Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 36

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


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 Jan 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus Jan 2014

Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Every state and the District of Columbia use voluntary acknowledgments of paternity. Created pursuant to federal law, the acknowledgment is signed by the purported biological parents and establishes paternity without requiring court involvement. Intended to be a “simple civil process” to establish paternity where the parents are unmarried, the acknowledgment is used by state governments to expedite child support litigation. But federal policy and state laws governing the acknowledgments do not sufficiently protect the interests of those men who have signed acknowledgments and who subsequently discover that they lack genetic ties to the children in question. A signatory who learns ...


An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists And The Legacy Of Marital-Property Reform, Mary Ziegler Jan 2013

An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists And The Legacy Of Marital-Property Reform, Mary Ziegler

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As this Article shows, the conventional historical narrative of the divorce revolution is not so much incorrect as incomplete. Histories of the divorce revolution have focused disproportionately on the introduction of no-fault rules and have correctly concluded that women's groups did not play a central role in the introduction of such laws. However, work on divorce law has not adequately addressed the history of marital-property reform or engaged with scholarship on the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution. Putting these two bodies of work in dialogue with one another, the Article provides the first comprehensive ...


Surrender And Subordination: Birth Mothers And Adoption Law Reform, Elizabeth J. Samuels Jan 2013

Surrender And Subordination: Birth Mothers And Adoption Law Reform, Elizabeth J. Samuels

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

For more than thirty years, adoption law reform advocates have been seeking to restore for adult adoptees the right to access their original birth certificates, a right that was lost in all but two states between the late 1930s and 1990. The advocates have faced strong opposition and have succeeded only in recent years and only in eight states. Among the most vigorous advocates for access are birth mothers who surrendered their children during a time it was believed that adoption would relieve unmarried women of shame and restore them to a respectable life. The birth mother advocates say that ...


Flexible Scheduling And Gender Equiality: The Working Families Flexibility Act Under The Fourteenth Amendment, Lane C. Powell Jan 2013

Flexible Scheduling And Gender Equiality: The Working Families Flexibility Act Under The Fourteenth Amendment, Lane C. Powell

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The Working Families Flexibility Act (“WFFA”) as proposed in 2012 would create a federal right for employees to request flexible work arrangements. However, the bill contains no private right of action for employees to enforce this new right. By reframing the WFFA as an anti-discrimination statute targeting unconstitutional sex discrimination on the part of the States, the WFFA could be upheld under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, allowing Congress to provide a private right of action for both private and state employees. This Note uses the Supreme Court’s decisions on the Family Medical Leave Act in Hibbs and ...


Civil Marriage: Threat To Democracy, Jessica Knouse Jan 2012

Civil Marriage: Threat To Democracy, Jessica Knouse

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues that civil marriage and democracy are inherently incompatible, whether assessed from a transcultural perspective that reduces them to their most universal aspects or a culturally situated perspective that accounts for their uniquely American elaborations. Across virtually all cultures, civil marriage privileges sexual partners by offering them exclusive access to highly desirable government benefits, while democracy presupposes liberty and equality. When governments privilege sexual partners, they effectively deprive their citizens of liberty by encouraging them to enter sexual partnerships rather than selfdetermining based on their own preferences; they effectively deprive their citizens of equality by establishing insidious status ...


Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard Jan 2012

Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Parenting is a major preoccupation in law and culture. As a result of efforts of the American women's movement over the past forty years, the legal parent is, for the first time in history, sex-neutral. Our law has abandoned restrictions on women's education, employment, and civic participation that sprang from and reinforced beliefs about the primacy of motherhood as women's best destiny. On the flip side, U.S. law now also generally rejects formal constraints on men's family roles by requiring sex-neutrality of laws regulating custody, adoption, alimony, spousal benefits, and the like. The official de-linking ...


The Devil Comes To Kansas: A Story Of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, And The Law, Charles J. Reid Jr. Jan 2012

The Devil Comes To Kansas: A Story Of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, And The Law, Charles J. Reid Jr.

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

On Sunday, September 19, 1886, Moses Harman, the editor of the radical newspaper Lucifer the Light-Bearer, presided over an inherently contradictory event-a free-love marriage ceremony between his associate editor, the thirty-seven-year-old Edwin Walker, and Moses' own daughter, the sixteen-year-old Lillian. The case that the two Harmans and Walker wished to present aimed to transform marriage from a public to a private relationship and from a permanent and exclusive one to a temporary one that permitted potentially many partners. State v. Walker and its parties have received some scholarly notice, but the truly radical quality of the arguments Moses, Edwin, and ...


Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson Jan 2012

Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While some might believe that Black versus gay discourse only surfaces in highly politicized settings like the military and marriage, it holds sway in the area of LGBT transracial adoption. LGBT transracial adoptions are a relatively small percentage of all adoptions, which include private adoptions, LGBT second-parent adoptions, and step-parent adoptions, but they are an important site for interrogating the Black versus gay discourse because adoption and custody decisions often address parent-child transmission. When claims intersect, as they do in a case where a White LGBT foster parent and a Black maternal grandmother dispute the adoption of a Black child ...


Giving In To Baby Markets: Regulation Without Prohibition, Sonia M. Suter Jan 2009

Giving In To Baby Markets: Regulation Without Prohibition, Sonia M. Suter

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The commodification of reproductive material evokes different responses. Some argue that the sale of reproductive material should be prohibited. Others argue in favor of unfettered baby markets on principle or to achieve broad-scale access to reproductive technologies. In this Article, the author responds to the emergence of baby markets with great skepticism, but reluctant acceptance. Drawing on a relational conception of autonomy and self-definition, she argues that commodification of reproductive material is intrinsically harmful. Moreover, such commodification poses a number of consequential harms. Nevertheless, in spite of these concerns, the author "gives in" to baby markets, which is to say ...


The Evolution Of Same-Sex Marriage In Canada: Lessons The U.S. Can Learn From Their Northern Neighbor Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Rights, Christy M. Glass, Nancy Kubasek Jan 2008

The Evolution Of Same-Sex Marriage In Canada: Lessons The U.S. Can Learn From Their Northern Neighbor Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Rights, Christy M. Glass, Nancy Kubasek

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The broad differences between the United States and Canadian cases raise important questions about the social, political and legal factors that have promoted the extension of marriage rights in Canada while retarding similar efforts in the U.S. This article will compare the recent history of same-sex marriage laws in the United States and Canada. We argue that proponents of same-sex marriage as well as lawmakers could learn important lessons from the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. Section II develops a framework for comparing the U.S. and Canadian experience with same-sex marriage law. The next section traces ...


The Rights Of Putative Fathers To Their Infant Children In Contested Adoptions: Strengthening State Laws That Currently Deny Adequate Protection, Robbin Pott Gonzalez Jan 2006

The Rights Of Putative Fathers To Their Infant Children In Contested Adoptions: Strengthening State Laws That Currently Deny Adequate Protection, Robbin Pott Gonzalez

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This paper argues that states need to strengthen protection of putative fathers' rights to their infant children when the mother wishes for the child to be adopted. Part I frames the discussion around established parental rights through constitutional case law. To do this, the paper addresses both the Supreme Court's parental rights doctrine and its biology-plus doctrine, which requires unwed fathers to show that in addition to being the biological father they also have taken responsibility for their children. Part II describes common state statutes that affect putative fathers, including putative father registries, safe haven laws, and laws granting ...


Introducing The Construct Of The Jury Into Family Violence Proceedings And Family Court Jurisprudence, Melissa L. Breger Jan 2006

Introducing The Construct Of The Jury Into Family Violence Proceedings And Family Court Jurisprudence, Melissa L. Breger

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article draws upon both the theory of and research on procedural justice holding that litigants often focus on the appearance of fairness rather than on the actual outcome. Thus, when litigants are able to choose the modality of fact-finding, they may be more accepting of the legal process, even if the outcome is not favorable to them. Allowing the option of a jury, even if not exercised, may dramatically improve the perceptions of litigants and may affect the legitimacy and longevity of case outcomes.


"Just" Married?: Same-Sex Marriage And A Hustory Of Family Plurality, Judith E. Koons Jan 2005

"Just" Married?: Same-Sex Marriage And A Hustory Of Family Plurality, Judith E. Koons

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

To contribute to a full moral deliberation about same-sex marriage, this Article inquires into the meanings of marriage, sexuality, and family from historical and narrative perspectives that are situated at the intersection of religious and political domains.


Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle Jan 2003

Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Is legal marriage obsolete? Wardle thinks not. In order to understand why not, it is necessary first to grasp the significance of the focus of the discussion on the legal status of marriage. As this Introduction suggests, lack of legal marriage status does not prevent families and communities from treating couples as married nor does the law forbid couples from voluntarily providing each other "marital benefits." Nevertheless, whether marriage is obsolete at the beginning of the twenty-first century is an important question. This article analyzes four dimensions of that question.


The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor Of Women's Rights In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, Heather Jacobson Jan 2003

The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor Of Women's Rights In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, Heather Jacobson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article evaluates the impact that eliminating or reducing the marriage dower would have on the well-being of Muslim women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although Palestinian women's rights organizations seek to eliminate dower on the grounds that it is a "burdensome custom" that is "inconsistent with the intifada's stated goal of improving women's status," in fact, the interaction between dower and other laws relating to marriage and divorce is such that the majority of women would be materially harmed by its discontinuance. Therefore, while the movement to eliminate dower may benefit the financially secure ...


Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law Jan 2003

Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Over the past hundred years, social and cultural expectations surrounding various forms of committed relationships have changed dramatically, and contemporary legal systems have struggled to adapt. The result has been an extraordinary opportunity to test fundamental assumptions about law, about the cultural understandings that are enforced through state power, and about the mechanisms that drive law's evolution. The Michigan Journal of Gender & Law has drawn together an exceptional group of panelists who will discuss these questions throughout the day.


Covenant Marriage Turns Five Years Old, Steven L. Nock, Laura Sanchez, Julia C. Wilson, James D. Wright Jan 2003

Covenant Marriage Turns Five Years Old, Steven L. Nock, Laura Sanchez, Julia C. Wilson, James D. Wright

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article discusses public policy rationales behind covenant marriage legislation, describes relevant aspects of Louisiana's legislation, and summarizes the efforts of other states to enact covenant marriage legislation. Part II discusses methods of data collection and analysis and identifies the demographic characteristics of covenant married couples as opposed to standard married couples in Louisiana. Part III addresses the dynamics behind couples' choice to have a covenant versus standard marriage. Part IV is an analysis of couples' satisfaction with their marriage option and the gendered dynamics of different levels of satisfaction with the marital choice.


From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton Jan 2003

From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Part I of this article, Dalton briefly reviews the way legal scholars commonly define sex-based discrimination, particularly as it pertains to issues of reproduction. Part II is a brief historical review of legal constructions of parenthood. In Part III, Dalton examines two legal concepts: retroactive legitimation and presumed fatherhood. Both concepts were introduced in 1872 and each independently encouraged judges to think of fatherhood as consisting of two distinct spheres, the biological and the social. She then traces the legal development of these concepts through a series of presumed father, retroactive legitimation, and putative father cases. In Part IV ...


The Sexual Regulation Dimension Of Contemporary Welfare Law: A Fifty State Overview, Anna Marie Smith Jan 2002

The Sexual Regulation Dimension Of Contemporary Welfare Law: A Fifty State Overview, Anna Marie Smith

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this article, Smith will attempt to demonstrate that welfare policy has become a prominent site of sexual regulation; that the rights of poor single mothers are at stake in this respect; and that given the precise structure of contemporary American welfare reform, we must pay especially close attention to the laws and regulations adopted at the state level. First, Smith will place contemporary sexual regulation-oriented welfare law in an historical context by considering its precedents in English and American public policy traditions (Part I). Using original qualitative analyses of the states' statutory codes and administrative regulations, Smith will then ...


Parens Patriae And A Modest Proposal For The Twenty-First Century: Legal Philosophy And A New Look At Children's Welfare, Natalie Loder Clark Jan 2000

Parens Patriae And A Modest Proposal For The Twenty-First Century: Legal Philosophy And A New Look At Children's Welfare, Natalie Loder Clark

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This paper will turn to philosophy to seek material for limiting the exercise of parens patriae power. A significant reduction of the government's role will better serve the modern concern for child rearing which is this century's re-definition of best interests.


The Freedom To Marry For Same-Sex Couples: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiffs Stan Baker Et Al. In Baker Et Al. V. State Of Vermont, Mary Bonauto, Susan M. Murray, Beth Robinson Jan 1999

The Freedom To Marry For Same-Sex Couples: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiffs Stan Baker Et Al. In Baker Et Al. V. State Of Vermont, Mary Bonauto, Susan M. Murray, Beth Robinson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As the first state to prohibit slavery by constitution, and one of the few states which, from its inception, extended the vote to male citizens who did not own land, the State of Vermont has long been at the forefront of this nation's march toward full equality for all of its citizens. In July 1997, three same-sex couples challenged Vermont to act as a leader yet again, this time in affording full civil rights to the State's gay and lesbian citizens. Stan Baker and Peter Harrigan, Nina Beck and Stacy Jolles, and Holly Puterbaugh and Lois Farnham were ...


The Marriage Mirage: The Personal And Social Indentity Implications Of Same-Gendered Matrimony, Linda S. Eckols Jan 1999

The Marriage Mirage: The Personal And Social Indentity Implications Of Same-Gendered Matrimony, Linda S. Eckols

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article will examine why so much is at stake in the political, social, and legal debate over same-gender marriage. It will not address the constitutional questions of whether there is a fundamental right to marry, although persuasive arguments have been advanced from both sides of the debate." This Article will focus on a more introspective view of the potential effects of legalizing same-gender marriage on the identities of gay men and lesbians in committed relationships and on the interaction between same-gender couples and society. Marriage would provide the integration sought by gay men and lesbians, but at the expense ...