Friday, November 25, 2022

Abortion News Roundup Week of 11/25

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Women, Law, and Thanksgiving

Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists

Women of the Mayflower

Plymouth Colony Women's Rights

Abraham Lincoln & the Mother of Thanksgiving, Sarah Hale

Gender Roles and Thanksgiving

Feminist Legal Theory Blog, Thanksgiving: Women's Work?

Commonwealth v. Wilson, 369 A.2d 471 (Pa. 1976)

Thereafter, the court inquired as to the advisability of declaring a mistrial, and noted on the record certain "complications" it considered in suggesting this course of action. The court noted the difficulties in making dinner arrangements, the possibility of the separation of the jurors, and "the inability of the jury . . . apparently to agree . . ." In addition, Judge Monroe noted that it was ‘the eve of Thanksgiving Day, and the women on the jury who have chores to prepare for tomorrow's celebration, which may have some effect upon their verdict.’ 

7 Weird Thanksgiving Laws

 

November 24, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Possessing Guns While Subject to a Domestic Violence Protective Order Based on History and Tradition

The case is here: US v. Perez-Gallan (W.D. Tex. Nov. 10, 2022)

Yet it wasn’t until the mid- to late-1970s before states enacted laws enabling civil protection orders barring domestic abusers from further abusing the victim.33 And it wasn’t until the mid-1990s—around the time Congress created § 922(g)(8)—that every state had some sort of civil protection order statute.

Protective orders for domestic violence then, are also a recent legal invention. And because they are so recent, a much deeper historical inquiry is needed to satisfy Bruen’s historical requirement. Thus, the Court’s straightforward historical analysis digs deeper to uncover how this Nation has historically punished domestic abusers. 

This straightforward historical analysis, however, reveals a historical tradition likely unthinkable today. Domestic abusers are not new. But until the mid-1970s, government intervention—much less removing an individual’s firearms—because of domestic violence practically did not exist.

A reason for that was how infrequently domestic abusers were prosecuted. For example, the Plymouth Colony court records from 1633 to 1802 represent the only jurisdiction where the prosecution of domestic violence has been studied over a long time frame.

And during that almost 200-year period, only 12 cases involving wife beating were prosecuted.36 Zero complaints during that time were for child abuse.37 Another study of the six New England colonies from 1630 to 1699 confirmed the same—only 57 wives and husbands were tried on charges of assault. One explanation for such low prosecution numbers is that “a second judicial system, the church court, existed alongside the magistrate’s court.” And church courts relied more on public shaming than anything else.

That said, religious communities handed out the most severe consequences. Indeed, colonial New England, dominated by Puritans, imposed the harshest punishments on domestic violence offenders. For instance, a 1672 court sentenced a man convicted of abusing and beating his wife to be whipped with ten stripes or pay a five pounds monetary
fine to the court.***

The Puritan’s moral law, however, was not the British common law. And as society moved into the eighteenth century, Puritan morality dissipated. Indeed, like domestic violence historian Elizabeth Pleck stated, any prosecution of domestic violence charges at that point “were remnants of a much more extensive form of social policing that ended with the demise of the Puritan experiment.”

This is not to say society encouraged or turned a blind eye toward spousal abuse. Quite the opposite. One judge in 1914 stated that “wife-beating is one of the most contemptible of crimes.” Or as another scholar recounts, private citizens sometimes rebuffed abusers. Indeed, railroad workers in 1886 responded to the sounds of an assault from a nearby home by accosting the husband and taking him to the stationhouse. Or the woman who fended off a would-be abuser with a shotgun while harboring the battered wife in her home. Or the tarring and feathering of abusive husbands. Stories like these appear to have been common.

But glaringly absent from the historical record—from colonial times until 1994—are consistent examples of the government removing firearms from someone accused (or even convicted) of domestic violence.

See Duke Center for Firearms Law: Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban on Possessing Guns While Subject to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

The Supreme Court's New Second Amendment Test is Off to a Wild Start

On Guns, This Maniacal Focus on Constitutional Originalism is Insanity

November 23, 2022 in Constitutional, Legal History, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congress Passes Bill to Ban NDAs in Workplace Sexual Harassment Cases

Congress Passes Bill to Ban NDAs in Workplace Sexual Harassment Cases

On Wednesday, Congress passed bipartisan legislation, the Speak Out Act, which bans the use of nondisclosure agreements in cases of workplace sexual assault and harassment, by a vote of 315 to 109. The bill passed in the Senate in September and is now headed to the Oval Office to be signed into law.***

The Speak Out Act prohibits the use of NDAs between employers and current, former and prospective employees in cases of sexual assault and harassment. It also invalidates existing NDAs in cases that have not yet been filed. The legislation comes on the heels of the passage of a bill that banned mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment and assault cases. 

“This is a one-two punch,” Frankel said. “When you think about how many people are subjected to these agreements and how rampant sexual assault and abuse is in this country, these are two incredibly significant new laws that are going to change the culture and force corporations to protect their workers instead of trying to hide the dirty little secrets.***

Imre Szalai, a social justice professor at Loyola University New Orleans, told The 19th this summer when the bill was introduced that arbitration agreements and NDAs were developed in the United States for commercial purposes to handle business-to-business disputes in a more speedy and cost-effective manner. The federal arbitration law was first enacted in 1925, but sometime between the 1970s and 1990s, Szalai said there was a “snowball effect” and these agreements began appearing more broadly in consumer and employment relationships. And now, the U.S. relies on its corporate sector to resolve internal disputes more than any other country in the world. 

November 23, 2022 in Business, Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congress Passes Bill to Ban NDAs in Workplace Sexual Harassment Cases

Congress Passes Bill to Ban NDAs in Workplace Sexual Harassment Cases

On Wednesday, Congress passed bipartisan legislation, the Speak Out Act, which bans the use of nondisclosure agreements in cases of workplace sexual assault and harassment, by a vote of 315 to 109. The bill passed in the Senate in September and is now headed to the Oval Office to be signed into law.***

The Speak Out Act prohibits the use of NDAs between employers and current, former and prospective employees in cases of sexual assault and harassment. It also invalidates existing NDAs in cases that have not yet been filed. The legislation comes on the heels of the passage of a bill that banned mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment and assault cases. 

“This is a one-two punch,” Frankel said. “When you think about how many people are subjected to these agreements and how rampant sexual assault and abuse is in this country, these are two incredibly significant new laws that are going to change the culture and force corporations to protect their workers instead of trying to hide the dirty little secrets.***

Imre Szalai, a social justice professor at Loyola University New Orleans, told The 19th this summer when the bill was introduced that arbitration agreements and NDAs were developed in the United States for commercial purposes to handle business-to-business disputes in a more speedy and cost-effective manner. The federal arbitration law was first enacted in 1925, but sometime between the 1970s and 1990s, Szalai said there was a “snowball effect” and these agreements began appearing more broadly in consumer and employment relationships. And now, the U.S. relies on its corporate sector to resolve internal disputes more than any other country in the world. 

November 23, 2022 in Business, Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congress Passes Bill to Ban NDAs in Workplace Sexual Harassment Cases

Congress Passes Bill to Ban NDAs in Workplace Sexual Harassment Cases

On Wednesday, Congress passed bipartisan legislation, the Speak Out Act, which bans the use of nondisclosure agreements in cases of workplace sexual assault and harassment, by a vote of 315 to 109. The bill passed in the Senate in September and is now headed to the Oval Office to be signed into law.***

The Speak Out Act prohibits the use of NDAs between employers and current, former and prospective employees in cases of sexual assault and harassment. It also invalidates existing NDAs in cases that have not yet been filed. The legislation comes on the heels of the passage of a bill that banned mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment and assault cases. 

“This is a one-two punch,” Frankel said. “When you think about how many people are subjected to these agreements and how rampant sexual assault and abuse is in this country, these are two incredibly significant new laws that are going to change the culture and force corporations to protect their workers instead of trying to hide the dirty little secrets.***

Imre Szalai, a social justice professor at Loyola University New Orleans, told The 19th this summer when the bill was introduced that arbitration agreements and NDAs were developed in the United States for commercial purposes to handle business-to-business disputes in a more speedy and cost-effective manner. The federal arbitration law was first enacted in 1925, but sometime between the 1970s and 1990s, Szalai said there was a “snowball effect” and these agreements began appearing more broadly in consumer and employment relationships. And now, the U.S. relies on its corporate sector to resolve internal disputes more than any other country in the world. 

November 23, 2022 in Business, Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Queering the Reasonable Person of Tort

Haim Abraham, Queering the Reasonable Person, Chapter in Diverse Voices in Tort Law (Kirsty Horsey Ed., 2023 Forthcoming)

Critical lenses, such as feminist and critical race theories, have been employed extensively to analyze the reasonable person standard theoretically and doctrinally, noting that courts and scholars personify the standards as a middle-class, white, heterosexual man. Consequently, these critical lenses have indicated that real individuals, who do not share the qualities of the personified reasonable man, become vulnerable. They are unlikely to be able to succeed in bringing claims against the people who the reasonable man represents, while they are more likely to be held to a higher standard and as such more likely to be liable.

These critiques are illuminating, but they are not particularly queer, nor do they exhaust all that queer theory can reveal about the reasonable man, and existing scholarship has yet to offer a comprehensive queer theory analysis of the reasonable person. This chapter fills this gap in literature, arguing that despite existing critiques, the reasonable person – as a legal standard – is essentially a queer standard. Yet, it is the very queer character of the reasonable person that places LGBTQ+ individuals at risk. First, past (and current) applications and personifications of the reasonable person into a white middle-class, cisgender, heteronormative individual, raises others’ standard of care while limiting the ability to hold ‘reasonable men’ liable. Second, the move from reasonable man to reasonable person, even if it signals a commitment to inclusivity, does not mean that this objective standard now has a fixed meaning. One of its core features is its ability to take on a wide-range of meanings, thus creating constant uncertainty and flux as there is a risk that that at any given moment the reasonable person will turn back to the reasonable man. The chapter concludes by examining several possible resolutions to the challenge posed by the reasonable man: changing his personification to a more inclusive one; eliminating the personification altogether; or diversifying the judicial composition, arguing that emphasis should be placed on the latter.

November 22, 2022 in LGBT, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Same Sex Marriage Bill Clears Critical Hurdle in Congress

NYT, Same-Sex Marriage Rights Bill Clears a Crucial Senate Hurdle

The Senate on Wednesday took a crucial step toward passing landmark legislation to provide federal protections for same-sex marriages, as 12 Republicans joined Democrats to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, putting it on track to become law in the twilight of the Democratic-held Congress.

The 62-to-37 vote, which came only days after the midterm elections in which Democrats retained control of the Senate but lost the House to Republicans, was a rare and notable last gasp of bipartisanship by a lame duck Congress as lawmakers looked toward an era of political gridlock.

It also signaled a remarkable shift in American politics and culture, demonstrating how same-sex marriage, once a divisive issue, has been so widely accepted that a law to protect the rights of same-sex couples across the country could gain decisive, bipartisan majorities in both the Senate and the House. Last summer, 47 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass a version of the bill.

November 22, 2022 in Constitutional, Family, Legislation, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dobbs' Originalism as Anti-Democratic Living Constitutionalism

Reva Siegel, Memory Games: Dobbs’s Originalism As Anti-Democratic Living Constitutionalism—and Some Pathways for Resistance, Texas L. Review (forthcoming0

 This Article examines originalism’s role in overruling Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Through this case study the Article explores competing understandings of originalism. It shows that originalism is not simply a value-neutral method of interpreting the Constitution. Originalism is also a political practice whose long-term goal has been the overturning of Roe. As the conservative legal movement has developed originalism, judicial appointments matter critically to originalism’s authority, as do originalism’s appeals to constitutional memory to legitimate the exercise of public power. Examining these different dimensions of originalism’s authority, the Article shows that the conservative legal movement has practiced originalism as form of living constitutionalism that makes our constitutional order less democratic in several important ways.

To demonstrate how this is so, the Article returns to originalism’s roots in the Reagan years and examines originalism’s origins in a backlash to the decisions of the Warren and Burger Courts. In 1980, for the first time—and continuously ever since—the Republican Party’s platform promised that “[w]e will work for the appointment of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.” I examine the family-values politics from which the quest to overturn Roe emerged, the judicial screening practices developed to pursue it, and the talk of law and politics employed to justify it.

The Article reads Dobbs through a double lens. I first consider how originalists have evaluated the originalism of the opinion (some term Dobbs “living constitutionalist”), and then go on to show how Dobbs depends on the appointments politics and constitutional memory claims I have identified as part of the political practice of originalism. Dobbs’s living constitutionalism serves contemporary movement goals: the history-and-traditions standard that Dobbs employs to overturn Roe threatens many of the same lines of cases targeted for reversal by the architects of originalism in the Reagan administration.

The deepest problem with Dobbs, however, is that its originalism is living constitutionalism that makes our constitutional order less democratic. Dobbs restricts and threatens rights that enable equal participation of members of historically marginalized groups; Dobbs locates constitutional authority in imagined communities of the past, entrenching norms, traditions, and modes of life associated with old status hierarchies; and Dobbs presents its contested value-judgments as expert claims of law and historical fact to which the public owes deference. A concluding Part focuses on constitutional memory as a terrain of constitutional conflict and begins to ask questions about how claims on our constitutional past might be democratized, both inside and outside of originalism, in the aspiration to take back the Constitution from the Court.

November 22, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 21, 2022

J.S. Welsh Publishes Article on the Pro-Trans Legal Movement in the California Law Review

J.S. Welsh has published "Assimilation, Expansion, and Ambivalence: Strategic Fault Lines in the Pro-Trans Legal Movement" in Volume 110 of the California Law Review. The abstract previews:  

For the past five decades, lawyers advocating on behalf of trans people have used arguments based in a binary understanding of gender to win critical legal battles in the fight for gender justice. These binary arguments clearly serve a strategic purpose: achieving major legal victories. Judges from state trial courts to the U.S. Supreme Court seem determined to reify traditional notions of gender identity. But this assimilationist strategy has its costs. The lived experiences of many queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming people is not necessarily consistent with the political goals implicit in the assimilationist approach. As the trans rights movement enters the law reform mainstream, this rift is increasingly exposed. This Article explores the conflicts that arise between groups within the pro-trans legal movement over who “counts” as trans for purposes of organizing and litigating, what compromises are necessary to push the movement forward, and who is included and excluded from political benefits.

November 21, 2022 in Courts, Gender, LGBT, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Veterans' Access to Abortion Care

Mike Ludwig with Truthout writes on November 20, 2022 about a battle over veterans' access to abortion care.  

In September, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would offer abortion counseling and referrals, as well as abortions when a patient’s life is in danger, or when a pregnancy results from rape or incest. Fifteen Republican attorneys general from Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and other states said they put the administration “on notice” this week. In a letter, they threatened legal action if Veterans Affairs hospitals run afoul of extremely harmful new abortion and reproductive health restrictions passed in their states after the Supreme Court’s far right majority overturned Roe v. Wade.

November 21, 2022 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 18, 2022

Abortion News Roundup This Week

Thursday, November 17, 2022

EEOC Files Charges Against Companies Providing Employee Travel Benefits for Abortion

Bloomberg, EECO Quietly Targets Companies Over Abortion Travel

Republican EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas is deploying a rarely used agency procedure to silently initiate targeted discrimination probes against at least three companies providing their employees with abortion travel benefits, five attorneys who have seen the charges told Bloomberg Law.

The “commissioner charges” allege that the employers are favoring workers seeking abortions while discriminating against pregnant workers and disabled workers because they are not offering equivalent benefits for their medical needs, according to the attorneys.***

Lucas’s arguments mirror those made by the agency’s former general counsel, Sharon Fast Gustafson, in a letter sent to employers with such policies last month. The discrimination-based arguments espoused in the charges and the letter are unusual, though abortion travel policies have been criticized on other legal grounds.***

It would be extremely unusual for an employer to have a plan that covers travel for abortion but not for other medical necessities, according to Sharona Hoffman, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

The argument that providing abortion travel benefits is discriminatory to workers who chose to keep their pregnancies or to disabled workers is “creative and novel,” Hoffman said.

See also Ohio Workers' Law Blog, EEOC Commissioner Targets Companies Offering Employees Abortion Travel Benefits 

Two reasons stick out as to why these Commissioner charges are doomed to fail, the first practical and the second legal:

1.)  Are there any women who actually need to travel out of state for childbirth? If there was ever a problem searching for a solution, this is it.

2.) Title VII actually makes it clear on its face that an employer is free to provide abortion benefits to employees.
Title VII's definition of "pregnancy" expressly provides that while the law does "not require an employer to pay for health insurance benefits for abortion," it also does not "preclude an employer from providing abortion benefits." That looks pretty dispositive to me. 

See also EEOC Commission Open Probes Into Companies that Fund Abortion Travel

November 17, 2022 in Abortion, Equal Employment, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Book Female Genius and the Likely Origins of Gender Neutral Language in the US Constitution

Mary Sarah Bilder, Female Genius: Eliza Harriot and George Washington at the Dawn of the Constitution 

In this provocative new biography, Mary Sarah Bilder looks to the 1780s—the Age of the Constitution—to investigate the rise of a radical new idea in the English-speaking world: female genius. Bilder finds the perfect exemplar of this phenomenon in English-born Eliza Harriot Barons O’Connor. This pathbreaking female educator delivered a University of Pennsylvania lecture attended by George Washington as he and other Constitutional Convention delegates gathered in Philadelphia. As the first such public female lecturer, her courageous performance likely inspired the gender-neutral language of the Constitution.

Female Genius reconstructs Eliza Harriot’s transatlantic life, from Lisbon to Charleston, paying particular attention to her lectures and to the academies she founded, inspiring countless young American women to consider a college education and a role in the political forum. Promoting the ideas made famous by Mary Wollstonecraft, Eliza Harriot brought the concept of female genius to the United States. Its advocates argued that women had equal capacity and deserved an equal education and political representation. Its detractors, who feared it undermined male political power, felt deeply threatened. By 1792 Eliza Harriot experienced struggles that reflected the larger backlash faced by women and people of color as new written constitutions provided the political and legal tools for exclusion based on sex, gender, and race.

In recovering this pioneering life, the richly illustrated Female Genius makes clear that America’s framing moment did not belong solely to white men and offers an inspirational transatlantic history of women who believed in education as a political right.

h/t Paula Monopoli

Cover for Female Genius

November 17, 2022 in Books, Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Democracy is Proving so Powerful for Protecting Abortion

Rachel Rebouche & Mary Ziegler, Why Direct Democracy is Proving so Powerful for Protecting Abortion, The Atlantic

Ballot initiatives—not party politics—are allowing new majorities to emerge in support of more lenient abortion policies.

The news for abortion rights in Tuesday’s midterm election was stunning. In five states—CaliforniaKentucky, Montana, Michigan, and Vermont—voters went to the polls and either rejected an anti-abortion measure or added abortion rights to their state constitution. Just months earlier, Kansas, a conservative state with a history of intense anti-abortion activism, shocked the country by voting to protect state abortion rights by a significant margin.

The lesson here goes beyond the unpopularity of many abortion restrictions. With the reversal of Roe v. Wade, people have looked primarily to political parties to defend abortion rights (or undo them)—and have come to expect outcomes that break cleanly along partisan lines. The results of these latest ballot measures suggest that we’ve underestimated the abortion-rights protections that direct democracy—not party politics—can produce. The fact is that disentangling questions about abortion from political affiliation may provide one of the best ways to protect or to restore abortion access in red and purple states, at least in the short run.

Lessons on how and why can be gleaned from an effort that took place an ocean away: Ireland’s 2018 campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which had, since 1983, recognized fetal rights and thus banned abortion. In subsequent years, the country was repeatedly chastised by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the human rights of women, but it was able to resist many demands for change by insisting that the country had democratically established its strong consensus in favor of fetal rights. In reality, support for legal abortion grew over the years, fueled, in part, by outrage over the death of Savita Halappanavar, a woman who died of sepsis after being refused an abortion following an incomplete miscarriage.

November 17, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, International, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Book Invisible Mothers, Unseen Yet Hypervisible After Incarceration

New Book, Invisible Mothers: Unseen Yet Hypervisible After Incarceration (UC Press)

Author Book Talk, Q&A With Janet Garcia-Hallett, Author of Invisible Mothers

Mothering is work. Yet, as I mention in my book, not all motherwork is equally visible, validated, or respected by the general public. This is especially true for mothers in the criminal legal system. Their experiences are unique because of the competing demands they face in oppressive carceral systems. Still, they did motherwork through varying housing arrangements, in noncustodial circumstances, while recovering from substance use, with low pay, during unemployment, and while not in contact with their children. All things considered, they did motherwork that was realistic for them and their circumstances post-incarceration – even if this went unnoticed or was undervalued by outsiders.

 

November 17, 2022 in Books, Family, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Gender and the Law Blog: Abortion News Round Up This Week

Pro Choice Abortion Initiatives Win in all 5 States It was on the Ballot

Self-Managed Abortions Soar Post-Dobbs

Reported abortion in states with restricted access dropped 32 percent between April and August 2022, according to recent study from the Society of Family Planning—while reported abortion in states with protected access increased by 11 percent.

Reported abortions dropped 6 percent overall, with over 10,000 fewer reported abortions reported in July and August.

However, another recent study shows requests for self-managed abortion through Austria-based telemedicine abortion provider Aid Access increased 33 percent in the 30 most restrictive states from before the leaked Supreme Court opinion on May 2 and after the decision came down on June 24.

Feminist Cyberlaw Perspectives Offer a Clear View of the Nature of Digital Privacy Threats from Abortion

Conference, Seeking Reproductive Justice in the Next 50 Years, Boston U School of Law, Jan. 26, 2023

November 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conference: Seeking Reproductive Justice in the Next Fifty Years

After Roe and Dobbs: Seeking Reproductive Justice in the Next Fifty Years, Boston University School of Law, January 26, 2023

It is impossible to overstate the importance of exploring the legacy and future of Roe v. Wade in the wake of the Supreme Court’s watershed decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The constitutional, political, and policy landscape is changing by the day, with major implications for law, medicine, and public health. This symposium marks what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe and will evaluate various dimensions of reproductive justice as it existed until Dobbs and into the next 50 years. The symposium has a multi-disciplinary approach, which will include attention to law, history, social movements, health equity, and reproductive health and justice, including the critical role of advocates in Boston and the Northeast region. A related issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics will be co-edited by Professors Aziza Ahmed, Nicole Huberfeld, and Linda McClain, to be published in the fall of 2023. 

This symposium will occur Thursday, January 26, 2023 at BU School of Law and is co-sponsored by BU Law and BU School of Public Health, and is part of BU Law’s commemoration of its 150th anniversary (For those interested in coming to Boston, our timing coincides with “The Age of Roe” conference at Harvard Radcliffe on Friday, January 27th.)

This symposium is an inaugural event for BU Law’s new program in reproductive justice, which will launch officially in fall 2023.

November 11, 2022 in Abortion, Conferences, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Majority of State Constitutions Have Gender Equality Provisions

Brennan Center for Justice, State-Level Equal Rights Amendments: A Majority of State Constitutions have Gender Equality Provisions

In the United States, the fight for a federal Equal Rights Amendment has been a century in the making.

Meanwhile, state-level equivalents abound. Some are comprehensive provisions of state constitutions that guarantee equal rights regardless of an individual’s gender, and others are provisions that prohibit gender-based discrimination in specific circumstances.

State courts and constitutions are becoming increasingly important in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization as well as federal courts’ growing hostility to many forms of civil rights protection. In the coming months and years, litigants may increasingly turn to state-level Equal Rights Amendments. 

What follows is a summary of the protections afforded in the 50 states. It is not intended to be exhaustive and may change and evolve in real time.

November 11, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Family | Permalink | Comments (0)

Different Facets of Feminist Lawyering in India

Shalu Nigam, Different Facets of Feminist Lawyering in India 

Much is being written about feminist lawyering in the West, but what is the purpose of feminist lawyering in the patriarchal context in third-world nations? While reflecting on case laws and activism in India, this essay argues that feminist lawyering in a profoundly hierarchical society is a much broader concept than that of traditional lawyering where a lawyer works not to `win the case’ but aims at the larger goals of eliminating inequalities, eradicating oppression, challenging sexist stereotypes, abolishing fascism and addressing conditions that perpetuate domination. In a society, where citizenship rights are denied to specific groups based on social parameters such as gender, race, caste, class or religion, feminist lawyering in such a context has to be understood broadly as a practice that supports those on the margins while holding the state accountable. It is about questioning the androcentric norms within and outside the courtrooms, asking the law, courts and society to be sensitive about gender concerns and to recognize and enforce the citizenship rights of half of humanity. This essay concludes that the purpose of feminist lawyering is to negotiate and contest the rights at various levels where feminist lawyers strive to transform the androcentric law and the layered, hierarchical society with the aim to enforce constitutional provisions of equality, liberty and social justice in reality.

November 11, 2022 in International, Theory, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)