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Gay

Estates and Trusts

Nancy J. Knauer

SelectedWorks

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Same-Sex Marriage And Federalism, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2008

Same-Sex Marriage And Federalism, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The increasing willingness of states to recognize same-sex relationships illustrates the central theme of this Symposium: federalism provides states the freedom to experiment with novel solutions to pressing social issues. The development of progressive policies seems to bear out Justice Brandeis' optimistic vision of federalism where "a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." With respect to same-sex relationships, however, state level reform efforts have not been uniformly progressive. To the contrary, the vast majority of these efforts prohibit the …


September 11 Relief Efforts And Surviving Same-Sex Partners: Reflections On Relationships In The Absence Of Legal Recognition, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2005

September 11 Relief Efforts And Surviving Same-Sex Partners: Reflections On Relationships In The Absence Of Legal Recognition, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The criteria established by federal, state, and private relief efforts to assist the families of the victims of the September 11 attacks present a unique opportunity to examine the status of same-sex relationships in the United States. In the absence of uniform relationship recognition, surviving same-sex partners continue to struggle with a loss that legally is not cognizable. The stories from the September 11 survivors illustrate that a surviving partner is a legal stranger, who often must reconfigure her relationship with her partner to fit within the various legal categories where relief or compensation might be forthcoming. These legal categories …


Defining Capacity: The Competing Interests Of Autonomy And Need, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2003

Defining Capacity: The Competing Interests Of Autonomy And Need, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This Essay addresses the question of capacity - the basic threshold determination that pervades all areas of the law. An individual must have the requisite level of capacity to consent to sex, refuse medical treatment, enter into a contract, marry, divorce, relinquish parental rights, execute a will, make a gift, donate organs, vote, serve on a jury, stand trial, and even to hire a lawyer. The standards regulating determinations of capacity are not monolithic. An individual may lack the capacity to contract, but may have the requisite capacity to write a will or to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment. As individuals, …