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Gender Politics And Child Custody: The Puzzling Persistence Of The Best-Interest Standard Child Custody Decisionmaking, Elizabeth S. Scott, Robert E. Emery Jan 2014

Gender Politics And Child Custody: The Puzzling Persistence Of The Best-Interest Standard Child Custody Decisionmaking, Elizabeth S. Scott, Robert E. Emery

Faculty Scholarship

The best-interests-of-the-child standard has been the prevailing legal rule for resolving child-custody disputes between parents for nearly forty years. Almost from the beginning, it has been the target of academic criticism. As Robert Mnookin famously argued in a 1976 article, "best interests" are vastly indeterminate – more a statement of an aspiration than a legal rule to guide custody decisionmaking. The vagueness and indeterminacy of the standard make outcomes uncertain and gives judges broad discretion to consider almost any factor thought to be relevant to the custody decision. This encourages litigation in which parents are motivated to produce hurtful evidence of ...


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 ...


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, I draw lessons about how and why arguments become risky in social justice cases and whether they should be made nonetheless. This 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 on ...


Comment On The Definition Of "Eligible Organization" For Purposes Of Coverage Of Certain Preventive Services Under The Affordable Care Act, Robert P. Bartlett, Richard M. Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin Mccrary, Stephen Davidoff Solomon, Eric L. Talley Jan 2014

Comment On The Definition Of "Eligible Organization" For Purposes Of Coverage Of Certain Preventive Services Under The Affordable Care Act, Robert P. Bartlett, Richard M. Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin Mccrary, Stephen Davidoff Solomon, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This comment letter was submitted by U.C. Berkeley corporate law professors in response to a request for comment by the Health and Human Services Department on the definition of "eligible organization" under the Affordable Care Act in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. "Eligible organizations" will be permitted under the Hobby Lobby decision to assert the religious principles of their shareholders to exempt themselves from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate for employees.

In Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that the nexus of identity between several closely-held, for-profit corporations and their ...