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Full-Text Articles in Law

Stealth Advocacy Can (Sometimes) Change The World, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Stealth Advocacy Can (Sometimes) Change The World, Margo Schlanger

Michigan Law Review

Scholarship and popular writing about lawsuits seeking broad social change have been nearly as contentious as the litigation itself. In a normative mode, commentators on the right have long attacked change litigation as imperialist and ill informed, besides producing bad outcomes. Attacks from the left have likewise had both prescriptive and positive strands, arguing that civil rights litigation is “subordinating, legitimating, and alienating.” As one author recently summarized in this Law Review, these observers claim “that rights litigation is a waste of time, both because it is not actually successful in achieving social change and because it detracts attention and ...


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.


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.


The Family Law Doctrine Of Equivalence, Amy L. Wax Jan 2009

The Family Law Doctrine Of Equivalence, Amy L. Wax

Michigan Law Review

Students of patent law learn the doctrine of equivalents. According to the doctrine, a patent protects an invention that does "the same work in substantially the same way, and accomplish[ es] substantially the same result," as the device described in the patent, even if it differs "'in name, form, or shape." In her new book, Nancy Polikoff has fashioned something like a parallel doctrine for families. Let's call it (with a slight play on words) the family law Doctrine of Equivalence. In today's world, according to Polikoff, a broad set of relationships now plays the same role as ...


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 ...


Free Will To Will? A Case For The Recognition Of Intestacy Rights For Survivors To A Same-Sex Marriage Or Civil Union?, Christine A. Hammerle Jun 2006

Free Will To Will? A Case For The Recognition Of Intestacy Rights For Survivors To A Same-Sex Marriage Or Civil Union?, Christine A. Hammerle

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that courts should recognize intestacy rights for same sex couples that were validly married or civilly united in a state other than the one in which one of the partners died. Courts may validly recognize the marriage for intestacy purposes, even while refusing to recognize the marriage as against public policy. Part I details the recent provision of benefits in various states to same-sex couples. Part II argues that same-sex couples cannot necessarily rely on wills to effectuate their intent to leave their property to their spouses. Part III argues that when states refuse to recognize the ...


Sex Determination For Federal Purposes: Is Transsexual Immigration Via Marriage Permissible Under The Defense Of Marriage Act?, John A. Fisher Jan 2004

Sex Determination For Federal Purposes: Is Transsexual Immigration Via Marriage Permissible Under The Defense Of Marriage Act?, John A. Fisher

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I describes the federal immigration benefits available to spouses of most U.S. citizens and presents the historical and contemporary obstacles that prohibit these benefits from being extended to gays and lesbians. It then addresses DOMA's failure to define "opposite sex," and hence DOMA's failure to indicate whether post-operative transsexuals, or their partners, should be given "spousal status" under current U.S. immigration law. Part II examines traditional and modern notions of sex. It traces state legal approaches to transsexual marriage and ultimately disentangles the formalistic rhetoric that obfuscates the reasoning in those cases. In particular, Part ...


Marriage And Belonging, Ann Laquer Estin Jan 2002

Marriage And Belonging, Ann Laquer Estin

Michigan Law Review

Marriage is a quintessentially private institution. Justice Douglas put the point this way in 1965, writing for the Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut: "We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights - older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for ...


Family Law And Gay And Lesbian Family Issues In The Twentieth Century, David L. Chambers, Nancy D. Polikoff Jan 1999

Family Law And Gay And Lesbian Family Issues In The Twentieth Century, David L. Chambers, Nancy D. Polikoff

Articles

Over these thirty years, lesbians and gay men have increasingly challenged conventional definitions of marriage and the family. In this brief article, we tell the story of gay people and family law in the United States across this period. We divide our discussion into two sections: issues regarding the recognition of the same-sex couple relationship and issues regarding gay men and lesbians as parents. These issues overlap, of course, but since family law discussions commonly treat adult-adult issues of all sorts separately from parent-child issues, we believe it convenient and helpful to do so as well.


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.


Marriage Today: Legal Consequences For Same Sex And Opposite Sex Couples, David L. Chambers Jan 1997

Marriage Today: Legal Consequences For Same Sex And Opposite Sex Couples, David L. Chambers

Articles

Laws that treat married persons in a different manner than they treat single persons permeate nearly every field of social regulation in this country -- taxation, otrts, evidence, social welfare, inheritance, adoption, and on and on.


Polygamy And Same-Sex Marriage, David L. Chambers Jan 1997

Polygamy And Same-Sex Marriage, David L. Chambers

Articles

In the American federal system, state governments bear the responsibility for enacting the laws that define the persons who are permitted to marry. The federal government, throughout our history, has accepted these definitions and built upon them, fixing legal consequences for those who validly marry under state law. Only twice in American history has Congress intervened to reject the determinations that states might make about who can marry. The first occasion was in the late nineteenth century when Congress enacted a series of statutes aimed at the Mormon Church, prohibiting polygamy in the Western territories and punishing the Church and ...


What If? The Legal Consequences Of Marriage And The Legal Needs Of Lesbian And Gay Male Couples, David L. Chambers Jan 1996

What If? The Legal Consequences Of Marriage And The Legal Needs Of Lesbian And Gay Male Couples, David L. Chambers

Articles

Laws that treat married persons in a different manner than they treat single persons permeate nearly every field of social regulation in this country - taxation, torts, evidence, social welfare, inheritance, adoption, and on and on. In this article I inquire into the patterns these laws form and the central benefits and obligations that marriage entails, a task few scholars have undertaken in recent years. I have done so because same-sex couples, a large group not previously eligible to marry under the laws of any American jurisdiction, may be on the brink of securing the opportunity to do so in Hawaii ...