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Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Nov 2015

Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, I measure the majority’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges against two legacies of second-wave feminist legal advocacy: the largely successful campaign to make civil marriage formally gender-neutral; and the lesser-known struggle against laws and practices that penalized women who lived their lives outside of marriage. Obergefell obliquely acknowledges marriage equality’s debt to the first legacy without explicitly adopting sex equality arguments against same-sex marriage bans. The legacy of feminist campaigns for nonmarital equality, by contrast, is absent from Obergefell’s reasoning and belied by rhetoric that both glorifies marriage and implicitly disparages nonmarriage. Even so ...


The Racial Evolution Of Justice Kennedy And Its Implications For Law, Theory, And The End Of The Second Reconstruction, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer Jan 2015

The Racial Evolution Of Justice Kennedy And Its Implications For Law, Theory, And The End Of The Second Reconstruction, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer

Articles by Maurer Faculty

This Article examines the recent turn in Justice Kennedy's race jurisprudence. The shift is palpable, from a narrow and uncompromising approach to the use of race by state actors to a more nuanced and contextual understanding of the role that race plays in American society. This is no small change, best explained by Justice Kennedy 's status on the Court as a "super median. " This is a position of power and influence, as any majority coalition must count on Justice Kennedy's vote; but more importantly, it is also a position of true independence. Justice Kennedy entertains his idiosyncratic ...