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Full-Text Articles in Law

Normalizing Reproductive Genetic Innovation, Myrisha S. Lewis Jul 2022

Normalizing Reproductive Genetic Innovation, Myrisha S. Lewis

Faculty Publications

Many societally accepted techniques were quite controversial at inception and for decades after. For example, historically, dialysis was “unnatural,” vaccination was “the poisoned quill,” and artificial insemination was akin to adultery. Despite social and cultural hurdles, the aforementioned medical techniques have today attained overall public acceptance, permissive legal treatment, and even health insurance coverage in some cases.

Unlike many now-routine treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, and organ transplantation, which flourished without significant governmental intervention, today’s controversial medical treatments, especially those involving reproductive genetic innovation, face intense regulatory barriers. Reproductive genetic innovation, which is the combination of IVF …


Pleasure Patents, Andrew Gilden, Sarah R. Wasserman Rajec Feb 2022

Pleasure Patents, Andrew Gilden, Sarah R. Wasserman Rajec

Faculty Publications

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted thousands of patents for inventions whose purpose is to facilitate the sexual pleasure of their users. These "pleasure patents" raise a range of novel questions about both patent theory and the relationship between law and sexuality more broadly. Given that "immoral" inventions were long excluded from the patent system, and that sexual devices were widely criminalized for much of the past 150 years, how have patentees successfully framed the contributions of their sexual inventions? If a patentable invention must be both new and useful, how have patentees described the utility of …


Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

2020 forced scholars, policymakers, and activists alike to grapple with the impact of “twin pandemics”—the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated Black and Indigenous communities, and the scourge of structural and physical state violence against those same communities—on American society. As atrocious acts of anti-Black violence and harassment by law enforcement officers and white civilians are captured on recording devices, the gap between Black people’s human and civil rights and their living conditions has become readily apparent. Less visible human rights abuses camouflaged as private commercial matters, and thus out of the reach of the state, are also increasingly exposed as …


Establishment’S Political Priority To Free Exercise, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2022

Establishment’S Political Priority To Free Exercise, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

Americans are beset by disagreement about the First Amendment. Progressive scholars are attacking the venerable liberal view that First Amendment rights must not be constricted to secure communal, political benefits. To prioritize free speech rights, they say, reflects an unjust inflation of individual interest over our common political commitments. These disagreements afflict the Religion Clauses as well. Critics claim that religious exemption has become more important than the values of disestablishment that define the polity. Free exercise exemption, they argue, has subordinated establishment.

This Article contests these views. The fundamental rules and norms constituting the political regime—what the Article calls …


Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

The year of racial justice awakening following George Floyd’s 2020 murder have been accompanied by a rise in attacks on Black thought, including Critical Race Theory, led by far-right activists who are invested in maintenance of a white supremacist status quo in the United States. This Essay uses artist Kara Walker’s 2014 Sugar Sphinx to contextualize the critiques on Critical Race Theory and other manifestations of Black intellectualism as a campaign for perpetual absolution of white guilt, and even redemption of white supremacy, that is openly embraced by white nationalists but also secretly nourished—and cherished—by the white liberal elite.


The New Thoreaus, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2022

The New Thoreaus, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

Fifty years ago, in Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court famously indicated that “religion” denotes a communal rather than a purely individual phenomenon. An organized group like the Amish would qualify as religious, the Court wrote, but a solitary seeker like the nineteenth century transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau would not. At the time, the question was mostly peripheral; hardly any Americans claimed to have their own, personal religions that would make it difficult for them to comply with civil law. In the intervening decades, though, American religion has changed. One-fifth of us—roughly sixty-six million people—now claim, like Thoreau, to …