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Columbia Law School

Columbia Law Review

Law and Gender

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Risky Arguments In Social-Justice Litigation: The Case Of Sex Discrimination And Marriage Equality, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2014

Risky Arguments In Social-Justice Litigation: The Case Of Sex Discrimination And Marriage Equality, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay takes up the puzzle of the risky argument or, more precisely, the puzzle of why certain arguments do not get much traction in advocacy and adjudication even when some judges find them to be utterly convincing. Through a close examination of the sex discrimination argument's evanescence in contemporary marriage litigation, this Essay draws lessons about how and why arguments become risky in social-justice cases and whether they should be made nonetheless. The marriage context is particularly fruitful because some judges, advocates, and scholars find it "obviously correct" that laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage discriminate facially based ...


The Domesticated Liberty Of Lawrence V. Texas, Katherine M. Franke Jan 2004

The Domesticated Liberty Of Lawrence V. Texas, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

In this Commentary, Professor Franke offers an account of the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. She concludes that in overruling the earlier Bowers v. Hardwick decision, Justice Kennedy does not rely upon a robust form of freedom made available by the Court's earlier reproductive rights cases, but instead announces a kind of privatized liberty right that affords gay and lesbian couples the right to intimacy in the bedroom. In this sense, the rights-holders in Lawrence are people in relationships and the liberty right those couples enjoy does not extend beyond the domain of the private. Franke ...


Theorizing Yes: An Essay On Feminism, Law, And Desire, Katherine M. Franke Jan 2001

Theorizing Yes: An Essay On Feminism, Law, And Desire, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, Professor Franke observes that, unlike feminists from other disciplines, feminist legal theorists have neglected to formulate a positive theory of female sexuality. Instead, discussions of female sexuality have been framed as either a matter of dependency or danger. Professor Franke begins her challenge to this scheme by asking why legal feminism has accepted unquestionably the fact that most women reproduce in their lifetimes. Why have not social forces that incentivize motherhood – a dynamic she terms repronormativity – been exposed to as exacting a feminist critique as have heteronormative forces that normalize heterosexuality? Furthermore, she continues by noting that ...


Separating From Children, Carol Sanger Jan 1996

Separating From Children, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

On September 1, 1939, in anticipation of the imminent German bombing of British cities, 150,000 children were assembled at the railway stations of London and sent throughout the day to "'destinations unknown'" in the English countryside. Mothers and children under five were evacuated together but school-age children were shipped out to rural billets in school groups, accompanied only by their teachers and civil defense volunteers. Forty years later, an observer remembered the day vividly:

[T]he mothers [were] trying to hold back their tears as they marched these little boys and girls in their gas masks into the centre ...


Unburdening The Undue Burden Standard: Orienting Casey In Constitutional Jurisprudence, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 1994

Unburdening The Undue Burden Standard: Orienting Casey In Constitutional Jurisprudence, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

"Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt." With these words in the 1992 case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court ushered in a new era of abortion regulation. Speaking through a joint opinion authored by Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, the Court indicated that from this point forth abortion regulations would be judged by an "undue burden" standard. According to this standard, an abortion regulation is unconstitutional if it "has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion" of a nonviable fetus.

The Justices who wrote ...