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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 Jan 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


The Return Of Coverture, Allison Anna Tait Jan 2016

The Return Of Coverture, Allison Anna Tait

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Once, the notion that husbands and wives were equal partners in marriage seemed outlandish and unnatural. Today, the marriage narrative has been reversed and the prevailing attitude is that marriage has become an increasingly equitable institution. This is the story that Justice Kennedy told in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which he described marriage as an evolving institution that has adapted in response to social change such that discriminatory marriage rules no longer apply. Coverture exemplifies this change: marriage used to be deeply shaped by coverture rules and now it is not. While celebrating the demise of coverture, however, the substantive ...


Certiorari And The Marriage Equality Cases, Carl Tobias Jan 2015

Certiorari And The Marriage Equality Cases, Carl Tobias

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Marriage equality has come to much of the nation. Over 2014, many district court rulings invalidated state proscriptions on same- sex marriage, while four appeals courts upheld these decisions. However, the Sixth Circuit reversed district judgments which struck down bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Because that appellate opinion created a patchwork of differing legal regimes across the country, this Paper urges the Supreme Court to clarify marriage equality by reviewing that determination this Term.


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.


Let's Get Married: An Essay In Honor Of Mari Matsuda, Richard Delgado Jan 2014

Let's Get Married: An Essay In Honor Of Mari Matsuda, Richard Delgado

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Most unbiased evaluations of marriage as an institution consider it an unmitigated benefit, at least for those who enter into it willingly and avoid the shoals of divorce. Married people report higher levels of happiness than their unmarried counterparts, live longer, and lead healthier lives. They are less depressed, drink less, and report more satisfaction with their status than those who have never married or are divorced. The benefits of marriage also accrue to the children of married couples. The children of intact couples, whether straight or gay, are happier and more well adjusted, on average, than those of either ...


For Nontraditional Names' Sake: A Call To Reform The Name-Change Process For Marrying Couples, Meegan Brooks Sep 2013

For Nontraditional Names' Sake: A Call To Reform The Name-Change Process For Marrying Couples, Meegan Brooks

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In a large number of states, women are encouraged to take their husbands’ surnames at marriage by being offered an expedited name-change process that is shorter, less expensive, and less invasive than the statutory process that men must complete. If a couple instead decides to take an altogether-new name at marriage, the vast majority of states require that each spouse complete the longer statutory process. This name-change system emerged from a long history of naming as a way for men to dominate women. This Note emphasizes the need for name-change reform, arguing that the current system perpetuates antiquated patriarchal values ...


Family History: Inside And Out, Kerry Abrams Apr 2013

Family History: Inside And Out, Kerry Abrams

Michigan Law Review

The twenty-first century has seen the dawn of a new era of the family, an era that has its roots in the twentieth. Many of the social and scientific phenomena of our time - same-sex couples, in vitro fertilization, single-parent families, international adoption - have inspired changes in the law. Legal change has encompassed both constitutional doctrine and statutory innovations, from landmark Supreme Court decisions articulating a right to procreate (or not), a liberty interest in the care, custody, and control of one's children, and even a right to marry, to state no-fault divorce statutes that have fundamentally changed the way ...


Black Marriage, White People, Red Herrings, Melissa Murray Apr 2013

Black Marriage, White People, Red Herrings, Melissa Murray

Michigan Law Review

Ralph Richard Banks's Is Marriage for White People? is worlds away from Agatha Christie's novels. Decidedly a work of nonfiction, Banks's book considers the plight of middle-class African Americans who, according to statistics, are the least likely of any demographic group to get and stay married. Despite these obvious differences, Is Marriage for White People? shares some important commonalities with Agatha Christie's mysteries. Banks seeks to solve a mystery, but red herrings draw attention away from the true issue that should be the subject of Banks's concern. The mystery, of course, is the black marriage ...


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 ...


Toward Equality: Nonmarital Children And The Uniform Probate Code, Paula A. Monopoli Jun 2012

Toward Equality: Nonmarital Children And The Uniform Probate Code, Paula A. Monopoli

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article traces the evolution of the Uniform Probate Code's (UPC) broad equality framework for inheritance by nonmarital children in the context of the wider movement for legal equality for such children in society. It concludes that the UPC is to be lauded for its efforts to provide equal treatment to all nonmarital children. The UPC's commitment to such equality serves an expressive function for state legislatures and courts to follow its lead. The UPC has fulfilled its promise that all children regardless of marital status shall be equal for purposes of inheritance from or through parents, with ...


Probate Definition Of Family: A Proposal For Guided Discretion In Intestacy, The, Susan N. Gary Jun 2012

Probate Definition Of Family: A Proposal For Guided Discretion In Intestacy, The, Susan N. Gary

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Intestacy statutes may not match the wishes of many people who die intestate. Changes to the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) include or exclude potential takers, as the drafters attempt to bring the UPC provisions closer to the intent of more intestate decedents. As the UPC tries to fine-tune the intestacy statutes, however, family circumstances continue to get more and more complicated. Families headed by unmarried couples, blended families with children from multiple marriages, and families in which adults raise children who are not legally theirs, have become commonplace. For some decedents, non-family friends and caregivers may be more important than ...


The Constitutional Right To (Keep Your) Same-Sex Marriage, Steve Sanders Jun 2012

The Constitutional Right To (Keep Your) Same-Sex Marriage, Steve Sanders

Michigan Law Review

Same-sex marriage is now legal in six states, and tens of thousands of same-sex couples have already gotten married. Yet the vast majority of other states have adopted statutes or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. These mini-defense of marriage acts not only forbid the creation of same-sex marriages; they also purport to void or deny recognition to the perfectly valid same-sex marriages of couples who migrate from states where such marriages are legal. These nonrecognition laws effectively transform the marital parties into legal strangers, causing significant harms: property rights are potentially altered, spouses disinherited, children put at risk, and financial ...


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 ...


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 ...


Modernizing Marriage, Adam Candeub, Mae Kuykendall Jul 2011

Modernizing Marriage, Adam Candeub, Mae Kuykendall

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article proposes to modernize the archaic procedures states use to authorize marriages so as to provide legal flexibility, promote efficiency, and enhance individual choice. Almost universally, states require couples' presence within their borders, however briefly, for a ceremony. After considering the historical and policy rationales for this requirement and finding them either obsolete or incoherent, we propose that states offer marriages to those outside their borders. Such distance marriages could occur via video-conference, using the internet or even telephone, with readily available safeguards to prevent fraud. This simple reform would allow certain couples who cannot marry under local law ...


The (Mis)Categorization Of Sex In Anglo-American Cases Of Transsexual Marriage, John Parsi Jun 2010

The (Mis)Categorization Of Sex In Anglo-American Cases Of Transsexual Marriage, John Parsi

Michigan Law Review

The United States' promise to establish equality for all has been challenged by post-operative transsexuals seeking recognition in their acquired sex. The birth certificate is the legal gateway to changing other legal documents; but the process for changing the birth certificate varies widely from state to state. This lack of national uniformity makes post-operative transsexuals' recognition of their acquired sex complicated at best and impossible at worst. This Note details the legal progression from non-recognition to recognition of post-operative transsexuals' acquired sex in the United Kingdom and through the European Court of Human Rights. The Note goes on to explore ...


Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is divided into four parts. In Part I, the nature of the levy that the DOMAs impose on same-sex couples is explained. In Part II, how this levy can be classified as a "tax" is explained. In Part III, the federal- and state-level ramifications of classifying the levy that the DOMAs impose as a "tax" are discussed. Finally, brief concluding remarks are provided that discuss how this Article might pave the way for making similar arguments with respect to other nontraditional families and, concomitantly, how it demonstrates the transformative potential of same-sex marriage.


Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser Jan 2010

Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Transgendered individuals and their families face legal risks that most families do not, at least in part, because state laws are often unclear about whether or under what conditions transgendered individuals are permitted to marry the individuals whom they love. Challenges to the validity of marriages involving the transgendered may arise under a variety of circumstances, ranging from cases in which individuals may have hidden or may not even have known that they were transgendered until after their marriages, to cases in which the individuals had already transitioned and had explained their personal histories to their partners before they were ...


Same-Sex Marriage In The Heartland: The Case For Legislative Minimalism In Crafting Religious Exemptions, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2009

Same-Sex Marriage In The Heartland: The Case For Legislative Minimalism In Crafting Religious Exemptions, Ian C. Bartrum

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In Varnum v. Brien, decided April 3rd of this year, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's statutory ban on same-sex marriage. In a remarkably clear and thoughtful opinion, Justice Mark Cady explored in depth the immutability of sexual identity and the appropriate standard of judicial review for legislative classifications based on sexual orientation-adopting (for now) an intermediate level of scrutiny. The decision marked the first significant legal victory for same-sex marriage outside of New England (with the exception of a short-term success in Hawaii), and served notice that the gay rights movement—once thought compelling only ...


The Gay Agenda, Libby Adler Jan 2009

The Gay Agenda, Libby Adler

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is designed to illuminate options that the author believes have been difficult for advocates of gay rights to imagine due to an incessant culture war and the hard work of anti-gay forces that have kept pro-gay advocates under persistent fire. The culture war, this paper argues, while a fundraising boon and a media draw, compels a particular type of participation and a particular reform agenda, eclipsing reform possibilities that might be preferable in the long run.


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 ...


Friends With Benefits?, Laura A. Rosenbury Nov 2007

Friends With Benefits?, Laura A. Rosenbury

Michigan Law Review

Family law has long been intensely interested in certain adult intimate relationships, namely marriage and marriage-like relationships, and silent about other adult intimate relationships, namely friendship. This Article examines the effects of that focus, illustrating how it frustrates one of the goals embraced by most family law scholars over the past forty years: the achievement of gender equality, within the family and without. Part I examines the current scope of family law doctrine and scholarship, highlighting the ways in which the home is still the organizing structure for family. Despite calls for increased legal recognition of diverse families, few scholars ...


Same-Sex Loving:Subverting White Supremacy Through Same-Sex Marriage, Adele M. Morrison Jan 2007

Same-Sex Loving:Subverting White Supremacy Through Same-Sex Marriage, Adele M. Morrison

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article marks the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia- the landmark decision that responded to the question of the constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws by firmly stating that the fundamental right to marry could not be restricted by race-by taking up the issue of the case's applicability in the context of same-sex marriage. The invocation of Loving has generally been in a manner that invites comparisons between interracial and same-sex marriage. Pro same-sex marriage arguments that utilize this comparison-which has come to be known as the "Loving Analogy"-- include the decision's freedom of choice and antidiscrimination elements, but ...


The Passage Of Community Property Laws, 1939-1947: Was "More Than Money" Involved?, Jennifer E. Sturiale Jan 2005

The Passage Of Community Property Laws, 1939-1947: Was "More Than Money" Involved?, Jennifer E. Sturiale

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article reviews the legal landscape that provided the backdrop against which Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania later adopted community property laws. It also examines the tax consequences of the two Supreme Court cases, Lucas v. Earl and Poe v. Seaborn, that resulted in the disparate tax treatment of married couples in common law and community property law states. Part II briefly reviews the subsequent passage of community property laws by Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania; the passage of a federal tax reduction bill that provided for equal treatment of community property law and common ...


"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.


African American Intimacy: The Racial Gap In Marriage, R. Richard Banks, Su Jin Gatlin Jan 2005

African American Intimacy: The Racial Gap In Marriage, R. Richard Banks, Su Jin Gatlin

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This essay is divided into three parts. Part I documents the extent of the racial gap in marriage. Part II uses the marriage patterns of affluent Black men in particular to speculate about how the relationships of Black men and women might be influenced by the relative numbers of men and women and the men's socioeconomic characteristics in ways that depress marriage rates. Part III connects the low rate of marriage among African Americans to the differing interracial marriage rates of Black men and women.


Foreword: Loving Lawrence, Pamela S. Karlan Jun 2004

Foreword: Loving Lawrence, Pamela S. Karlan

Michigan Law Review

Two interracial couples. Two cases. Two clauses. In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia statute outlawing interracial marriage. In Lawrence v. Texas, the Court struck down a Texas statute outlawing sexual activity between same-sex individuals. Each case raised challenges under both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.