February 11, 2012
Review of "Coming Apart"
Law professors June Carbone and Naomi Cahn review Charles Murray's new book "Coming Apart." Read it here.
Prison Release in Exchange for Divorce
Israel's supreme rabbinical court of appeals upheld a ruling to keep a man imprisoned until he grants his wife a bill of divorce.
Meir Gorodetzki was sent to prison by the court for refusing to give his wife a divorce, or "get," in 2001, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
The maximum sentence for the offense is 10 years imprisonment.
February 10, 2012
Davidson: "Mother's Baby, Father's Maybe!--Intestate Succession: When Should a Child Born Out of Wedlock Have a Right to Inherit from or Through His or Her Biological Father?"
Camille Davidson (Charlotte School of Law) has posted "Mother's Baby, Father's Maybe!--Intestate Succession: When Should a Child Born Out of Wedlock Have a Right to Inherit from or Through His or Her Biological Father?" (22 Columbia J. Gender & Law 531 (2011)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
When the renowned chess genius Bobby Fischer died, his body was exhumed in order to determine whether his genetic samples matched samples from a child whose mother claimed he fathered outside of a marital union. Bobby Fischer was domiciled in Iceland and under Icelandic law, if there had been a genetic connection, the child would have been the sole legal heir of his intestate estate. The law is not so clear in the United States. Each state has enacted laws of intestate succession. While the laws in all fifty states provide that a child born out of wedlock is automatically his or her mother's legal child, state statutes vary substantially as to when that same child is entitled to an intestate inheritance from or through his or her genetic father.
If Fischer, the Chicago native, had been domiciled in North Carolina at his death, even if DNA had established a genetic relationship between Fisher and the child, the child would still have been precluded from inheriting her father's estate. In North Carolina, a biological or genetic connection is not enough to constitute a paternal legal heir without strict compliance with statutory formalities. In contrast, if Fischer had been domiciled in Georgia, and through clear and convincing evidence a genetic relationship was established, the child would inherit from her father's estate as his legal child. As one can see, in the United States, paternal inheritance depends on the state of the father's *532 domicile. As such, when we discuss the out of wedlock child and his or her right to inherit family wealth through intestate succession, the old adage “Mother's baby, father's maybe” comes to mind.
In this paper, I suggest that each of the fifty states should, like Georgia and other similarly situated states, follow the trend of Icelandic law in the area of intestate succession. Specifically, where clear and convincing evidence (either before or after a father's death) determines that a father is the genetic parent of a child, and there has been no formal adoption of the child, such child should be entitled to an intestate share of his or her father's estate in the same manner as a child born to a married parents.
$40k for Kindergarten
From the New York Times:
THERE are certain mathematical realities associated with New York City private schools: There are more students than seats at the top-tier schools, at least three sets of twins will be vying head to head for spots in any class, and already-expensive tuition can only go up.
Over the past 10 years, the median price of first grade in the city has gone up by 48 percent, adjusted for inflation, compared with a 35 percent increase at private schools nationally — and just 24 percent at an Ivy League college — according to tuition data provided by 41 New York City K-12 private schools to the National Association of Independent Schools.
Indeed, this year’s tuition at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory ($38,340 for 12th grade) and Horace Mann ($37,275 for the upper school) is higher than Harvard’s ($36,305). Those 41 schools (out of 61 New York City private schools in the national association) provided enough data to enable a 10-year analysis. (Over all, inflation caused prices in general to rise 27 percent over the past decade.)
The median 12th-grade tuition for the current school year was $36,970, up from $21,100 in 2001-2, according to the national association’s survey. Nationally, that figure rose to $24,240 from $14,583 a decade ago.
Read more here.
February 9, 2012
Adler: "Federalism and Family"
This article takes up the axiomatic place of family law under federalism. Family is often depicted as belonging squarely in the state law domain, reflecting its nature as a matter of moral deliberation, rather than of, say, commerce or constitutional rights. This article demonstrates, however, that family law is a matter of federal law in an endless number of substantive areas, from immigration and taxation to privacy in the marital bedroom and the relative rights of putative and presumed fathers. It asks how the innumerable exceptions to the rule about family law’s place under federalism come to be rationalized. The answer, the article argues, has to do with the fact that the state-federal divide with respect to family maps onto the private-public divide that has long vexed feminists. The constant creation of exceptions to the general rule that family law is state law serve to preserve family’s allegedly moral character and obscure individualist dimensions of family.
Same-Sex Marriage in Washington
From the NYT:
SEATTLE — Washington was poised Wednesday to become the seventh state to allow same-sex couples to marry after the State House gave final passage to such a bill. Gov. Christine Gregoire promised to sign it.
Read more here.
Enter the Baby Dragons
Babies born in the Chinese year of the dragon are believed to have lives marked by success and fortune—so China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries are expecting a baby boom to begin right around Jan. 23. That's the first day of the Chinese New Year, and this year the 12-animal zodiac returns to the dragon. Twelve years ago, births in Hong Kong increased 5%; Chinese state news expects a similar figure for China this year, the BBC reports. It's a boon for baby-centered industries: Diaper sales are likely to jump 17%.
Read more here.
February 8, 2012
Protecting Assets by Adopting Lover
From the Daily Mail:
When a man wants to spend the rest of his life with a woman, he often extends an offer to her to become part of his family.
But International Polo Club Palm Beach founder John Goodman, 48, did so in a very unorthodox way.
The multimillionaire trust-fund heir adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend Heather Laruso Hutchins last fall, after being accused of drunk driving in a 2010 accident that left 23-year-old Scott Wilson dead.
Read more here.
February 7, 2012
9th Circuit Finds Prop 8 Unconstitutional
From the NYT:
LOS ANGELES – A federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California violated the Constitution, all but ensuring that the case will proceed to the United States Supreme Court.
The three-judge panel issued its ruling Tuesday morning in San Francisco, upholding a decision by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who had been the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California but has since retired. Like Judge Walker, the panel found that Proposition 8 – passed by California voters in November 2008 by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent -- violated the equal protection rights of two same-sex couples that brought he suit. The proposition placed a specific prohibition in the State Constitution against marriage between two people of the same sex.
Read more here.
Stępień-Sporek, Stoppa, & Ryznar: "The Rules on the Administration of Community Property in Poland"
Anna Stępień-Sporek, Paweł Stoppa, and Margaret Ryznar have posted "The Rules on the Administration of Community Property in Poland" (forthcoming, International Survey of Family Law) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The Polish rules on the administration of marital common property underwent significant changes in 2005. Previous regulations, having their roots in the pre-1989 communist regime of Poland, appeared insufficient for the current capitalist economy and today’s dynamically developing society. The previous management of common property, based on the unclear dichotomy between ordinary and extraordinary actions, created practical judicial problems and undermined the stability of legal relationships established without the consent of the other spouse. The new law, based on the general principle of self-management except for particularly important actions, seems preferable, although it is not completely free of shortcomings and still requires periodic review. This article describes the most notable differences between the old and new rules on the administration of common marital property, and introduces readers to the field of the administration of common property pursuant to the relevant new regulations.
February 6, 2012
Sharing Passwords as Love
From The New York Times:
Young couples have long signaled their devotion to each other by various means — the gift of a letterman jacket, or an exchange of class rings or ID bracelets. Best friends share locker combinations.
The digital era has given rise to a more intimate custom. It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts.
They say they know such digital entanglements are risky, because a souring relationship can lead to people using online secrets against each other. But that, they say, is part of what makes the symbolism of the shared password so powerful.
Read more here.