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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

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Contracting Around Gender Constructs: Transgender Men At Women's Colleges, Elizabeth A. Heise May 2019

Contracting Around Gender Constructs: Transgender Men At Women's Colleges, Elizabeth A. Heise

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As the transgender community gains increasing visibility in society, women’s colleges have begun to address new questions about who is eligible to attend. One such question is whether students who come out as transgender men after matriculation are eligible to remain enrolled and graduate from these institutions. The main claims relevant to this discussion are (1) colleges’ right to retain their identity as all-women’s institutions; (2) the parallel rights of cisgender female students who explicitly choose to attend an all-women’s institution, and (3) transgender students’ competing right to avoid arbitrary or capricious dismissal based on gender identity ...


Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard May 2019

Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Promoting the best interests of children and protecting their safety and well-being in the context of a divorce or parentage case where domestic violence has been alleged has become highly politicized and highly gendered. There are claims by fathers’ rights groups that mothers often falsely accuse fathers of domestic violence to alienate the fathers from their children and to improve their financial position. They also claim that children do better when fathers are equally involved in their children’s lives, but that judges favor mothers over fathers in custody cases. As a consequence, fathers’ rights groups have engaged in a ...


Getting To Equal: Resolving The Judicial Impasse On The Weight Of Non-Monetary Contribution In Kenya's Marital Asset Division, Benedeta Prudence Mutiso May 2019

Getting To Equal: Resolving The Judicial Impasse On The Weight Of Non-Monetary Contribution In Kenya's Marital Asset Division, Benedeta Prudence Mutiso

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Marital property law reforms and changing international human rights standards in the late 20th and early 21st century prompted Kenya to end certain discriminatory practices against women, especially in the area of property rights. For 50 years, Kenya relied on England’s century-old law, the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, to regulate property rights. In 2010, Kenya adopted a new Constitution that called for equality between men and women, and in 2013, Kenya enacted independent legislation in the form of the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA). The MPA provides a basis for trial courts to divide marital property upon ...


Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor Dec 2018

Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article consciously employs both a dignity rights-based framing and methodology. Dignity rights are those rights that are based on the Kantian assertion of “inalienable human worth.”29 This framework for defining rights spans across a number of disciplines, including medicine and human rights law.30 Disciplinary sanctions like solitary confinement or forced medication might be described as anathema to human dignity because of their degrading effect on an individual’s emotional and social well-being.

This Article relies on first-person oral histories where possible. Bioethics scholar Claire Hooker argues that including narratives in work on dignity rights “is both a ...


Removing Camouflaged Barriers To Equality: Overcoming Systemic Sexual Assault And Harassment At The Military Academies, Rebecca Weiant May 2018

Removing Camouflaged Barriers To Equality: Overcoming Systemic Sexual Assault And Harassment At The Military Academies, Rebecca Weiant

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The Education Amendments of 1972 introduced requirements to protect female students from discriminatory policies at post-secondary institutions. A portion of those amendments, commonly known as Title IX, require that no students be subjected to discrimination based on their sex by any educational institution or activity receiving federal financial assistance. An exemption under § 1681(a)(4), however, explicitly prohibits application of Title IX to any educational institution whose primary purpose is to train individuals for military service or the merchant marine. Although those students are still subject to stringent conduct standards, the service academies themselves are tethered to sex discrimination policies ...


Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted May 2018

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The State of New York recently issued its first physician-certified “intersex” birth certificate, correcting a 55-year-old’s original birth certificate. This is a positive step towards eliminating the traditional binary approach to a person’s birth sex, but it creates potential uncertainties in the employment discrimination context. Over the past several years, the definition of what constitutes “discrimination on the basis of sex” has both expanded (with the legalization of same-sex marriage) and narrowed (restricting the use of gender specific bathrooms). Until recently it appeared that a broader definition of the term “sex” would become the judicial—and possibly legislative ...


Draft Of A Letter Of Recommendation To The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I'M Not Going To Send Now, Yxta Maya Murray Jan 2018

Draft Of A Letter Of Recommendation To The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I'M Not Going To Send Now, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This legal-literary essay engages the current social and jurisprudential moment, encapsulated by the hashtag #metoo. It focuses on the allegations, made in the first week of December 2017, that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski verbally sexually harassed former law clerks Emily Murphy and Heidi Bond. I wrote the lioness’s share of the piece during December 10–11—that is, in the days before news outlets reported that other women complained of Kozinski touching them on the thigh or breast while propositioning them for sex or discussing recent sexual encounters—and concluded that Kozinski was unlikely to ...


The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists And Conservative Groups To Recognize New Families, Nausica Palazzo Jan 2018

The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists And Conservative Groups To Recognize New Families, Nausica Palazzo

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article explores some of the legal initiatives and reforms that opponents of same-sex marriage in Canada and the United States have pushed forward. Despite being animated by a desire to dilute the protections for same-sex couples, these reforms resulted in “queering” family law, in the sense that they functionalized the notion of family. Consequently, two cohabiting relatives or friends would be eligible for legal recognition, along with all the public and private benefits of such recognition. I term these kinds of “unions” and other nonnormative relationships to be “new families.”

The central claim of this Article is thus that ...


Running From The Gender Police: Reconceptualizing Gender To Ensure Protection For Non-Binary People, Katie Reineck Dec 2017

Running From The Gender Police: Reconceptualizing Gender To Ensure Protection For Non-Binary People, Katie Reineck

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Non-binary people who are discriminated against at work or school are in a unique and demoralizing position. Not only have some courts expressed reluctance to use existing antidiscrimination law to protect plaintiffs who are discriminated against based on their gender identity and not simply because they are men or women, in most states non-binary genders are not legally recognized. I argue that a fundamental right to self-identification grounded in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment would provide non-binary plaintiffs with the ability to assert their gender in court and have that assertion carry legal weight, regardless of how ...


Working Sex Words, Anita Bernstein Dec 2017

Working Sex Words, Anita Bernstein

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Imagine yourself tasked to speak for a few minutes about legal controls on sex-selling in the United States, or any other country you choose. You need not have thought about the particulars. As someone willing to read a law review article, you have enough to say because sex-selling overlaps with the subject knowledge you already have. Criminal law, contracts, employment law, immigration law, tort law, zoning, commercial law, and intellectual property, among other legal categories, all intersect with this topic. In your brief remarks on how law attempts to mediate the sale and purchase of sex, you have only one ...


Customer Domination At Work: A New Paradigm For The Sexual Harassment Of Employees By Customers, Einat Albin Dec 2017

Customer Domination At Work: A New Paradigm For The Sexual Harassment Of Employees By Customers, Einat Albin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article introduces a novel legal paradigm—customer domination at work—to address the sexual harassment of employees by customers. This new approach challenges the prevailing paradigm, which focuses on the employer-employee binary relationship. I show how, under current Title VII law, the prevailing paradigm leads to a weaker form of employer liability than other instances where employers are liable for the sexual harassment of their employees. The protection for workers is also limited. The same is true of two other legal regimes discussed in the Article: Germany and Britain. More importantly, I argue that the prevailing paradigm precludes a ...


A Relational Feminist Approach To Conflict Of Laws, Roxana Banu Jan 2017

A Relational Feminist Approach To Conflict Of Laws, Roxana Banu

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Feminist writers have long engaged in critiques of private law. Surrogacy contracts or the “reasonable man” standard in torts, for example, have long been the subjects of thorough feminist analysis and critique. When private law issues touch on more than one jurisdiction, Conflict of Laws is the doctrine that determines which jurisdiction can try the case and—as separate questions—which jurisdiction’s law should apply and under what conditions a foreign judgment can be recognized and enforced. Yet, there are virtually no feminist perspectives on Conflict of Laws (also known as Private International Law). This is still more surprising ...


Prenatal Abandonment: 'Horton Hatches The Egg' In The Supreme Court And Thirty-Four States, Mary M. Beck Jan 2017

Prenatal Abandonment: 'Horton Hatches The Egg' In The Supreme Court And Thirty-Four States, Mary M. Beck

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article addresses an issue critical to forty-one percent of fathers in the United States: prenatal abandonment. Under prenatal abandonment theory, fathers can lose their parental rights to non-marital children if they do not provide prenatal support to the mothers of their children. This is true even if the mothers have not notified the fathers of the pregnancy and if the mothers or fathers are unsure of the fathers’ paternity. While this result may seem counterintuitive, it is necessitated by demographic trends. Prenatal abandonment theory has been structured to protect mothers, fathers, and fetuses in response to a number of ...


Gender Discrimination And Statelessness In The Gulf Cooperation Council States, Betsy L. Fisher Dec 2016

Gender Discrimination And Statelessness In The Gulf Cooperation Council States, Betsy L. Fisher

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Using the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as a case study, this Article outlines the ways in which gender and birth status discrimination create new cases of statelessness. These occur when women are legally unable to convey their nationality to their children. This Article studies gender and birth status discrimination in nationality laws and in civil registration, family, and criminal law in each GCC state: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Ending statelessness will require these states to end discrimination against women and non-marital children in all of its forms in law and practice.


The Tax Definition Of "Medical Care:" A Critique Of The Startling Irs Arguments In O'Donnabhain V. Commissioner, Katherine Pratt Dec 2016

The Tax Definition Of "Medical Care:" A Critique Of The Startling Irs Arguments In O'Donnabhain V. Commissioner, Katherine Pratt

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article critiques the startling arguments made by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, a case in which the issue was whether a person diagnosed with gender identity disorder (“GID”) could take a federal tax deduction for the costs of male-to-female medical transition, including hormone treatment, genital surgery, and breast augmentation. Internal Revenue Code § 213 allows a deduction for the costs of “medical care,” which (1) includes costs incurred for “the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body,” but (2) generally excludes ...


R-Egg-Ulation: A Call For Greater Regulation Of The Big Business Of Human Egg Harvesting, Danielle A. Vera Dec 2016

R-Egg-Ulation: A Call For Greater Regulation Of The Big Business Of Human Egg Harvesting, Danielle A. Vera

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

When it comes to young healthy women “donating” their eggs, America has a regulation problem. This Note explains the science behind the harvesting of human eggs, focusing on potential egg donors, and describes the specific factors that make egg donation a unique type of transaction. It describes the current regulatory status of the assisted reproductive technology industry in the United States and highlights the ways in which this scheme fails to protect egg “donors.” This Note concludes with a call for comprehensive regulation of the assisted reproductive technology industry.


Towards Reasonable: The Rise Of State Pregnancy Accommodation Laws, Stephanie A. Pisko Jan 2016

Towards Reasonable: The Rise Of State Pregnancy Accommodation Laws, Stephanie A. Pisko

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision Young v. UPS, pregnancy accommodation in the workplace is once again at the forefront of employment law. Pregnancy is not considered a disability under the ADA, nor is it within the scope of Title VII protections, but states are passing their own pregnancy accommodation laws. These laws will affect employers and employees alike, but exactly how is uncertain. Perhaps the most natural (and obvious) result of the explosion of state pregnancy accommodation laws will be a federal law, or an amendment to the ADA categorizing pregnancy as a disability. But there are ...


Prosecuting Rape Victims While Rapists Run Free: The Consequences Of Police Failure To Investigate Sex Crimes In Britain And The United States, Lisa Avalos Jan 2016

Prosecuting Rape Victims While Rapists Run Free: The Consequences Of Police Failure To Investigate Sex Crimes In Britain And The United States, Lisa Avalos

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Imagine that a close friend is raped, and you encourage her to report it to the police. At first, she thinks that the police are taking her report seriously, but the investigation does not seem to move forward. The next thing she knows, they accuse her of lying and ultimately file charges against her. You and your friend are in shock; this outcome never entered your minds. This nightmare may seem inconceivable, but it has in fact occurred repeatedly in both the United States and Britain—countries that are typically lauded for their high levels of gender equality. In Britain ...


The Incest Horrible: Delimiting The Lawrence V. Texas Right To Sexual Autonomy, Y. Carson Zhou Jan 2016

The Incest Horrible: Delimiting The Lawrence V. Texas Right To Sexual Autonomy, Y. Carson Zhou

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Is the criminalization of consensual sex between close relatives constitutional in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges? Justice Scalia thought not. The substantive due process landscape has changed dramatically in response to the LGBTQ movement. Yet, when a girl in a sexual relationship with her father recently revealed in an anonymous interview with New York Magazine that they were planning to move to New Jersey, one of the only two states where incest was legal, the New Jersey legislature introduced with unprecedented speed a bill criminalizing incest. But who has the couple harmed? The very mention ...


Missed Opportunities: The Unrealized Equal Protection Framework In Maher V. Roe And Harris V. Mcrae, Amelia Bailey Jan 2016

Missed Opportunities: The Unrealized Equal Protection Framework In Maher V. Roe And Harris V. Mcrae, Amelia Bailey

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note focuses on two cases, Maher v. Roe and Harris v. McRae, and argues that they represent watershed moments in the reproductive rights movement because they positioned abortion as a fundamental right in name only. In both cases, the Supreme Court sanctioned severe funding restrictions and refused to grant poor women the right to state and federal assistance for elective and “nontherapeutic” abortions. “Non-therapeutic abortion” refers to those abortions performed or induced when the life of the mother is not endangered if the fetus is carried to term or when the pregnancy of the mother is not the result ...


Gender And Non-Normative Sex In Sub-Saharan Africa, Johanna Bond Jan 2016

Gender And Non-Normative Sex In Sub-Saharan Africa, Johanna Bond

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues for the adoption of a gender-based framework to supplement rights promotion strategies and campaigns based on LGBTI identity. The Article draws upon feminist, queer, and trans theory to develop an expansive understanding of gender within international human rights law. An analysis incorporating such theory will catalyze more systematic promotion of LGBTI rights. Although the approach is applicable across a variety of geographic contexts, this Article uses sub-Saharan Africa as an illustrative case study. A focus on gender rights as supplementary to and interrelated with LGBTI rights offers both conceptual and pragmatic benefits in the struggle to promote ...


Constitutionalizing Fetal Rights: A Salutary Tale From Ireland, Fiona De Londras Dec 2015

Constitutionalizing Fetal Rights: A Salutary Tale From Ireland, Fiona De Londras

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In 1983, Ireland became the first country in the world to constitutionalize fetal rights. The 8th Amendment to the Constitution, passed by a referendum of the People, resulted in constitutional protection for “the right to life of the unborn,” which was deemed “equal” to the right to life of the “mother.” Since then, enshrining fetal rights in constitutions and in legislation has emerged as a key part of anti-abortion campaigning. This Article traces the constitutionalization of fetal rights in Ireland and its implications for law, politics, and women. In so doing, it provides a salutary tale of such an approach ...


Bridging Bisexual Erasure In Lgbt-Rights Discourse And Litigation, Nancy C. Marcus Dec 2015

Bridging Bisexual Erasure In Lgbt-Rights Discourse And Litigation, Nancy C. Marcus

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

LGBT rights are at the forefront of current legal news, with “gay marriage” and other “gay” issues visible beyond dispute in social and legal discourse in the 21st Century. Less visible are the bisexuals who are supposedly encompassed by the umbrella phrase “LGBT” and by LGBT-rights litigation, but who are often left out of LGBTrights discourse entirely. This Article examines the problem of bisexual invisibility and erasure within LGBT-rights litigation and legal discourse. The Article surveys the bisexual erasure legal discourse to date, and examines the causes of bisexual erasure and its harmful consequences for bisexuals, the broader LGBT community ...


Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles Jan 2015

Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Recent scholarship and media attention has focused on the prevalence of sexually harassing behavior directed at working teenagers, and the emergence of sexual harassment lawsuits by these minors against their employers. Although many of the legal issues concerning workplace sexual harassment and adult workers (and the various state and federal jurisprudence prohibiting it) have been widely discussed, there is surprisingly little discourse, research, and precedent addressing the problem of workplace sexual harassment and teen workers. Currently, most sexual harassment cases brought by adolescent workers are litigated using the doctrinal framework for adult workers. Only the Seventh Circuit has developed an ...


A Postcolonial Theory Of Spousal Rape: The Carribean And Beyond, Stacy-Ann Elvy Jan 2015

A Postcolonial Theory Of Spousal Rape: The Carribean And Beyond, Stacy-Ann Elvy

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Many postcolonial states in the Caribbean continue to struggle to comply with their international treaty obligations to protect women from sexual violence. Reports from various United Nations programs, including UNICEF, and the annual U.S. State Department Country Reports on Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia (“Commonwealth Countries”), indicate that sexual violence against women, including spousal abuse, is a significant problem in the Caribbean. Despite ratification of various international instruments intended to eliminate sexual violence against women, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Commonwealth Countries have retained ...


Deboer V. Snyder: A Case Study In Litigation And Social Reform, Wyatt Fore Jan 2015

Deboer V. Snyder: A Case Study In Litigation And Social Reform, Wyatt Fore

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

On April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for four cases from the Sixth Circuit addressing the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage. This Note examines DeBoer v. Snyder, the Michigan marriage case, with the goal of providing litigators and scholars the proper context for our current historical moment in which (1) the legal status of LGBT people; and (2) the conventional wisdom about the role of impact litigation in social reform movements are rapidly evolving.


Sexual Assault And Rape In The Military: The Invisible Victims Of International Gender Crimes At The Front Lines, Stella Cernak Jan 2015

Sexual Assault And Rape In The Military: The Invisible Victims Of International Gender Crimes At The Front Lines, Stella Cernak

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In the past several years in particular, intra-military sexual assault and rape in the U.S. armed forces have been the focus of frequent media attention and intense congressional debate. Despite reforms, the rate of intra-military sexual crimes continues to remain high, as does soldiers’ wariness to report instances of sexual violence to military commanders. These problems and others have invigorated the position taken by some that outside judicial review of intra- military sexual crimes is necessary to provide justice to victims and lower the rate of intra-military sexual assault and rape. This Note argues that one of the primary ...


Teen Pregnancy In Charter Schools: Pregnancy Discrimination Challenges Under The Equal Protection Clause And Title Ix, Kaylee Niemasik Jan 2015

Teen Pregnancy In Charter Schools: Pregnancy Discrimination Challenges Under The Equal Protection Clause And Title Ix, Kaylee Niemasik

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Until three years ago, a policy at Delhi Charter School in Louisiana required that any pregnant student be effectively expelled. A pregnant sixteen-year-old student’s expulsion caught the attention of national media in 2012. The ACLU sued and the school quickly rescinded the policy. Although the policy was revoked, the un-adjudicated nature of the resolution leaves teen girls at the school and nationwide without any final court order to protect them against the (re)enactment of similar discriminatory policies. This Article analyzes the Delhi Charter School policy in order to make three related arguments. First, the Court should adopt a ...


Liberating Sexual Harassment Law, Lua Kamál Yuille Jan 2015

Liberating Sexual Harassment Law, Lua Kamál Yuille

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Sexual harassment law and the proposed solutions to that paradigm’s deficiencies teach a disheartening and peculiar lesson to women and gender performance minorities: “You may be disadvantaged at work because of your gender or your gender performance nonconformity. Discrimination against you is okay.” This albatross has inexplicably burdened sexual harassment law for the more than thirty-five years since it emerged as a redressable form of unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Article coherently explains the reason for it. It makes a simple claim: Sexual harassment law has failed to eradicate workplace gender ...


How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing The Path To Mandatory Criminal Intervention In Domestic Violence Cases, Claire Houston Oct 2014

How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing The Path To Mandatory Criminal Intervention In Domestic Violence Cases, Claire Houston

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Our popular understanding of domestic violence has shifted significantly over the past forty years, and with it, our legal response. We have moved from an interpretation of domestic violence as a private relationship problem managed through counseling techniques to an approach that configures domestic violence first and foremost as a public crime. Mandatory criminal intervention policies reflect and reinforce this interpretation. How we arrived at this point, and which understanding of domestic violence facilitated this shift, is the focus of this Article. I argue that the move to intense criminalization has been driven by a distinctly feminist interpretation of domestic ...