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Full-Text Articles in Law

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted May 2018

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The State of New York recently issued its first physician-certified “intersex” birth certificate, correcting a 55-year-old’s original birth certificate. This is a positive step towards eliminating the traditional binary approach to a person’s birth sex, but it creates potential uncertainties in the employment discrimination context. Over the past several years, the definition of what constitutes “discrimination on the basis of sex” has both expanded (with the legalization of same-sex marriage) and narrowed (restricting the use of gender specific bathrooms). Until recently it appeared that a broader definition of the term “sex” would become the judicial—and possibly legislative ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Removing Categorical Constraints On Equal Employment Opportunities And Anti-Discrimination Protections, Anastasia Niedrich Jan 2011

Removing Categorical Constraints On Equal Employment Opportunities And Anti-Discrimination Protections, Anastasia Niedrich

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

It has been the "historical tendency of anti-discrimination law to use categories to define protected classes of people." This Article challenges the categorical approach and seeks to change that limited framework. This Article focuses on the flaws with Title VII's categorical approach and discusses why there is a desperate need for change to combat the different types and targets of workplace discrimination today, focusing on the transgender community as one example. After discussing the current framework and operation of Title VII, this Article analyzes the insurmountable flaws inherent in the categorical approach to anti-discrimination law, and specifically considers Title ...


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 ...


Situations, Frames, And Stereotypes: Cognitive Barriers On The Road To Nondiscrimination, Marybeth Herald Jan 2010

Situations, Frames, And Stereotypes: Cognitive Barriers On The Road To Nondiscrimination, Marybeth Herald

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

A study of the psychological literature can enhance legal theory by focusing attention on how the human brain perceives, distinguishes, categorizes, and ultimately makes decisions. The more that we learn about the brain's intricate operations, the more effective we can be at combating the types of gender biased decisions that influence our lives. In developing strategies to achieve equality, feminist, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex activists would be wise to learn from the psychological literature. This Article highlights a few examples illustrating how this knowledge might re-direct strategic choices for combating gender inequality.


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 ...


Whatever Happened To G.I. Jane?: Citizenship, Gender, And Social Policy In The Postwar Era, Melissa E. Murray Jan 2002

Whatever Happened To G.I. Jane?: Citizenship, Gender, And Social Policy In The Postwar Era, Melissa E. Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this Article, it is argued that the GI Bill is consistent with the social welfare policies of the New Deal period, in particular the Social Security Act of 1935, and so should be examined within the analytical framework established by scholars like Linda Gordon and Theda Skocpol in their studies of the Social Security Act's social welfare programs. Although the Bill is gender-neutral on its face, it was framed by normative assumptions about military participation and work that ensured that it was socially understood to benefit male veterans.


What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner Jan 1999

What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article is aimed at the general question: whether having a woman judge would make a difference in sexual harassment cases. This article is aimed at this general question, the response to which has been elusive: Does the race, gender, or other background characteristics of a judge make a difference in the outcome of cases? The effects of diversity on the bench are just becoming measurable. Many legal scholars have assumed diversity will make a difference. While this conclusion may seem commonsensical, it is important to be able to support such assertions with actual data. The supposition has been that ...