion that husbands and wives were equal partners in marriage seemed outlandish and unnatural. Today, the marriage narrative has been reversed and the prevailing attitude is that marriage has become an increasingly equitable institution. This is the story that Justice Kennedy told in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which he described marriage as an evolving institution that has adapted in response to social change such that discriminatory marriage rules no longer apply. Coverture exemplifies this change: marriage used to be deeply shaped by coverture rules and now it is not. While celebrating the demise of coverture, however, the substantive image of marriage that Justice Kennedy set forth subconsciously uses conventional, historical tropes that construct marriage as a relationship of hierarchy, gender differentiation, and female disempowerment. In this Essay, I describe the ways in which Justice Kennedy used coverture as a positive example of marriage transformation while simultaneously invoking coverture ideals to inform his portrayal of marriage as a fundamental building block of government, the keystone of civil society, and a transcendental, lifelong commitment.

The full essay is available here.

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Strategic Deployment of a Black Female Attorney in the Bill Cosby Case

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Dr. Lolita Buckner Inniss

In this piece on NPR, Feminist Law Prof Lolita Buckner Inniss (Cleveland-Marshall) comments on Bill Cosby’s decision to hire Monique Pressley as his attorney:

The decision to hire her is also strategic, says Buckner Inniss.

“Her gender and her race matter, because Bill Cosby is being charged with sexual assault of several women. A large number of those women are white women. I think there’s a certain extent to which the idea of racial solidarity plays in here,” says Buckner Inniss. “The idea that if an intelligent, well-spoken black woman stands with Bill Cosby on this, then perhaps some of those people who accuse Bill Cosby are lying.”

Monique Pressley, Esq.

Read the full story, “Lawyer Faces National Scrutiny While Defending Bill Cosby,” or listen to it here.

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Teaching Evaluations as Windows Into Gender Bias

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From Inside Higher Ed:

There’s mounting evidence suggesting that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable. But are these evaluations, commonly referred to as SET, so bad that they’re actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness? A new paper argues that’s the case, and that evaluations are biased against female instructors in particular in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible.

Read the full news article here.

Read the underlying research paper here.

H/T MCH

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Women and Law Conference: Diversity in Higher Education

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Pursuing Excellence: Diversity In Higher Education
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

This conference brings together leading academics, educators, institutional leaders, and policy makers to examine how diversity in institutions of higher education affects and is inspired by students, faculty, and leaders. The conference will highlight a number of critically important topics including facilitating educational access for undocumented students, challenges to developing and nurturing a diverse educational environment, the importance of training students in professional programs (including medicine and law) to serve diverse populations, and attacks on affirmative action ranging from Prop 209 to the current U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas.

BRYANT GARTH
RUTH BADER GINSBURG LECTURER
Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, former Dean Southwestern Law School, former Dean Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law

February 5, 2016, 9:00am – 5:00pm
ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

TONI ATKINS
Speaker of the California Assembly

SUSAN BISOM-RAPP
Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

MARISOL CLARK-IBÁÑEZ
Professor of Sociology
Cal State University San Marcos

YOULONDA COPELAND-MORGAN
Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management
UCLA

MEERA E. DEO
Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

ADRIAN GONZALES
Interim Superintendent/President
and Vice President of Student Services
Palomar Community College

VALLERA JOHNSON
Administrative Law Judge

CATHERINE LUCEY
Professor and Vice Dean for Education
UCSF School of Medicine

MARY ANN MASON
Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center
on Health, Economic, and Family Security
UC Berkeley

LINDA TRINH VO
Professor of Asian American Studies
UC Irvine

SHIRLEY WEBER
California Assemblywoman, Chair of Assembly Committees on Higher Education and Campus Climate, Former President San Diego Unified School District

SUSAN WESTERBERG PRAGER
Dean, Southwestern Law School
Former Dean, UCLA School of Law
Former Executive Director and CEO of AALS

 

For additional information and registration visit TJSL.EDU/CONFERENCES/WLC/2016

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“How I Learned to Stop Writing for Old White Men”

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That’s the title of this op-ed by Claire Vaye Watkins that appeared in the LA Times last month.  Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve watched boys play drums, guitar, sing, watched them play football, baseball, soccer, pool, “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic: The Gathering.” I’ve watched them golf. I’ve watched boys work on their trucks and work on their master’s theses. I’ve watched boys build things: half-pipes, bookshelves, screenplays, careers. I’ve watched boys skateboard, snowboard, act, bike, box, paint, fight and drink. I could probably write a six-volume memoir based solely on the years I spent watching boys play “Resident Evil” and “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” I watched boys in my leisure time, I watched boys in my love life and I watched boys in my education. * * *

Which is to say I have been reenacting in my art-making the ceaseless pastime of my girlhood: watching boys, emulating them, trying to catch the attention of the ones who have no idea I exist. This is a dispiriting revelation on its face, but becomes desperate because I thought I was doing this for myself. I was under the impression that art-making was apart from all the rottenness of our culture, when in fact it’s not apart from it. It is made of it. * * *

Motherhood has softened me. I don’t want to write like a man anymore. I don’t want to be praised for being “unflinching.” I want to flinch. I want to be wide open.

I am trying to write something urgent, trying to be vulnerable and honest, trying to listen, trying to identify and articulate my innermost feelings, trying to make you feel them too, trying a kind of telepathy. All of this is really hard in the first place and, in a culture where women are subject to infantilization and gaslighting, in a culture that says your telepathic heart is dumb and delicate and boring and frippery and for girls, I sometimes wonder if it’s even possible.

H/T Professor Lisa Pruitt (UC Davis) on Twitter, here.

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Winner of AALS Scholarly Papers Competition Announced

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From the AALS, here:

2016 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition for law school faculty members who have been teaching for five years or less. The competition’s selection committee chose Jill M. Fraley, associate professor at Washington and Lee School of Law for her paper “An Unwritten History of Waste Law.” Established in 1985, this marks the 30th edition of the award.

Congratulations, Professor Fraley!

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Survey on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, & Policing

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National Survey Finds That Police Hostility and Bias Remain Problems for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

By Sandra Park, Donna Coker, and Julie Goldscheid

reposted from Move to End Violence http://www.movetoendviolence.org/blog/national-survey-finds-that-police-hostility-and-bias-remain-problems-for-survivors-of-sexual-and-domestic-violence/

The shooting deaths by police of unarmed African-American men and the violent treatment of Sandra Bland have focused national attention and outrage on the problem of police racial bias and brutality. A new national survey finds that the same kind of police bias often affects police responses to sexual assault and domestic violence.

Over 900 advocates, service providers, and attorneys who work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence responded to a national survey regarding policing and domestic and sexual violence.  Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing describes what they shared with us.

Advocates identified police inaction, hostility, and bias against survivors as a key barrier to seeking criminal justice intervention.  Eighty-eight percent (88%) said that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence. Over 80% of respondents believed that police relations with marginalized communities influenced survivors’ willingness to call the police.  Respondents told us that many police are biased against women of color, immigrant women, and poor women. They are biased against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender survivors. They are biased against young survivors of sexual assault, believing that rape is really just “regret sex.” They are biased against sex workers and those who suffer drug addiction.

Victims are also concerned that police involvement will trigger negative collateral consequences. Nearly 90% of survey respondents said that contact with the police sometimes or often resulted in the involvement of child protective services, threatening survivors with loss of custody of their children. Sixty-one percent said that contact with the police sometimes or often results in charges that could lead to deportation, and 70% said police involvement sometimes or often results in the survivor losing housing, employment or welfare benefits. Some reported that victims themselves face arrest when reaching out to the police, particularly if they have a criminal record.

Advocates also said that many survivors’ goals do not align with those of the criminal justice system or how it operates. Some survivors were looking for options other than punishment for the abuser, while others feared that once they were involved with the criminal justice system, they would lose control over the process. Still others were reluctant to engage the system because they believed that it was complicated, lengthy, and would create more trauma.

It wasn’t all bad news. Respondents identified projects that they believe improve police response in their communities. Most advocates (70%) reported that community meetings between social service providers, police, and prosecutors were sometimes or very helpful. Respondents urged more collaboration of this kind between advocacy programs and the police. They also said that police needed better training, including anti-bias training, and departments should hire more women and people of color. They urged changes in police culture, policy and practice, such as prioritizing domestic violence and sexual assault cases and ending victim-blaming. And, not surprisingly, they urged more police accountability for misconduct in sexual assault and domestic violence cases.

While respondents described collaborative efforts between police and advocates as a key means of creating more accountability, they were largely unaware of independent   mechanisms of monitoring the police. For example, 72% did not know whether civilian complaint boards or other types of independent, community-based police oversight mechanisms exist in their communities. A similarly large majority (61%) were unaware of the Department of Justice’s ability to investigate gender-biased policing – a process that has successfully instigated reforms in many police departments.

What does all this boil down to? First, we must support efforts to institute more robust accountability for law enforcement misconduct in domestic and sexual violence cases, including guidance to law enforcement from the Department of Justice on how gender biased policing violates survivors’ civil rights. This is sparking change in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and Missoula, Montana where the DOJ investigated claims of gender bias, resulting in the adoption of new policies and the appointment of an expert monitor to oversee police reforms. In Puerto Rico and elsewhere, women’s rights, anti-violence organizations, and police reform groups, such as the ACLU, are working together to change the police response.

Police bias in these cases is surely anti-woman, but it is largely anti-certain women:  women of color, immigrant women, lesbian and transgender women, poor women, sex workers. Solutions to police bias must focus on these intersecting biases. The racially biased police violence that has shocked the country and sparked renewed activism also infects police response to domestic and sexual assault cases. Training, accountability mechanisms, and research must take this intersectional approach. Responses must also recognize the problem of violence perpetrated by police – violence on the street and violence against intimate partners.

Second – and this may seem contradictory – we should concentrate less of our resources on policing. Why? Because we need to put more attention on changing policies that make people more vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence and changing police conduct won’t fix those problems. This will remain true as long as survivors risk deportation if police are involved; as long as survivors risk losing custody of their children; and as long as housing, welfare, and job training programs provide meager benefits completely inadequate to the need. And we should add mass incarceration to that policy list. We need to better understand the ways in which concentrated incarceration in low income communities of color may make women more vulnerable to domestic violence and makes contacting the police all the more dangerous.

Third, many survivors do not want a punitive criminal justice response to their partners’ violence. We must investigate programs that provide an alternative to criminal prosecution, including restorative justice programs and community-based transformative justice responses, as well as other approaches.

Our hope is that this report, and the insights from hundreds of advocates who work with survivors daily, will support the ongoing debates and re-thinking of the role of the criminal justice system within efforts to end gender-based violence.

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence, Jan. 6, 2016

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop

on Feminist Jurisprudence

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Skadden Conference Center, Fordham Law School


Sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS-LWRR), and Fordham Law School.

Registration is open at Joint Workshop Registration. There is no charge to attend. Please register (even if you are a panelist) by December 1, 2015, to help us plan the workshop. The full Joint Workshop Program is here.

The conference organizers thank the generous hosts at Fordham Law School and ​to ​the planning committee: Bob ​Brain​, ​Robin Boyle, ​Kim Chanbonpin, Mel Weresh, Nantiya Ruan, Shailini George, Emily Grant, Kathy Stanchi, ​Jessica Clark, Mary-Beth Moylan, Teri McMurtry-Chubb, Jennifer Romig, Linda Berger.​
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Why I Love(d) Barbie, Summarized in this Ad

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Feminists have made trenchant critiques of the Barbie doll.  I appreciate those critiques on an intellectual level, but the critiques never resonated on an emotional level, precisely because Barbie was an imagination gateway for me (mine read Ms. Magazine and lived alone in her townhouse). This ad resonated with me (it’s a little long, but completely worth watching):

This Barbie ad reminds me of Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards’ discussion in Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future (2000).  They wrote:

Barbie stands as a symbol of the lack of understanding between the leaders of the girls’ movement and the girls themselves….The traditional feminist distaste for Barbie has also kept many young women closeted about their dolly-loving past….[T]he lessening of Barbiphobia finally acknowledges that most girls don’t want to be Barbie; they want to use Barbie to explore what they can be.

Mattel is tapping into this understanding of Barbie with its new ad.  I like that take on Barbie much better than the “Math is hard” Barbie.

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Southern University Law Center Seeks New Law Chancellor

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The Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is searching for a new law chancellor (what the school calls the dean).  The announcement is here.

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What Adults Don’t Understand About Teen Sexting

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The local public radio station in New York City, WNYC, ran this interesting story about the teen sexting scandal in Colorado: Schools, Cops Take Notice as Teen Sexting Becomes New Norm:

There are many thought-provoking ideas presented in the story.  Familiar to lawyers will be the notion that child pornography laws were developed in an era prior to the advent of smart phones, and thus, the laws do not always apply easily to situations involving teens who share nude photos of each other.  The radio story mentions the seemingly illogical conclusion that a teen who takes and sends a nude picture to a fellow teen (assuming no coercion or bullying) is both simultaneously the perpetrator and the victim under child pornography laws.  The story also suggests — although more subtly — the possibility that adults simply don’t understand the role that sexting (including the sharing of nude photos) plays in the lives of teenagers.  That is, some teenagers use this form of communication to build and express intimacy, and that teens don’t have the same sense of shame (or protectiveness) about their bodies as adults have about teen bodies.

This isn’t a topic I’ve thought much about, and I definitely need to reflect more.  At this point, I’m just passing on the story as one that I thought worthy of a wide audience.

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Are You a Lawyer Who Has Had an Abortion? Your Story Needed

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From the FLP mailbox, this request from the Center for Reproductive Rights:

As you may know, the Center for Reproductive Rights has two cases that are being conferenced by SCOTUS this month involving challenges to restrictive abortion laws in Texas and Mississippi. We are hoping that lawyers who have had abortions will be willing to speak out (or lend their names) about the importance of the Court protecting constitutional rights meaningfully; and how their abortions enabled them to fully participate in the “economic and social life of the Nation” as discussed in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Erica Smock, Director of Judicial Strategy at esmock@reprorights.org

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Lisa Pruitt’s Impact on Major Genocide Conviction

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The work of Lisa Pruitt (UC Davis) is the subject of this story in the Sacramento Bee about the importance of Professor Pruitt’s work to securing a genocide convinction against Rwandan mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu:

Pruitt moved to London in her 20s to pursue a doctorate in feminist legal theory. Enamored with Europe, she later took a job with the United Nations in The Hague, Netherlands. Though the job was unrelated to human-rights law, “I was hanging in the same social circles as the people who worked for the international tribunals,” she said.

The Hague pipeline led Pruitt, who also had been a rape crisis counselor, to take a position as gender consultant with the International Tribunal. * * *

When Pruitt began her two-month post in Rwanda, “the broad task was to see what could be done to improve the investigation of sexual assault,” she said. “But also specifically to look at the Akayesu case, and the evidence that had already been collected, to see if there was a way to amend that indictment.”

Once on the ground, Pruitt encountered resistance from fellow U.N. staff members. “Mostly I heard the ‘boys-will-be-boys’ mentality – a real resistance to seeing the widespread (sexual assaults) as part and parcel of the genocide,” Pruitt said. “It is sort of summed up by ‘We had a genocide down here; we can’t be concerned about some women who got raped.’ ”

It was an attitude too reminiscent of one that has pervaded accounts of war for time immemorial, that “women are the spoils of war,” Pruitt said. But that had started to change after World War II, Pruitt said, and its postwar tribunals – the last before the U.N. set up tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda in the 1990s.

U.N. staff members could be clumsy and ineffective in interviewing abuse survivors, Pruitt said, and sometimes dismissed accounts too quickly, deeming one woman who had lost her train of thought during an interview “unreliable.”

“I argued that we needed to understand the fact that these women had just survived a genocide,” Pruitt said with a rueful grin. “I thought they were being a bit too critical.”

But Pruitt still was able to collect sufficient material to support what she believed was a solid argument, in her memo, for amending the Akayesu indictment. But when she returned to the Hague, “it became very clear the political will was not there, either,” she said. “I could only conclude that my having been sent there was a ruse, so they could say, ‘We had a gender consultant, but we still decided not to amend the indictment.’ ” * * *

Not until [filmmaker Michele] Mitchell called in 2013, to inform her how – as Mitchell put in it a recent interview – the memo “kind of won the case” against Akayesu. [A new documentary film] “The Uncondemned” follows the case from start to finish.

Read the full story here.

 

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Craig & Woolley on Rape & Consent In Canadian Law

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Elaine Craig, Assistant Professor of Law at Dalhousie University, and Alice Woolley, Professor of Law, University of Calgary, have contributed this important piece to the Globe and Mail. They analyze a recent Alberta Court of Appeal holding that rejects the stereotype that a woman who does not resist her rapist sufficiently actually wants to have sex with him. In effect, she consents. Professors Craig and Woolley note that the Canadian appellate court thus upholds existing Canadian jurisprudence. They write that the trial judge stated that “the woman had failed to explain ‘why she allowed the sex to happen if she didn’t want it.'” The accused weighed more than 100 pounds than did the complaining witness. They also reveal that the trial judge referred to the complaining witness as “the accused” in his ruling.

In its opinion the appellate court wrote that the lower court ruling “gave rise to doubts” about the trial court judge’s understanding of the law in this area and raised concerns that he “misapprehended the evidence.”

This sort of writing makes legal principles and the workings of the law accessible to the public efficiently and effectively. Excellent article.

The case is R. v. Wager,  2015 ABCA 327.

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Aloni on Ending Tax Breaks for Marriage

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Erez Aloni (Whittier) has published an op-ed in the (UK) Guardian, Married People Tend to be Wealthier, So Why Give Them Tax Breaks?  Here is an excerpt:

If marriage is increasingly the preserve of those who are already better off, we should stop attaching many benefits to the institution. Beyond the issue of marriage as a mechanism for amassing and retaining wealth within a certain segment of the population, marriage’s economic incentives often profit those who are already better off.

The US government is taking very small steps in the right direction. President Obama’s budget deal, signed into law on 2 November, for example, eliminates a social security filing strategy that allowed (typically) upper-middle-class married couples to claim up to $50,000 extra in benefits – a massive tax saving that was not an option for unmarried people.

Read the full piece here.

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Harvard J. of Law & Gender Accepting Submissions

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From the FLP mailbox:

The Harvard Journal of Law & Gender is seeking to fill its Spring volume with one or two more pieces. To that end, we want to encourage people who have pieces ready, or nearly ready, to submit as soon as possible for our review. We are especially interested in receiving pieces that take an intersectional approach to law and gender, broadly construed. http://harvardjlg.com/getting-involved-2/submissions/

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Research Grants at Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke

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The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, announces the availability of Mary Lily Research Grants for research travel to its collections.
Details: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/bingham/grants

The Sallie Bingham Center documents the public and private lives of women through a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. Collections of personal papers, family papers, and organizational records complement print sources such as books and periodicals. Particular strengths of the Sallie Bingham Center are feminism in the U.S., women’s prescriptive literature from the 19th & 20th centuries, girls’ literature, zines, artist’s books by women, gender & sexuality, and the history & culture of women in the South.

Anyone who wishes to use materials from the Bingham Center’s collections for a project related to women’s history or the history of gender and sexuality is eligible to apply, regardless of academic status. Writers, creative and performing artists, film makers and journalists are welcome to apply for the research travel grants. Research Travel Grants support projects that present creative approaches, including historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products and artistic works. All applicants must reside beyond a 100-mile radius of Durham, N.C.

Grant money may be used for: transportation expenses (including air, train or bus ticket charges; car rental; mileage using a personal vehicle; parking fees); accommodations; and meals. Expenses will be reimbursed once the grant recipient has completed his or her research visit(s) and has submitted original receipts.

The deadline for application is January 29, 2016 by 5:00 PM EST. Recipients will be announced in March 2016. Grants must be used between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

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Michelle Anderson Stepping Down as CUNY Dean

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Feminist Law Prof Michelle Anderson has announced that she will be stepping down as the Dean at CUNY Law School at the end of this academic year.  Here is an excerpt from the email she sent to the CUNY community:

After 10 years at CUNY Law, I have decided to step down as dean at the end of this academic year. It has been an honor to serve this great institution alongside you—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni—and I count the extraordinary work we have done together as the highlight of my professional life.

When I was appointed, you told me of your dreams for the law school’s future. You said the school needed a new building in a more strategic location, a part-time program, a higher New York State Bar Exam pass rate, a stronger reputation, and a deeper commitment to our mission of diversifying the legal profession and serving the underprivileged. Together, we have accomplished much.

In 2012, we moved to a gorgeous building in an accessible location, and this year we launched a robust part-time program. Over the last five years, CUNY Law graduates reached a high of 84% and an average of 77% on the Bar. We enhanced our mission with terrific new courses, clinics, and centers, but I want to highlight our Pipeline to Justice Program, inaugurated in the fall of 2006, which continues to enhance the diversity of our student body today.

All the while, we have maintained our outstanding, top-10 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings for “Best Clinical Training.” (This year, we are third in the nation, a high water mark.) Over the past nine years, we have also been ranked as the best public interest law school in the nation, the second most diverse law school student body, and among the top 10 in the nation for best law professors, most diverse faculty, and highest percentage of public service and public interest employment. These accolades, embodying the spirit of CUNY Law, would not have happened without your deep commitment to the school. That commitment is one of the things that makes CUNY Law special, and it will be as valuable to the next dean as it has been to me.

To make the transition as seamless as possible, CUNY Board of Trustees Chair Benno Schmidt and CUNY Chancellor J.B. Milliken are convening a search committee to find a new dean before I step down in June. As with all decanal searches, the committee will seek input from our community, particularly from the faculty.

I am looking forward to joining the faculty to write and teach. The chancellor has also asked me to consider some assignments in the future that will provide an opportunity for me to continue to contribute to university-wide initiatives to which I’m committed. For now, though, I am focused on working with you to solidify our part-time program and expand our curricular offerings, including new experiential opportunities and joint degree programs. There is much to do, and I have no doubt we will accomplish it together.

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Save the Date: SNX-LatCrit on Theory, Culture and Law, May 19-21, 2016

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From the FLP mailbox:

The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and Law (SNX) – LatCrit would like you to SAVE THE DATE for its 2016 Conference: Leading From The South: Politics Of Gender, Sex And Sexualities to be celebrated in Santo Domingo, República Dominicana from May 19-21, 2016.

We seek to discuss how the global South has been leading current shifts in the politics of gender, sex and sexualities. We will examine, among other topics, South-North relations or North-South polarities regarding: marriage, families, adoption, labor, child rearing, children’s rights, reproductive rights, poverty, migration, sex and gender discrimination, transsexual communities and sexual identities.

The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and Law (SNX) celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013 and is designed to bring together critical theorists from various disciplines and regions of the hemisphere (and beyond) to discuss problems in the application of theory to current social problems and policy issues.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: arosario-lebron@law.howard.edu.

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Joshi, “The Respectable Dignity of Obergefell v. Hodges”

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Yuvraj Joshi, the Peter and Patricia Gruber Fellow in Global Justice at Yale Law School, has posted to SSRN his essay, The Respectable Dignity of Obergefell v. Hodges, forthcoming in the California Law Review’s Circuit (online publication).  Here is an abstract:

In declaring state laws that restrict same-sex marriage unconstitutional, Justice Kennedy invoked “dignity” nine times – to no one’s surprise. References in Obergefell to “dignity” are in important respects the culmination of Justice Kennedy’s elevation of the concept, dating back to the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The “dignity” of Casey expressed respect for a woman’s freedom to make choices about her pregnancy. Casey laid the foundation for Lawrence v. Texas, which similarly respected the freedom of choice of homosexual persons. Yet, as Lawrence paved the path for US v. Windsor and later Obergefell, the narrative began to change. Tracing the usage of dignity in these cases reveals that the “dignity” of Obergefell is not the “dignity” of Casey.

This Essay demonstrates how Obergefell shifts dignity’s focus from respect for the freedom to choose towards the respectability of choices and choice-makers. Obergefell’s dignity is respectable in three ways. It depends on same-sex couples (1) choosing the heterosexual norm of marriage; (2) being and showing themselves to be worthy of marriage; and (3) being socially acceptable and accepted. As importantly, I show that Obergefell’s reasoning inflicts its own dignitary harms. It affirms the dignity of married relationships, while dismissing the dignitary and material harms suffered by unmarried families. It demands that same-sex couples demonstrate the same love and commitment that are taken for granted for heterosexual couples. And, it implies that legal protection of dignity depends on the prior social acceptance of gay persons and relationships. Put together, Obergefell disregards the idea that different forms of loving and commitment might be entitled to equal dignity and respect.

A draft of the essay is available here.

You can follow Mr. Joshi on Twitter @yuvrajjoshi

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Merle Weiner’s New Book: “A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law”

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Cambridge University Press has published a new book by Merle Weiner (Oregon), A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law (2015).  Here is the description:

Despite the fact that becoming a parent is a pivotal event, the birth or adoption of a child has little significance for parents’ legal relationship to each other. Instead, the law relies upon marriage, domestic partnerships, and contracts to set the parameters of parents’ legal relationship. With over forty percent of American children born to unwed mothers and consistently high rates of divorce, this book argues that the law’s current approach to regulating parental relationships is outdated. A new legal and social structure is needed to guide parents so they act as supportive partners and to deter uncommitted couples from having children. This book is the first of its kind to propose a new ‘parent-partner’ status within family law. Included are a detailed discussion of the benefits of the status as well as specific recommendations for legal obligations.

The publisher’s website is here.

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CFP: Joint Scholars and Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

January 6, 2016

Fordham Law School

Sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

LWI, ALWD, and the AALS Legal Writing Section are excited to collaborate with Fordham Law School in celebration of feminist scholars and scholars of feminist jurisprudence by offering a half-day workshop.   The Scholars & Scholarship Workshop will take place at Fordham Law School on January 6, 2016, the day prior to the beginning of the 2016 AALS Annual Meeting in New York City.

The Workshop is focused on scholarly writing and teaching in the field of feminist jurisprudence. Our goal is to encourage and support the work of scholars, including jurists and practitioners, as they challenge patriarchy and other hierarchical structures, critique existing jurisprudence from multicultural feminist perspectives, and share strategies and techniques for bringing a feminist perspective into the classroom.  It extends the conversation of the more than 50 scholars involved in the creation of the edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn  Stanchi, Linda Berger & Bridget Crawford eds., Cambridge University Press 2016).  We hope to more broadly support the work of feminist scholars in the academy, regardless of their subject area of study.

If you are interested in presenting a draft paper to receive feedback from an audience of informed scholars in a safe and supportive environment, please submit an abstract to the Scholars & Scholarship Workshop by October 5, 2015.  Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words in length and should be emailed to Professors Nantiya Ruan at nruan@law.du.edu and Shailini Jandial George at sjgeorge@suffolk.edu.  Those submitting abstracts will be informed of whether they were chosen to participate by October 31, 2015, and drafts will be sent to readers in mid-December.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, you can register here:

http://goo.gl/forms/GLpx1ylHkX

 

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Areheart on “Accommodating Pregnancy”

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Bradley Areheart (Tennessee) has posted to SSRN his forthcoming article, Accommodating Pregnancy, __ Alabama Law Review __ (2016).  Here is the abstract:

Courts have interpreted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) not to affirmatively require accommodations for pregnant workers. This has generated protest and led all three branches of the federal government to address the issue of pregnancy rights. The “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” is pending in Congress and has drawn strong vocal support from President Barack Obama. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided Young v. UPS, which found the PDA does not affirmatively require pregnancy accommodations. Finally, many commentators have argued in support of considering pregnancy a disability under the ADA.

This Article agrees substantively with the end of accommodating pregnancy, but disagrees with the various proposals commentators have advanced. In contrast to those who favor a pregnancy-specific right to accommodations, this Article argues that such proposals create risks to women’s long-term equality in the workplace. In particular, characterizing pregnancy as a “disability” or pregnant women as a class in special need of accommodation poses a danger of expressive harms. Currently proposed measures may revitalize exclusionary and paternalistic attitudes toward pregnant employees, signal incapacity to work, or actually increase sex discrimination. We should thus consider the potential expressive impact of pregnancy accommodation schemes in light of current social norms in which pregnant women are generally seen as capable of productive work. This Article concludes by suggesting alternative approaches to securing pregnancy accommodations that would avoid expressive harms and employ a gender symmetrical approach.

This Article’s critique and the question of how best to accommodate pregnancy resonate across several areas of the law. For those who study civil rights, Accommodating Pregnancy illustrates the expressive perils of rights claiming. For historians and scholars interested in gender issues, this Article provides a chance to reconsider the consequences of gender-asymmetrical laws. For family law scholars, Accommodating Pregnancy highlights the current capacity of the law to reshape work/family balance. To assume that implementing gender-asymmetrical rights is the best way to help women in the workplace overlooks the potential of the law to ameliorate broader social issues. These include the way in which employment is typically structured to accommodate the most privileged employees and how everyone would benefit from more accommodating workplaces.

The full article is available for download here.

 

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CFP: Applied Feminism Today

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From colleagues at the University of Baltimore:

The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Ninth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism Today.” The conference will be held on Friday, March 4, 2016. For more information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.

This conference seeks to explore the current status of feminist legal theory. What impact has feminist legal theory had on law and social policy? What legal challenges are best suited to a feminist legal theory approach? How has feminist legal theory changed over time and where might it go in the future? We welcome proposals that consider these questions from a variety of substantive disciplines and perspectives. As always, the Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on the intersection of theory and practice to effectuate social change.

The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar, NOW President Terry O’Neill, and EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum.

To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday October 30, 2015 to ubfeministconference@gmail.com. Your abstract must contain your full contact information and professional affiliation, as well as an email, phone number, and mailing address. In the “Re” line, please state: CAF Conference 2016. Abstracts should be no longer than one page. We will notify presenters of selected papers in November. We anticipate there will be eight paper presenters during the conference. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the annual symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. For all presenters, working drafts of papers will be due no later than February 26, 2016. Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate as well as meals.

We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Michele Gilman at mgilman@ubalt.edu.

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Group Culture and Sexual Harassment In the Workplace

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Marie McGregor, University of South Africa, has published Justifying Sexual Harassment Based on Culture? Never, Never, Never at 78 Journal of Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law 121 (2015). Here is the abstract.

This note focuses on UASA obo Zulu and Transnet Pipelines 2008 ILJ 1803 (ARB), an older award which had attracted few comments. Maybe the case has said it all. Or has it? It dealt with sexual harassment in the workplace, a common phenomenon in South Africa. The applicant (of Zulu culture) persistently sexually harassed a female colleague and when disciplined merely stated that his conduct was part of his Zulu culture.

Download the note from SSRN at the link.

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A New Blog Devoted To the History of Women Lawyers

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Bari Burke, University of Montana School of Law, has launched a new blog, Montana’s Early Women Lawyers: Trail-Blazing, Big Sky Sisters-In-Law.  Each post focuses on an interesting (and unknown) story about a female lawyer from the past, which Professor Burke has unearthed from cases, newspapers, and other publications. Fascinating to see the number of mentions (and the depressing sameness of observations about women attorneys).  From the August 12th, 2015 post, this excerpt from a letter published August 12, 1907:

‘Possibly men are afraid to pay court to a woman lawyer, from the knowledge that she has too many brains for him, and can see further into his subterfuges and little evasions than most women could. It may be that the legal atmosphere is chilling to affection. It may be that women lawyers are too smart to tie themselves down. I do not know. I only cite the facts.

One of the happiest households that I know, is composed of two lawyers, one the husband, and the other the wife. But he was a lawyer and she was not when they got married. She studied under him, and is his legal assistant rather than his partner. Perhaps that is why they get along so happily together.’”

Oh, dear.

[Cross-posted to the Law and Humanities Blog]

 

 

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Posted in Academia, Employment Discrimination, Feminist Blogs Of Interest, Feminist Legal History, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Feminists in Academia, Law Teaching, Legal Profession | Comments Off on A New Blog Devoted To the History of Women Lawyers

A Legislative History of Illegitimacy In British Columbia

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Susan B. Boyd, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, and Jennifer Flood, Thorsteinssons LLP, have published Illegitimacy in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia: A Legislative History. Here is the abstract.

Over time, provincial legislation in Canada modified the common law position on the “illegitimacy” of children born outside marriage. They first imposed liability on parents for the support of illegitimate children. Second, they provided for the legitimation of children whose parents subsequently married. Finally, they abolished the concept of illegitimacy. This article describes and compares the legislative histories in four Canadian provinces, which all took somewhat different approaches: British Columbia (BC), Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Part II traces the complex history of the legislation dealing with the financial support of illegitimate children; Part III addresses the legislation dealing with legitimation; and Part IV reviews the short history of the abolition of distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate children in all Canadian provinces and territories, except for Nova Scotia. We take a chronological approach within each Part. The article is co-authored with Jennifer Flood.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Alabama Same-Sex Marriage Rulings, 2015

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Howard M. Wasserman, Florida International University College of Law, has published Crazy in Alabama: Judicial Process and the Last Stand Against Marriage Equality in the Land of George Wallace at 110 Northwestern University Law Review Online 201 (2015). Here is the abstract.

This essay examines the ongoing litigation battle in Alabama over the constitutionality of its ban on same-sex marriage, where one district judge invalidated the state ban and subsequent confusion over the meaning and scope of that injunction has drawn unfortunate and erroneous comparisons to George Wallace and Massive Resistance to integration. In fact, this essay argues, the controversy in Alabama is about judicial procedure and the scope of injunctive relief in constitutional litigation; it reveals how judicial decision making and judicial remedies actually function in a geographically divided and hierarchical federal judiciary. Rhetoric aside, the judicial process in Alabama has functioned largely as it should.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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CFP: Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network LSA Meeting 2016

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From Jessica Clarke (Minnesota), Jill Hasday (Minnesota), Jessica Knouse (Toledo), Elizabeth Kukura (Temple), Seema Mohapatra (Barry), and Marc Spindelman (Ohio State):

We write to invite you to participate in panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in 2016.

Information about the Law and Society meeting (including registration and hotel information) is here.

Within Law & Society, the Feminist Legal Theory CRN seeks to bring together scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. There is no pre-set theme to which papers must conform. We would be especially happy to see proposals that fit in with the LSA conference theme, which is the role of law and legal institutions in sustaining, creating, interrogating, and ameliorating inequalities. We welcome proposals that would permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN or the Gender, Sexuality and the Law CRN. Also, because the LSA meeting attracts scholars from other disciplines, we welcome multidisciplinary proposals.

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while proposals may reference work that is well on the way to publication, we are particularly eager to solicit proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.

A committee of the CRN will assign individual papers to panels based on subject. Our panels will use the LSA format, which requires four papers, but we will continue our custom of assigning a chair for the panel and a commentator for each individual paper. As a condition of participating as a panelist, you must also agree to serve as a chair or commentator for another panel or participant. We will of course take into account your scheduling and topic preferences to the degree possible.

The duties of a chair are to organize the panel logistically, including registering it online with the LSA, and moderating the panel. The chair will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before their upcoming deadline on October 15, so that each panelist can submit his or her proposal, using the panel number assigned. Chairs will also be responsible for assigning commentators but may wait to do so until panels have been scheduled later this winter. The duties of a commentator are to read one paper and provide verbal comments as well as brief written (email is fine) comments.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, please email an abstract or summary, along with your name and a title, to Jessica Clarke at jessicaclarke@umn.edu. There is no need to upload the document to the TWEN site this year. Note that LSA is imposing a new requirement that your summary be at least 1,000 words long.  Although a shorter summary will suffice for our purposes, you will be required to upload a 1,000 word summary in advance of LSA’s deadline on October 15. If you are already planning a LSA session with at least four panelists (and papers) that you would like to see included in the Feminist Legal Theory CRN, please let Jessica know.

In addition to these panels, we may try to use some of the other formats that the LSA provides: the “author meets readers” format, salon, or the roundtable discussion. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please let us know. Please note that for roundtables, organizers are now required to provide a 500 word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once as a paper panelist or roundtable participant.

Please submit all proposals by Friday, September 18. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s deadline on October 15. In the past, we have attempted to accommodate as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.

We hope you’ll join us in New Orleans to discuss the scholarship in which we are all engaged and connect with others doing work on feminism and gender.

 

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Converge! conference follow up projects

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Announcing the Completion of Two Converge! conference projects!

Donna Coker

The UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI RACE & SOCIAL JUSTICE LAW REVIEW published Converge! Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence symposium.  The  publication includes 11 articles, 18 edited panel transcripts, and the transcript of Beth Richie’s keynote. You may download the entire volume or jump to the articles you find of interest.   The publication is available at http://race-and-social-justice-review.law.miami.edu/issues/volume-5-issue-2/

Media for Change Hosts Reimagining Multi-media Project– The Reimagining website is a collaboration with Media for Change (MfC), a non-profit organization committed to connecting “media change makers who use the power of visual storytelling to build a better world.” The website offers the comments of thoughtful activists and scholars about how to refocus our work to stop gender violence. The interviewees are Mimi Kim, Leigh Goodmark, Donna Coker, Dorothy Roberts, and Joan Pennell. (We expect to add more interviews and other content in the near future.) Thank you to Sanjeev Chatterjee, MfC Founder and Director, and to Ahjané Macquoid, U.M. Ph.D. student, for their work to make this project a reality. Thank you to the interviewees for their inspiring work and generosity.

Reimagining website- http://mediaforchange.org/reimagine

What is Converge? In February, 2014, more than 200 activists, scholars, and students gathered in Miami to share their strategies for refocusing the movement to end gender violence. Converge! Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence focused on changing U.S. priorities in funding, activism, legal responses, and social services in ways that better address the intersecting inequalities that create and maintain gender violence. The call was to move away from investing heavily in criminal systems responses and to focus instead on changing the social conditions that create violence. The call was to recognize the commonality of struggles for racial justice, economic justice, immigration justice, and sexual identity and sexual orientation justice. For more information about the strategy of Converge! see http://www.law.miami.edu/academics/converge/pdf/full-conference-description.pdf. For information about the conference see http://www.law.miami.edu/academics/converge/

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Hasday Op-Ed on Marital Rape

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Jill Hasday (Minnesota) published an op-ed in today’s Washington Post:
Donald Trump’s lawyer Was Right: In Some Places, Raping Your Wife is Still Treated Like a Minor Offense. Here is an excerpt.

All states prosecute some forms of marital rape in theory. But in reality, statutes criminalizing marital rape are often inadequate. They also remain dramatically and disproportionately under-enforced.

This injustice has deep historical roots. For centuries, husbands were absolutely exempt from criminal prosecution for raping their wives. In the eyes of the law, marital rape was a legal impossibility.

That is no longer true. Starting in the 1970s and 1980s, every state eliminated husbands’ absolute immunity from prosecution. Most states accomplished this reform through legislation. A few achieved it through judicial opinions. * * *  Yet modified forms of the marital rape exemption survive in at least 23 states. Legislatures in these states continue to treat rape in marriage more leniently than rape outside of it. Some  criminalize a narrower range of conduct if committed within marriage, others impose less serious penalties on the marital rape they do recognize or create special procedural obstacles to marital rape prosecutions.

The full piece is available here.

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Feminist Legal Studies Seminar, June 2016

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From the introduction to the most recent issue of Feminist Legal Studies, here:

FLS will host an international and interdisciplinary seminar in London, UK, on 30 June and 1 July 2016 to consider the relationship between feminism, legality and knowledge. We hope that the journal, alongside related projects and publications, will go on to address some of the insights that emerge from that seminar.

We’ll pass on info if/as/when we receive it.

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CFP: “New Directions in Poverty Law”

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AALS Section on Poverty Law

Call for Papers for 2016 AALS Annual Meeting

The AALS Section on Poverty Law is seeking abstracts or drafts of papers to be presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting in New York, NY.  This year’s program is entitled “New Directions in Poverty Law,” and it will be held on Friday, January 8, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Program Description:  This program will focus on emerging ideas, problems, arguments, and strategies related to poverty law.  The field of poverty law encompasses a wide range of legal issues that affect the lives of Americans living in poverty.  Much interesting work in this area is being done by academics who may not identify themselves as poverty law scholars, but who are nonetheless writing about issues that inform and intersect with the core concerns of poverty law.  This program will provide a forum for discussing some of this scholarship, and for considering the current state of poverty law as a field.  Panelists—including one chosen through a call for papers—will present recent works on a variety of topics that relate to poverty law.  An open discussion will follow.

Submission Instructions:  Eligible law faculty wishing to be considered for the program must submit an abstract or draft paper by September 1, 2015, to Jason Parkin, Chair-Elect of the Section on Poverty Law, at jparkin@law.pace.edu.  The Section encourages submissions from pre-tenured and recently tenured scholars, as well as scholars whose work may not be widely known to members of the Poverty Section.  All panelists, including speakers selected from this call for papers, are responsible for paying their own Annual Meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

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“Short Takes” by Signs

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The feminist journal Signs has added an on-line feature called Short Takes.  Here’s the description:

Short Takes: Provocations on Public Feminism is a new open-access, online-first feature of Signs that examines books that have shaped popular conversations about feminist issues. This new section will examine a book that has had wide-ranging impact and reach (for better or worse!) and solicit short commentaries from leading feminist public intellectuals and activists. Rather than traditional book reviews, commentators are asked to ponder broader questions of reach and resonance: Why this? Why now? And what does this say about the state of the feminist zeitgeist?

The first “Short Take” is a series of essays on Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist.  The essays are:

The online collection is here.

 

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NY Gay Couple Not Married Couldn’t Have Been Divorced…Duh

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A very strange case got some attention in the New York Law Journal this week.  New York County Surrogate Nora S. Anderson has (sensibly) ruled in the Matter of Leyton, 2013-4842/A/B, NYLJ 1202730202742, at *1 (Surr., NY, Decided June 16, 2015) [hyperlink is to a subscription site-sorry] that the New York statute (EPTL 1.4) providing for the automatic revocation upon divorce of bequests and fiduciary appointments in favor of a former spouse could not apply to a same-sex couple who has never married in the first place.

Reading between the lines of the decision, it appears that the decedent’s mother and sister were upset that the decedent appointed as executor and made substantial death-time gifts to his former romantic partner.  The mother and sister tried to argue that because the couple had a commitment ceremony in 2002, but later broke up, the couple was “divorced” for purposes of New York law.  Surrogate Anderson did not agree, and the bequests to the former partner and fiduciary appointment were upheld.

 

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Report on AALS Midyear Meeting Workshop on “Next Generation Issues of Sex, Gender, and the Law”

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The AALS’s 2015 Midyear Meeting Workshop on “Next Generation Issues of Sex, Gender, and the Law” concluded Friday in Orlando.  It was one of the best substantive programs I have attended in many years.  The quality of the speakers was excellent.  The speakers represented a full range of seniorities, schools, geographies and subject-matter specialties.

As a point of information, there were 80 people pre-registered for this conference.  (Compare that to 172 people who were pre-registered for the 2011 Workshop on “Women Rethinking Equality” is underway at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.; see here).  Of those 80, 66 (82.50%) were either speakers or members of the planning committee.  I’m not sure what accounts for the low attendance compared to 2011, or whether 82.50% of attendees as speakers or organizers is a typical number.  (It seems high to me.)  It might be that the location was not especially appealing; the time of year was about the same for the 2015 conference versus the 2011 conference.

In any case, it was a fantastic program.  The full line-up is here.

One panel I found particularly engaging was a plenary session on reproductive rights.  Here is the panel description:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the landmark privacy decision for reproductive rights. Although the Supreme Court expanded upon Griswold in Roe v. Wade (1973), constitutionally protected reproductive rights have followed an unsteady path since the 1970s. First, the Supreme Court has retreated from Roe’s framework and implications and has allowed significant curtailment of the right to choose in more recent decisions, notably its decision allowing prohibition of many late-term abortions. Second, the pro-life movement has shifted its focus away from demand-side restrictions on reproductive rights and toward newer and more successful supply-side restrictions, such as heightened institutional and professional requirements for abortion clinics. This turn has created large practical problems of access to facilities and professionals who can deliver effective reproductive assistance. Third, the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014) creates an indeterminate statutory authorization for “religious” employers to deny health insurance coverage for many contraceptives (so long as the religious employer believes them to be contrary to its religion). This panel of scholars will consider these questions: What reproductive rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, properly understood? What institutions (legislatures, administrators, judges) are best situated to assure those rights? What substantive as well as institutional strategies should be followed by supporters of reproductive choice?

The moderator was Laura Rosenbury (U of Florida). Speakers were Cary Franklin (Texas), Candace Gibson (formerly of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights), Jessie Hill (Case Western), Priscilla Ocen (Loyola LA), Neil Siegel (Duke) and Robin West (Georgetown).

I also heard an excellent paper presentation by Lauren Sudeall Lucas (Georgia State) who talked about her piece, Identity as Proxy, forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review.  Here is the abstract.

As presently constructed, equal protection doctrine is an identity-based jurisprudence, meaning that the level of scrutiny applied to an alleged act of discrimination turns on the identity category at issue. In that sense, equal protection relies on identity as a proxy, standing in to signify the types of discrimination we find most troubling.

Equal protection’s current use of identity as proxy leads to a number of problems, including difficulties in defining the category at issue; the tendency to privilege a dominant identity narrative; failure to distinguish among the experiences of subgroups within larger identity categories; and psychological and emotional harm that can result from being forced to identify in a particular way to lay claim to legal protection. Moreover, because the Court’s identity-as-proxy jurisprudence relies on superficial notions of identity to fulfill a substantive commitment to equality, it is more susceptible to co-option or manipulation by majority groups.

This Essay aims to engage readers in a thought experiment, to envision what equal protection doctrine might look like if it were structured to reflect the values identity is intended to serve without explicitly invoking identity categories as a way to delineate permissible and impermissible forms of discrimination. More specifically, it aims to shift from an identity-based jurisprudence that views race and gender as a collection of individual traits to a value-based jurisprudence that views race and gender as the product of structural forces that create and maintain subordination. Under the latter framework, the primary concern is not to eliminate differential treatment, but instead to destabilize status hierarchies and effectively counter subordination. Therefore, rather than asking whether the challenged government action is based on race or gender, one might ask whether it has the effect of perpetuating or exacerbating a history of discrimination or obstructs access to the political process. Unlike the current model, which focuses on defining categories and determining who falls within or outside those categories, the model suggested herein aims to eliminate identity as an intermediary filter and instead apply substantive rationales for heightened scrutiny directly to claims of discrimination.

The clearest impact of such a model would be in the context of affirmative action, where a majority plaintiff could no longer simply claim discrimination on the basis of race. Yet, the potential of a value-based model extends to other contexts as well — for example, challenges to voter identification laws, in which political exclusion would displace discriminatory intent and disparate impact as the relevant measure for analysis, and the treatment of pregnant women, in which discrimination on the basis of pregnancy would no longer have to align with gender to receive heightened scrutiny.

This shift has several advantages: it allows the law to make important distinctions between groups and within groups; it alleviates the need for comparative treatment and solutions that favor taking from all over giving to some; it is less likely to generate identity-based harms; it is fact-driven rather than identity-driven and thus better suited to the judicial function; and it serves an important rhetorical function by changing the nature of rights discourse.

A copy of Professor Lucas’s paper is available for download here.

There were many other great papers and panels — too many to mention.

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#LoveWins

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Image via cnn.com here.

 

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18915472726_2a2f63b57c_zPhoto by Stephen Melkiesthian.

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Cohen and Connon, “Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism”

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David S. Cohen (Drexel) and Krysten Connon (J.D. 2012, Drexel University School of Law) have published Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism (Oxford University Press 2015).  Here is the publisher’s description:

Abortion is a legal, common, and safe medical procedure that one in three American women will undergo. Yet ever since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, anti-abortion forces have tried nearly every tactic to eliminate it. Legislative and judicial developments dominate the news, but a troubling and all-too-common phenomenon-targeted vigilante action against individual abortion providers-is missing from the national discussion, only cropping up when a dramatic story like the murder of an abortion provider pushes it to the forefront. Every day, men and women who are associated with abortion care are harassed, threatened, stalked, picketed, sent hate mail, and otherwise terrorized. Those who seek help from the law are sometimes successful, but not always, either because there are insufficient protections built into the law, or because law enforcement officials fail to respond.

In Living in the Crosshairs, the voices of these providers are heard for the first time, through extensive interviews that David S. Cohen and Krysten Connon conducted across the country. Abortion providers are targeted at home, at work, or in community spaces; they can be harassed in person or online. Abortion opponents target not only the providers themselves but also may go after their families, neighbors, and others close to them. This kind of targeting happens anywhere in the country, not just in more conservative areas, and can victimize all providers, not just high-profile doctors. For some, being the victim of targeted harassment inspires significant fear and leads to changes in behavior; for others, it has become a normal part of life; and for yet others, it actively strengthens their resolve. The response of law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels is spotty-though there are some strong laws on the books, especially at the federal level, abortion providers have had mixed experiences when it comes to legal recourse, and effectiveness varies. Drawing on ideas from the interviews, the authors propose several legal and societal reforms that could improve the lives of providers, foremost among them redefining targeted harassment as terrorism rather than protest.

Living in the Crosshairs is a rich and humane portrait of women’s health professionals who persist in their work despite harassment because they believe in what they are doing. These providers’ voices have not been heard in recent debates, leaving the public with a deficient understanding of exactly how abortion is limited in this country, yet their experiences illuminate the truth of the issue and offer us a path to a better policy.

There are reviews at Ms. (here), the New Republic (here) and RH Reality Check (here).  This is an important contribution to the literature.

-Bridget Crawford

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The Gendered Nature of Canada’s Witchcraft Law

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Here’s an interesting piece on Canadian witchcraft law. Natasha Bakht, University of Ottawa, Common Law Section, and Jordan Palmer, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, have published Modern Law, Modern Hammers: Canada’s Witchcraft Provision as an Image of Persecution at 35 Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 123 (2015). Here is the abstract.

This article examines Canada’s retention and application of the archaic offence of pretending to practise witchcraft in the Criminal Code. The disproportionate effect that the offence has on women and certain religious and racialized groups is highlighted. The historic persecution of women accused of practising witchcraft is discussed in order to provide some background to the history and ideology of the witchcraft offence in Canada. The gendered nature of the offence is considered along with the imperial role of the dominant Judeo-Christian belief structures in curtailing religious deviance and suppressing women’s powerful positions in the community. An analysis of the confused judicial interpretation of the offence and consideration of the social goals achieved in criminalizing such activity when several fraud offences already exist in Canada follows. Finally, the constitutionality of section 365 is examined using a feminist and religious freedom lens. The recent case of R v Persaud provides the modern day backdrop to examine Canada’s witchcraft offence and propose the repeal of section 365.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

See also my post on the subject here at the Law and Magic Blog.

 

 

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Hollywood and Female Directors

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From the Hollywood Reporter’s Jonathan Handel, a discussion of the ACLU’s call for an investigation of Hollywood’s “failure to hire” women directors and an analysis of how difficult such cases are to win.

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