Sunday, July 24, 2011
Lawrence profiles Janet Halley & Kerry Rittich, Critical Directions in Comparative Family Law: Genealogies and Contemporary Studies of Family Law Exceptionalism, 58 Am. J. Comp. L. 753 (2010).
She writes that this short and valuable article is "fundamentally about equality questions," and that the authors argue that family law is about “distributional outcomes.” The "legally constituted family is closely linked to market distributions, even if those links are often masked."
Thus, family law is not "exceptional" as we so often say in Constitutional Law, even as we continue to discuss polygamy, same-sex marriage, and other family forms. Moreover, looking at the issue from a Canadian- US comparative perspective is often much more illuminating than one might think, especially given Canada's robust equality jurisprudence.
Lawrence argues that "scholars need to widen their nets" when addressing equality issues; the rest of her post is here.