Thursday, July 18, 2024

Kansas’ top court bolsters a state right to abortion and strikes down 2 anti-abortion laws

From AP News:

Kansas’ highest court strongly reaffirmed Friday that the state constitution protects abortion access, striking down a ban on a common second-trimester procedure and laws regulating abortion providers more strictly than other health care providers.

The pair of 5-1 decisions suggests that other restrictions — even ones decades on the books — might not withstand legal challenges. The court’s dissenting justice, widely seen as its most conservative, warned that Kansas is headed toward “a legal regime of unrestricted access to abortion.”

“This is an immense victory for the health, safety, and dignity of people in Kansas and the entire Midwestern region, where millions have been cut off from abortion access,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the abortion providers challenging the two laws.

Read more here.

July 18, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

8 out of 10 women change their name after marriage—they might not realize the impact it has on their careers, work relationships and job prospects

From Yahoo Finance:

What's in a name?

In the beginning, it's a wobbly scribble on the front of a schoolbook, or called out in attendance. Later in life it's displayed at the top of a CV, stamped on a driver's license and—if you're lucky—signed on the deed to a home.

But some people might change that moniker without a full appreciation of the impact the decision could have—for better or worse.

In the U.S., 80% of married women in opposite-sex relationships take their husband's surname, according to a study from Pew Research published last year. It's a trend which has showed little signs of fluctuating over the past couple of decades, though younger generations—those aged between 18 and and 49—were twice as likely as those aged 50+ to keep their original surname.

That being said, 73% of women under the age of 50 chose to take on their partner's surname.

And for each who does, the decision is deeply personal—and often complicated by professional considerations—says Michael Bradicich, the owner of, a service that has helped over 400,000 brides through the name-change process. While some people "jump in with both feet" and little consideration, Bradicich told Fortune, those who trade on their name often take a pause.

After all, "their name is part of their career."

Read more here.

July 17, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Parenting influencers in Illinois must now pay their children if they feature in videos. Experts say it's about time.

From Business Insider:

A new law passed in Illinois on July 1 requires parenting influencers to set aside 15% of their earnings for their kids who appear on camera.

Parents are now obligated to save this much of the gross earnings from their content posted on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms if their children feature in 30% or more of their footage.

The money set aside is to be kept in a trust that the children can access once they reach 18 years old. At this time, they can also request that the videos they appeared in be deleted.

There will be no direct enforcement, but children can choose to sue their parents once they reach adulthood if they do not comply.

Read more here.

July 16, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 15, 2024

Pup prenups: An overwhelming number of people say they support proactively deciding the fate of their pets should they divorce

From Fortune: 

Even the best laid plans fail sometimes. Take marriage, for example. In 2022, there were more than 673,000 divorces and annulments in the U.S., according to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although prenuptial agreements have historically been taboo or otherwise only useful for the ultra-wealthy, they’re actually becoming more popular. 

Read more here.

July 15, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 14, 2024

The rise of same-sex marriage, charted

From Axios:

Same-sex marriages climbed across the U.S. leading up to and following the Supreme Court's 2015 decision legalizing them nationwide.

    • In fact, about 41% of current same-sex couples got married between 2015 and 2019, a new Census Bureau report finds.

By the numbers: There were about 1.3 million same-sex couple households nationwide as of 2022, per the latest American Community Survey (ACS) data, compared to about 565,000 in 2008.

    • There were about 741,000 married same-sex couple households as of 2022, up from about 150,000 in 2008.
    • 58% of same-sex couple households were married as of 2022, compared to just 26.6% in 2008.

Read more here.

July 14, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Boone & McMichael: "Reproductive Objectification"

Meghan Boone (Wake Forest University School of Law) and Benjamin McMichael (University of Alabama) recently posted their Article, "Reproductive Objectification" on SSRN. Here is the Abstract:

The American system of rights is individualized—premised on the concept of singular, physically separate, and autonomous people. The rise of the fetal personhood movement complicates this basic understanding. If rights attach to singular, autonomous people, and fetuses are legally people, then the body of a pregnant person becomes conceptually unintelligible as it contains potentially two, interrelated people. Such a circumstance is fundamentally a contradiction within a framework that insists that rights attach to people who are, by definition, singular, separate, and autonomous. This Article argues that, as a result of this apparent contradiction, fetal personhood laws make the humanity of the pregnant person precarious. If the law has no framework for two rights holders in one body, then the pregnant person must be something else entirely. She becomes less of a subject and more of an object—a reproductive vessel, merely the container for another individual rights-holder. Reproductive justice scholars and advocates have long argued that laws purporting to endow the fetus with personhood exacerbate the “maternal-fetal conflict” and undermine pregnant people’s rights. This Article argues, relying on both decades of feminist legal theory and original empirical evidence, that granting full personhood to a fetus has an even more insidious outcome—undermining the legal personhood of women entirely and recategorizing them in the eyes of the law as non-person objects. Looking across cultures and eras, it is unfortunately not difficult to ascertain what might happen when human beings are treated as objects. Such objectification results in almost certain abuse, sometimes of the most horrifying variety.

July 13, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 12, 2024

Lau: "Decriminalizing Same-Sex Sexual Activity: Jurisprudence from the Global South"

Holning Lau (University of North Carolina School of Law) recently posted his Article, "Decriminalizing Same-Sex Sexual Activity: Jurisprudence from the Global South" on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This article contends that the Global South’s jurisprudence on decriminalizing same-sex sexual intimacy has distinctive features that are missing from the Global North’s jurisprudence. In this article, I examine decriminalization cases from courts in Belize, Botswana, India, Fiji, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as cases from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. I juxtapose these cases with canonical cases from the Global North—namely, cases from the United States and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

This analysis reveals four distinctive features of the Global South’s jurisprudence. First, many of the Global South’s judicial opinions traced sodomy bans to their colonial origins and framed their repudiation of the bans as an act of anticolonialism. Second, compared with cases from the United States and the ECtHR, the Global South’s cases often identified a broader set of rights violations. The ECtHR and US decisions were based on rights to privacy or liberty. In contrast, many of the Global South’s judgments went further, expounding on why sodomy bans violate other rights, including rights to health, substantive equality, and freedom of expression. Third, certain Global South cases innovated the notion of “constitutional morality” in adjudication. Fourth, compared with the cases from the United States and the ECtHR, many of the Global South’s judgments spoke more emphatically about protecting sexual minorities out of a respect for difference and pluralism. This article discusses these jurisprudential innovations’ significance to ongoing debates and future research concerning LGBTQ rights.

July 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Lane-Steele: "The Nonbinary Bogeyman"

Laura Lane-Steele (University of South Carolina - Joseph F. Rice School of Law) recently posted her Article, "The Nonbinary Bogeyman" on SSRN. Here is the Abstract:

This Response to Professor Marie-Amélie George's article Expanding LGBT, 73 FLA. L. REV. 243 (2021) uses the lessons from Professor George’s article about LGBT movement expansion and non-expansion to analyze how LGBT rights groups respond when opponents invoke the nonbinary bogeyman as a sword against gender-conforming, binary transgender people and their rights. Specifically, it uses a recent Eleventh Circuit bathroom case, Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, as an illustrative example of how the State deploys the nonbinary bogeyman to attack transgender rights and how LGBT groups rebut the bogeyman arguments. Then, after describing LGBT groups' responses to the bogeyman, it questions the strategic efficacy of these responses. Although their assimilationist nature gives the responses clear strategic appeal, they fail to confront or undermine the logic of the nonbinary bogeyman and therefore may be insufficient to secure victories for binary transgender people, at least in some cases. As Professor George’s work shows, “bogeymen in the bathroom” arguments have been particularly powerful when left unchallenged, and national rights groups have struggled to secure wins when they leave the logic of the bogeyman intact. Finally, this Response provides an alternative argument to rebut the nonbinary bogeyman. This alternative response retains the current responses’ assimilationist themes, but it also attempts to expose the flawed logic in the bogeyman arguments.

July 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

NCBE Seeks Public Comment on NextGen Bar Exam Family Law Materials

Message from the National Conference of Bar Examiners:

NCBE is pleased to share the preliminary NextGen bar exam family law subject matter outline. The outline is available online and the public is encouraged to submit comments through July 26, 2024. We hope you will submit comments and that you will also share this information with your colleagues.

From July 2026 through February 2028, family law concepts will appear on every NextGen exam in a performance task and may also be included in integrated question sets. During this period, family law concepts will be tested with the provision of legal resources. Starting in July 2028, family law will be included in the foundational concepts and principles tested on the NextGen bar exam and will be tested in the same manner as the other foundational concepts and principles. The subject matter outline shows the doctrinal law that will be tested starting in July 2028.

July 10, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Maldonado: "De Facto Parents, Legal Parents, and Inchoate Rights"

Solangel Maldonado (Seton Hall University School of Law) recently published her Article, "De Facto Parents, Legal Parents, and Inchoate Rights" in The University of Chicago Law Review. Here is the Abstract:

Professor Douglas NeJaime’s Essay Parents in Fact1 com- mends the Restatement of Children and the Law’s2 embrace of the de facto parent doctrine.3 He is somewhat critical, however, of the Restatement’s reference to individuals seeking recognition as de facto parents as “third parties” and its reluctance to recognize de facto parents as legal parents.He is also skeptical of the Restatement’s requirement that an individual seeking recognition as a de facto parent first show that a legal parent consented to and fostered the individual’s creation of a parent-child relationship with the child.NeJaime’s observations provide an opportunity to clarify the scope and constraints of a restatement—which requires “clear formulations of common law” rules and must “reflect the law as it presently stands”6 but also provides space, albeit limited, for expression of “the relative desirability of competing rules.”7 NeJaime’s reflections also allow us to illustrate how silence—not taking a position—on issues that courts have yet to decide furthers the Restatement’s legitimacy while minimizing the risk that it will be “a roadblock to change”8 as the law evolves.

July 9, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 8, 2024

Papke & Papke: "Rights and Remedies: Rental Housing for Low-Income Households in the United States"

David Ray Papke (Marquette University Law School) and Mary Papke (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) recently posted their Article, "Rights and Remedies: Rental Housing for Low-Income Households in the United States" in Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review. Here is the Abstract:

The state of rental housing for low-income households in the United States is deplorable. Unaffordable, unsanitary, and insecure, this housing violates the internationally recognized right of housing. While the United States has never formally recognized that right, the right guarantees not only a roof overhead but also affordability, habitability, and security of tenure. Policies and programs seeking to remedy the problems in rental housing might consciously address these aspects of rental housing. Policies and programs of this sort will not be enough to eliminate all problems, but they would alleviate a matter of great embarrassment, namely, the most affluent country in the world does not adequately house low-income households.

July 8, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 7, 2024

I Love You, but I Don’t Want to Sleep With You

From the New York Times:

Snoring and conflicting schedules are top reasons couples decide to sleep in separate bedrooms. Sex therapists and marriage counselors have their doubts about the arrangement.

July 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Couples say they can't get married because of this government program's outdated rules

From NPR:

Amber and Devin Weise lived in distant states when they met in an online social media group for Christian singles. They quickly became a couple, spending hours texting or talking on video chat. After several months of long-distance dating Devin wanted to propose, but thought it was proper and more romantic to do it in person.

Amber hinted she’d be OK with a proposal on a video call. Devin proposed and sent the ring in the mail.

It wasn’t until after they married that they learned the federal disability benefits program Amber relied upon penalizes couples who marry. Amber lost her monthly income check and the health care that came with it.

Read more here.

July 6, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 5, 2024

Treatment of Parental Alienation: Guidelines for Mental Health and Legal Practitioners

From Psychiatric Times:

"A PA-specific treatment plan is called for in these cases.

In mild PA—where the child’s contact reluctance or refusal is limited—a parent’s alienating behavior can be stopped with strong directives from an attorney, judge, parent coordinator, or mental health practitioner. More extensive treatment may not be necessary. This form of PA is the easiest and quickest to resolve. Yet, some cases of mild PA closely resemble moderate PA and require a different treatment plan.

For moderate PA—where the child persistently refuses contact and is mostly oppositional during any parenting time—a multifaceted treatment approach is indicated.20 The alienating parent must have individual therapy or coaching with a seasoned clinician who is skilled in alienation tactics. The singular goal of this therapy is to help the offending parent stop his or her alienating behavior. At the same time, reunification therapy of the alienated child and the rejected parent must focus on repairing and restoring their prior good relationship. This treatment plan will be successful if the alienating parent stops his or her dysfunctional behavior and does not sabotage the reunification process. If the alienating parent does not have individual therapy, the reunification of the alienated child and the rejected parent will fail.


In severe PA cases—where the alienated child is completely cut off from the rejected parent—a different treatment protocol is indicated.20 In these cases, the alienated child must be removed from the care of the alienating parent, placed with the rejected parent, and have no contact with the alienating parent for an extended period of time, perhaps 90 days or more. Simultaneously, the alienating parent must have individual therapy or coaching and the alienated child and rejected parent must have reunification therapy. Once significant improvement is seen, the alienating parent can begin to have supervised visits with the child. A standard visitation schedule may be a reasonable goal if progress is maintained and PA behaviors have remitted.

In moderate and severe cases, the 2 therapists—the individual therapist and the reunification therapist—must be free to communicate and compare notes on a regular basis. Ideally, both therapists need to assure that all parties are making significant progress. Sometimes it is wise to have a parent coordinator assigned to a case who can combine the inputs and recommendations from the 2 therapists.

In severe cases, the notion that an alienated child should not be removed from their favored parent is false and harmful.25 PA does not spontaneously disappear without clear, focused interventions."

Read more here.

July 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Happy 4th of July!


July 4, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Spouses of US Citizens Lose Supreme Court Visa Denial Case

From Bloomberg News:

Federal courts can’t second-guess visa denials for spouses of American citizens even if it means the couple can’t live together in the US, the Supreme Court said.

The 6-3 ruling by Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Friday said such denials don’t implicate the rights of US citizens.

The ruling is a loss for Sandra Muñoz, who sued the State Department after her husband, Luis Asencio-Cordero, a citizen of El Salvador, was denied a visa.

Ultimately the State Department said it rejected Asencio-Cordero because it believed he was affiliated with the international gang MS-13. He denied being a member of the group.

Writing in dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor chided her conservative colleagues for failing to resolve the dispute on narrow grounds and instead deciding it in a way that she said undermined the right to same-sex marriage.

“There was a simple way to resolve this case,” Sotomayor said. “Instead, the majority swings for the fences.”

Read more here.

July 3, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

George: "Family Matters: Queer Households and the Half-Century Struggle for Legal Recognition"

Marie-Amélie George's book, Family Matters: Queer Households and the Half-Century Struggle for Legal Recognition (Studies in Legal History), is available to pre-order.

Here is the description:

In 1960, consensual sodomy was a crime in every state in America. Fifty-five years later, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the fundamental right to marry. In the span of two generations, American law underwent a dramatic transformation. Though the fight for marriage equality has received a considerable amount of attention from scholars and the media, it was only a small part of the more than half-century struggle for queer family rights. Family Matters uncovers these decades of advocacy, which reshaped the place of same-sex sexuality in American law and society – and ultimately made marriage equality possible. This book, however, is more than a history of queer rights. Marie-Amélie George reveals that national legal change resulted from shifts at the state and local levels, where the central figures were everyday people without legal training. Consequently, she offers a new way of understanding how minority groups were able to secure meaningful legal change.

July 2, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 1, 2024

Iowa can enforce six-week abortion ban, US state's top court rules

From Reuters:

Iowa can enforce a ban on most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, the state's highest court ruled on Friday, reversing a lower court order that had blocked the law from taking effect.
The 4-3 ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court held that the law does not violate citizens' rights under the state constitution, rejecting a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood.
It will be 21 days before the decision can take effect, and abortion will remain legal in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy until then, according to Planned Parenthood.
"We are devastated by today's ruling and the harmful consequences it will have on essential health care in Iowa," said Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson in a statement.
The newly revived law was passed in a special legislative session in 2023, after the state Supreme Court failed to revive a separate 2018 abortion ban in a 3-3 deadlock, with one justice not participating for unspecified reasons. The legislature's Republican majority rebuffed Democrats' efforts to expand the law's exceptions, including a proposed exception for pregnant children aged 12 or under.

Read more here.

July 1, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Feinberg: "Multi-Parent Custody"

Jessica Feinberg (University of Maine - School of Law) recently posted her article, Multi-Parent Custody (published in Minnesota Law Review) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract

In recent years, a number of jurisdictions have enacted laws recognizing that a child may have more than two legal parents (multi-parentage). Recognition of multi-parentage represents a significant change to the legal framework governing parentage— for most of U.S. history, it was well established that a child could have a maximum of two legal parents. While commentators undoubtedly will continue to debate the wisdom of multi-parentage recognition, it is clear both that multi-parentage has arrived and that its arrival raises many novel and important questions across a variety of areas of the law. Proponents and opponents of multi-parentage agree that child custody represents one of the core areas in which multi-parentage recognition will raise complicated questions that warrant careful consideration. It is inevitable that, just as child custody disputes arise in two-parent families, such disputes also will occur in multi-parent families. As a result, legislatures and courts soon will face the task of deciding how to approach custody disputes involving children who have more than two legal parents. This Article examines a number of the core initial questions that multi-parentage recognition will raise in the child custody context. These questions include: (1) whether parents who share an intact relationship and are involved in a dispute with another parent should be considered a single entity or separate entities for purposes of the custody determination; (2) whether legal standards employing presumptions in favor of joint custody, which have become increasingly popular in the two-parent custody context, should extend to multi-parent custody disputes; and (3) to what degree the law should encourage settlement and defer to agreements reached by the parties in multi-parent custody disputes. The Article concludes by setting forth detailed proposals regarding how lawmakers and courts should resolve these essential questions.

June 30, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Why Does Child Support Go Unpaid?

From the Cato Institute:

The child support collection process in the United States has largely failed. According to a 2020 Census Bureau report, only 62 percent of the more than $30 billion in authorized support payments for 2017 were actually received. While nearly 70 percent of custodial parents received at least some payments, less than half got their full amounts. Furthermore, average amounts received declined between 1993 and 2017, despite the inflation that occurred over that period. These observations raise the question of what factors may have led to the disappointing outcomes.

Read more here.

June 29, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)