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Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

2021

Constitutional Law

Menstruation

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Compared To What? Menstruation, Pregnancy, And The Complexities Of Comparison, Emily Gold Waldman Jan 2021

Compared To What? Menstruation, Pregnancy, And The Complexities Of Comparison, Emily Gold Waldman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

When crafting a sex discrimination argument, finding the right comparison can be crucial. Indeed, comparison-drawing has been a key strategy for advocates challenging the constitutionality of the tampon tax. In their 2016 lawsuit challenging New York’s tampon tax, the plaintiffs alleged that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance had imposed a “double standard” when deciding which products would be considered tax-free medical items and which would not. Similar arguments were made in the subsequent challenge to Florida's tampon tax. In both cases, the arguments had powerful rhetorical force, helping to effectuate legislative repeal of the tampon taxes …


Menstruation And The Bar Exam: Unconstitutional Tampon Bans, Bridget J. Crawford Jan 2021

Menstruation And The Bar Exam: Unconstitutional Tampon Bans, Bridget J. Crawford

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Some states have policies that prevent bar exam candidates from bringing their own menstrual products to the test. Via social media, awareness of these policies achieved new heights in the weeks leading up to the July 2020 bar exam. While states adopted different approaches to administering the bar exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, a small number of jurisdictions responded to public criticism by permitting test-takers to bring menstrual products with them to exams. Not all states have adopted permissive policies, however. This essay explains why outright bans on menstrual products at the bar exam likely are unconstitutional. So-called alternate policies, …