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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 ...


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.


Gender-Conscious Confrontation: The Accuser-Obligation Approach Revisited, Michael El-Zein Jan 2014

Gender-Conscious Confrontation: The Accuser-Obligation Approach Revisited, Michael El-Zein

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The Supreme Court’s recent Confrontation Clause decisions have had a dramatic effect on domestic violence prosecution throughout the United States, sparking debate about possible solutions to an increasingly difficult trial process for prosecutors and the survivors they represent. In this Note, I revisit and reinterpret the suggestion by Professor Sherman J. Clark in his article, An Accuser-Obligation Approach to the Confrontation Clause,1 that we should view the Confrontation Clause primarily as an obligation of the accuser rather than a right of the accused. Specifically, I reevaluate Clark’s proposition using a gendered lens, ultimately suggesting a novel solution ...


Outing The Majority: Gay Rights, Public Debate, And Polarization After Doe V. Reed, Marc Allen Jan 2013

Outing The Majority: Gay Rights, Public Debate, And Polarization After Doe V. Reed, Marc Allen

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Reed that Washington citizens who signed a petition to eliminate legal rights for LGBT couples did not have a right to keep their names secret. A year later, in ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen, a district court in California partially relied on Reed to reject a similar request from groups who lobbied for California Proposition 8-a constitutional amendment that overturned the California Supreme Court's landmark 2008 gay marriage decision. These holdings are important to election law, feminist, and first amendment scholars for a number of reasons. First, they flip ...


The Role Of Networks, Mentors, And The Law In Overcoming Barriers To Organizational Leadership For Women With Children, Terry Morehead Dworkin, Aarti Ramaswami, Cindy A. Schipani Jan 2013

The Role Of Networks, Mentors, And The Law In Overcoming Barriers To Organizational Leadership For Women With Children, Terry Morehead Dworkin, Aarti Ramaswami, Cindy A. Schipani

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The 2012 election brought headlines such as "Another 'Year of Women' in Congress." Although the number of women in the highest legislative offices increased, their numbers are still significantly lower than those of men. Fewer than 100 women hold office in both houses of Congress. Corporate America similarly reflects significantly low female leadership numbers. For example, "fewer than 20% of finance industry directors and executives are women, and [there are] no women leading the 20 biggest U.S. banks and securities firms." Women make up nearly half the workforce and hold 60% of bachelor degrees, yet they hold only 14 ...


The North Carolina Woman’S Right To Know Act: An Unconstitutional Infringement On A Physician’S First Amendment Right To Free Speech, Ryan Bakelaar Jan 2013

The North Carolina Woman’S Right To Know Act: An Unconstitutional Infringement On A Physician’S First Amendment Right To Free Speech, Ryan Bakelaar

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The North Carolina Woman’s Right to Know Act represents the crossroads of the Supreme Court’s First Amendment, informed consent, and abortion-related jurisprudence. The Act requires physicians to perform an obstetric ultrasound, verbally convey specific information regarding ultrasonographic findings, and communicate a host of other information to patients seeking abortions. The purported goal of the Act is to ensure that physicians obtain appropriate informed consent from such patients. By compelling a physician to convey this information, the State violates the physician’s First Amendment rights. Indeed, the State may not compel an individual to convey the State’s ideological ...


The Scarlet Letter: The Supreme Court And The Language Of Abortion Stigma, Paula Abrams Jan 2013

The Scarlet Letter: The Supreme Court And The Language Of Abortion Stigma, Paula Abrams

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Why does the Supreme Court refer to the woman who is seeking an abortion as "mother"? Surely the definition has not escaped the attention of a Court that frequently relies on the dictionary to define important terms or principles. And why does the Court choose to describe the fetus as a child? What message does this language send about abortion and the woman who seeks an abortion? The Court's abortion decisions embody an ongoing debate on the legitimacy of constitutional protection of the right to choose. This debate unfolds most obviously as a discourse on constitutional interpretation; disagreements within ...


Baring Inequality: Revisiting The Legalization Debate Through The Lens Of Strippers' Rights, Sheerine Alemzadeh Jan 2013

Baring Inequality: Revisiting The Legalization Debate Through The Lens Of Strippers' Rights, Sheerine Alemzadeh

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The debate over legalization of prostitution has fractured the feminist legal community for over a quarter century. Pro-legalization advocates promote the benefits attending government regulation of prostitution, including the ability to better prosecute sex crimes, increase public health and educational resources for individuals in the commercial sex trade, and apply labor and safety regulations to the commercial sex industry in the same manner as they are applied to other businesses. Some anti-legalization advocates identify themselves as "new abolitionists," and argue that government recognition of prostitution reinforces gender inequality. Often, this debate is framed in the hypothetical: What would happen if ...


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 ...


Abortion And Informed Consent: How Biased Counseling Laws Mandate Violations Of Medical Ethics, Ian Vandewalker Jan 2012

Abortion And Informed Consent: How Biased Counseling Laws Mandate Violations Of Medical Ethics, Ian Vandewalker

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

If we slightly change the facts of the story about the discouraging doctor, it becomes a story that happens every day. Abortion patients face attempts to discourage them from terminating their pregnancies like those the imaginary doctor used, as well as others-and state laws mandate these attempts. While the law of every state requires health care professionals to secure the informed consent of the patient before any medical intervention, over half of the states place additional requirements on legally effective informed consent for abortion. These laws sometimes include features that have ethical problems, such as giving patients deceptive information. Unique ...


Limiting The Affirmative Defense In The Digital Workplace , Daniel B. Garrie Jan 2012

Limiting The Affirmative Defense In The Digital Workplace , Daniel B. Garrie

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

From 2009 to 2011, there were more than 30,000 sexual harassment claims filed in the United States. The ubiquitous availability of digital technology devices has facilitated many instances of sexual harassment. Such sexual harassment occurs through unprovoked and offensive e-mails, messages posted on electronic bulletin boards, and other means available on the Internet. To date, courts remain silent on this issue. Should this type of sexual harassment be treated differently from physical sexual harassment? The surprising answer is yes. This Article suggests a new judicial framework for addressing sexual harassment perpetrated through digital communications. This framework accounts for the ...


Sex Equality's Unnamed Nemesis, Veronica Percia Jan 2011

Sex Equality's Unnamed Nemesis, Veronica Percia

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Sex inequality still exists. However, its manifestations have evolved since the early sex inequality cases were heard in courts and legislatures first began structuring statutory regimes to combat it. In particular, so-called "facial" discrimination against men and women on the basis of sex has no doubt decreased since the advent of this legal assault on sex inequality. Yet the gendered assumptions that structure our institutions and interactions have proven resilient. With sex discrimination now operating more covertly, the problem of sex inequality looks considerably different than it once did. Courts, however, have failed to successfully respond to the changing contours ...


Confrontation And Domestic Violence Post-Davis: Is There And Should There Be A Doctrinal Exception, Eleanor Simon Jan 2011

Confrontation And Domestic Violence Post-Davis: Is There And Should There Be A Doctrinal Exception, Eleanor Simon

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Close to five million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated against women in the United States annually. Domestic violence accounts for twenty percent of all non-fatal crime experienced by women in this county. Despite these statistics, many have argued that in the past six years the Supreme Court has "put a target on [the] back" of the domestic violence victim, has "significantly eroded offender accountability in domestic violence prosecutions," and has directly instigated a substantial decline in domestic violence prosecutions. The asserted cause is the Court's complete and groundbreaking re-conceptualization of the Sixth Amendment right of a ...


Rethinking Consent In A Big Love Way, Cheryl Hanna Jan 2010

Rethinking Consent In A Big Love Way, Cheryl Hanna

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is based on a presentation at the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law as part of their symposium "Rhetoric & Relevance: An Investigation into the Present & Future of Feminist Legal Theory." In it, I explore the problem of categorical exclusions to the consent doctrine in private intimate relationships through the lens of the HBO series Big Love, which is about modern polygamy. There remains the normative question both after Lawrence v. Texas and in feminist legal theory of under what circumstances individuals should be able to consent to activity that takes place within the context of a private, intimate relationship. The tensions between individual autonomy and state interests are beautifully explored in Big Love. Drawing on themes presented in the series, this Article asks if there is any principled way to make the distinction between those relationships in which there is some physical or psychological harm inflicted and those in which the state has proscribed a relationship because of some moral or social harm it allegedly causes. Four case studies are presented to prompt readers to try to answer the question of when consent should be a defense to otherwise proscribed activity. I conclude that the future of feminist legal theory depends on its ability to remain ambivalent about the tensions presented in the consent doctrine as applied to contexts such as polygamy, prostitution, sadomasochistic sex, obscenity, and domestic violence. Big Love seeks to persuade us to accept ambivalence and to be open to changing our minds because of the complicated nature of women's (and men's) lives; feminist legal theory ought to persuade us to do the same.


Past As Prologue: Old And New Feminisms, Martha Chamallas Jan 2010

Past As Prologue: Old And New Feminisms, Martha Chamallas

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Each "stage" of feminist legal theory-and each brand or strand of feminism- stays alive and is never completely replaced by newer approaches. When I first attempted to synthesize the field of Feminist Legal Theory for a treatise I was writing at the end of the twentieth century, I thought it would be useful to think chronologically and to analyze the major developments of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. I crudely divided feminist legal theory into three stages roughly corresponding to the preceding decades: the equality stage of the 1970s, the difference stage of the 1980s, and the diversity stage of ...


Doma: An Unconstitutional Establishment Of Fundamentalist Christianity, James M. Donovan Jan 1997

Doma: An Unconstitutional Establishment Of Fundamentalist Christianity, James M. Donovan

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

According to the text of the Act, DOMA's purposes are "to define and protect the institution of marriage," where marriage is defined to exclude same-sex partners. To be constitutionally valid under the Establishment Clause, this notion that heterosexual marriages require "protection" from gay and lesbian persons must spring from a secular and not religious source. This Article posits that DOMA has crossed this forbidden line between the secular and the religious. DOMA, motivated and supported by fundamentalist Christian ideology, and lacking any genuine secular goals or justifications, betrays the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.


Husband And Wife Are One - Him: Bennis V. Michigan As The Resurrection Of Coverture, Amy D. Ronner Jan 1996

Husband And Wife Are One - Him: Bennis V. Michigan As The Resurrection Of Coverture, Amy D. Ronner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Although the legal fictions of coverture and guilty property have been repudiated by statutes and the Court respectively, the Supreme Court implicitly resurrected and fused the coverture and guilty property myths in Bennis v. Michigan. In that decision, the Court approved the forfeiture of Ms. Bennis' interest in a car in which her husband engaged in sexual activity with a prostitute. This Article explores that resurrected conglomerate in three parts. Part I is a concise review of the feudal doctrine of coverture and the disabilities it imposed on married women. Part II focuses almost entirely on the decision in Austin ...


Pragmatism And Parity In Appointments, Yxta Maya Murray Jan 1996

Pragmatism And Parity In Appointments, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This review uses Carter's two foci as a springboard for analyzing the Article II, Section II appointment process. First, Carter's discussion of indecency in modern appointments may be a valuable theoretical insight into the process instead of a mere sociological observation. "Indecency" in appointments, or what is known as "borking" in Carter parlance, may also be a symptom of race and gender bias in the administration of the Article II, Section II power. To ameliorate the effects of this bias, I suggest the incorporation of pragmatism (a thread of philosophical and legal thought) and parity concepts into the ...


Hostile Environent Sexual Harassment Claims And The Unwelcome Influence Of Rape Law, Janine Benedet Jan 1996

Hostile Environent Sexual Harassment Claims And The Unwelcome Influence Of Rape Law, Janine Benedet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article considers the unwelcomeness requirement of the plaintiff’s prima facie case. In particular, it examines the discussion of unwelcomeness found in the decision of the Supreme Court in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, and the content given to this element by the subsequent decisions of lower courts. Such an inquiry reveals several parallels between the approach of courts to sexual harassment claims and their traditional treatment of the criminal offense of rape. The same biases and erroneous assumptions that have hampered an effective response to the physical violation of women have permeated the application of the purported remedy ...


Slavery Rhetoric And The Abortion Debate, Debora Threedy Jan 1994

Slavery Rhetoric And The Abortion Debate, Debora Threedy

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

There are many things that could be, and have been, said about the question of abortion. This article focuses on the rhetoric of the abortion debate. Specifically, I discuss how both sides of the abortion debate have appropriated the image of the slave and used that image as a rhetorical tool, a metaphor, in making legal arguments. Further, I examine the effectiveness of this metaphor as a rhetorical tool. Finally, I question the purposes behind this appropriation, and whether it reflects a lack of sensitivity to the racial content of the appropriated image.