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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

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Title Ix And Social Media: Going Beyond The Law, Emily Suran Oct 2014

Title Ix And Social Media: Going Beyond The Law, Emily Suran

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating over eighty colleges and universities for civil rights violations under Title IX. From a punitive standpoint, these investigations likely will have minimal impact. Indeed, since the Alexander v. Yale plaintiffs first conceived of Title IX in a sexual harassment context, the nondiscriminatory principles of Title IX have proven disappointingly difficult to enforce. However, in today’s world of grassroots social activism, Title IX has taken on a new, extralegal import. Title IX has become a rallying cry for college activists and survivors. Despite (or perhaps because of) its limitations as a ...


A Joyful Heart Is Good Medicine: Sexuality Conversion Bans In The Courts, Wyatt Fore Oct 2014

A Joyful Heart Is Good Medicine: Sexuality Conversion Bans In The Courts, Wyatt Fore

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Led by California and New Jersey, states have begun to ban Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) for minors. States have targeted SOCE, also called ‘gay conversion therapy,’ by regulating state licensure requirements for mental health professionals. Conservative legal groups have challenged these bans in federal court, alleging a variety of constitutional violations sounding in the First and Fourteenth Amendments. More specifically, these legal groups propose theories claiming that the bans infringe upon individuals’ freedom of speech, free exercise, and parental rights. In this Note, I survey the history of these bans, as well as court decisions that have rejected constitutional ...


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 ...


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 ...


Morning-After Decisions: Legal Mobilization Against Emergency Contraception In Chile, Fernando Muñoz León Jan 2014

Morning-After Decisions: Legal Mobilization Against Emergency Contraception In Chile, Fernando Muñoz León

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Chile, the Criminal Code bans all forms of abortion. Furthermore, the Constitution—drafted and enacted by the Military Junta led by General Augusto Pinochet—was inspired by a conservative version of Catholic natural law championed by prominent Chilean constitutional law scholars. This Article traces the emergence, development, and ultimately the defeat of a persistent legal mobilization driven by natural law-inspired litigants, politicians, and scholars against levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill. In their decade-long efforts at legal mobilization, these natural law litigants used every tool of the Chilean legal system to challenge the legality and the ...


Aborted Emotions: Regret, Relationality, And Regulation, Jody Lyneé Madeira Jan 2014

Aborted Emotions: Regret, Relationality, And Regulation, Jody Lyneé Madeira

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Regret is a deeply contested emotion within abortion discourse. It is present in ways that we are both afraid of and afraid to talk about. Conventional pro-life and pro-choice narratives link regret to defective decision making. Both sides assert that the existence of regret reveals abortion’s harmfulness or harmlessness, generating a narrow focus on the maternal-fetal relationship and women’s “rights.” These incomplete, deeply flawed constructions mire discourse in a clash between regret and relief and exclude myriad relevant relationships. Moreover, they distort popular understandings of abortion that in turn influence women, creating cognitive dissonance and perhaps distress for ...


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 ...


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 Case For Procedural Safeguards In The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Betsy Fisher Jan 2013

The Case For Procedural Safeguards In The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Betsy Fisher

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The U. S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) is a humanitarian program that resettles vulnerable refugees to the United States. Though these refugees have suffered from extraordinarily high rates of trauma, the refugee admissions process does not have formal statutory or regulatory safeguards to accommodate the vulnerable nature of many applicants for resettlement. Yet, the applicants who have suffered the most trauma, including victims of sexual and gender- based violence, are the refugees most likely to be impeded by a process that largely centers on proving the severity of their trauma. To promote accurate outcomes, and to decrease the risk of ...


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 ...


Bathroom Bias: Making The Case For Trans Rights Under Disability Law, Daniella A. Schmidt Jan 2013

Bathroom Bias: Making The Case For Trans Rights Under Disability Law, Daniella A. Schmidt

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Disability law is one of the more successful tools currently being used to protect trans people fom discrimination. While the use of disability law as a framework for affirming or creating trans rights has come with some success, many in the community remain reluctant to use disability law for fear of the policy implications and stigma associated with medicalization of trans identity. After exploring the current state of the law on both the federal and state level, this Note will argue how disability law both could and should be used more often to further trans protections. In particular, this Note ...


The Exit Myth: Family Law, Gender Roles, And Changing Attitudes Toward Female Victims Of Domestic Violence, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2013

The Exit Myth: Family Law, Gender Roles, And Changing Attitudes Toward Female Victims Of Domestic Violence, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article presents a hypothesis suggesting how and why the criminal justice response to domestic violence changed, over the course of the twentieth century, from sympathy for abused women and a surprising degree of state intervention in intimate relationships to the apathy and discrimination that the battered women' movement exposed. The riddle of declining public sympathy for female victims ofintimate-partner violence can only be solved by looking beyond the criminal law to the social and legal changes that created the Exit Myth. While the situation that gave rise to the battered womens movement in the 1970s is often presumed to ...


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 ...


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 ...


Modernizing State Vital Statistics Statutes And Policies To Ensure Accurate Gender Markers On Birth Certificates: A Good Government Approach To Recognizing The Lives Of Transgender People, Lisa Mottet Jan 2013

Modernizing State Vital Statistics Statutes And Policies To Ensure Accurate Gender Markers On Birth Certificates: A Good Government Approach To Recognizing The Lives Of Transgender People, Lisa Mottet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Across the country, laws governing corrections to gender markers on birth certificates are relatively uniform, in large part because many states adopted the relevant provisions of the 1977 revision of the Model State Vital Statistics Act (MSVSA). The MSVSA, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, guides states on the most efficient laws and procedures related to maintaining accurate birth, death, and other vital records at the state, local, and territorial level. At the time when the government promulgated the MSVSA provision related to gender corrections, it served as a forward-thinking model because it acknowledged that ...


"Off With His __": Analyzing The Sex Disparity In Chemical Castration Sentences, Zachary Edmonds Oswald Jan 2013

"Off With His __": Analyzing The Sex Disparity In Chemical Castration Sentences, Zachary Edmonds Oswald

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Societies around the world have performed castration, in its various forms, on their male and female members for thousands of years, for numerous reasons. Even within the United States, prisoners have been sentenced to castration (as a form of punishment or crime prevention) since the early twentieth century. In recent years, legislatures have perpetuated this practice but with a modern twist. Now, states use chemical injections to castrate their inmates. It turns out, however, that systemic problems plague the chemical castration sentencing regime. These problems arise from the nature of the crimes eligible for chemical castration sentences, the manner of ...


Does The Constitution Protect Abortions Based On Fetal Anomaly?: Examining The Potential For Disability-Selective Abortion Bans In The Age Of Prenatal Whole Genome Sequencing, Greer Donley Jan 2013

Does The Constitution Protect Abortions Based On Fetal Anomaly?: Examining The Potential For Disability-Selective Abortion Bans In The Age Of Prenatal Whole Genome Sequencing, Greer Donley

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note examines whether the state or federal government has the power to enact a law that prevents women from obtaining abortions based on their fetus’s genetic abnormality. Such a ban has already been enacted in North Dakota and introduced in Indiana and Missouri. I argue below that this law presents a novel state intrusion on a woman’s right to obtain a pre-viability abortion. Moreover, these pieces of legislation contain an outdated understanding of prenatal genetic testing—-the landscape of which is quickly evolving as a result of a new technology: prenatal whole genome sequencing. This Note argues ...


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 ...


Beyond Seduction: Lessons Learned About Rape, Politics, And Power From Dominique Strauss-Kahn And Moshe Katsav, Hannah Brenner Jan 2013

Beyond Seduction: Lessons Learned About Rape, Politics, And Power From Dominique Strauss-Kahn And Moshe Katsav, Hannah Brenner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

n the last decade, two influential international political figures, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, and Moshe Katsav, former President of Israel, were accused of engaging in extreme and ongoing patterns of sexual violence. The collection of formal charges against the two men included rape, forcible indecent assault, sexual harassment, and obstruction of justice. The respective narratives surrounding the allegations against Katsav and Strauss-Kahn have their own individual characteristics, and each of the cases unfolded in diverging ways. Yet, the actions of these two men taken together, and the corresponding response of the legal systems in France ...


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 ...


Victim Participation At The International Criminal Court And The Extraordinary Chambers In The Courts Of Cambodia: A Feminist Project, Susana Sacouto Jan 2012

Victim Participation At The International Criminal Court And The Extraordinary Chambers In The Courts Of Cambodia: A Feminist Project, Susana Sacouto

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The question this Article poses is whether victim participation--one of the most recent developments in international criminal law--has increased the visibility of the actual lived experience of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the context of war, mass violence, or repression. Under the Rome Statute, victims of the world's most serious crimes were given unprecedented rights to participate in proceedings before the Court. Nearly a decade later, a similar scheme was established to allow victims to participate as civil parties in the proceedings before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC or Extraordinary Chambers), a court ...


Pain, Love, And Voice: The Role Of Domestic Violence Victims In Sentencing, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, Dana Pugach Jan 2012

Pain, Love, And Voice: The Role Of Domestic Violence Victims In Sentencing, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, Dana Pugach

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Criminal law systems throughout the world have evolved to a stage where they no longer ask, "What is the appropriate role of the victim in a criminal trial?" The questions now relate to the scope of the victim's rights, in which procedures she has independent standing, and at what stage she should be heard. The process of the "prosecution stepping into the victim's shoes," whereby the state controls the entire criminal process, seemingly on behalf of the victim, has been replaced by the recognition that the interests of the prosecution (the State) are not always consistent with those ...


No Contact Parole Restrictions: Unconstitutional And Counterproductive, Sharon Brett Jan 2012

No Contact Parole Restrictions: Unconstitutional And Counterproductive, Sharon Brett

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Although what Jesse Timmendequas did was abhorrent, the legislation enacted in the wake of his crime went far beyond making sure we know the pedophiles or pedophile-murderers living in our neighborhoods. Megan's name now lends itself to a host of state laws requiring the state to notify neighbors when a sex offender moves into the neighborhood. The term "sex offender" is intentionally broad, covering everyone from voyeurs and exhibitionists to rapists and child molesters. Yet, Megan's Laws treat them the same way, ignoring some crucial questions: Are all sex offenders alike? Are they all monsters? In reality, the ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...