Thursday, August 4, 2022

Black Women Firefighters Sue DC, Alleging Racial and Gender Bias

Black Women Firefighters Sue DC, Alleging Racial and Gender Bias

Four Black female firefighters in the District sued the city Monday, saying they have been “systematically and continuously discriminated against on the basis of their race and gender,” including being denied salary increases and overtime pay and being subjected to unfair disciplinary action.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, comes almost a year after a similar case was filed by 10 current and former Black female police officers in the District who complained of “repeated, coordinated and relentless retaliation” against Black women on the police force who complained about discrimination and other misconduct. That case is pending in U.S. district court.

The fire department case “is about systemic characteristics of [the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services] that turn it into a ‘boys club,’ in which Black women are tolerated, but not embraced or treated as equals, and in which Black women always have to beg, scrape and fight just to be treated fairly,” one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Pamela Keith, said in a statement.

Women's police and firefighter discrimination cases were among the first venues for women's rights equality cases when the earliest public interest litigation began in the 1970s with the Women's Law Fund in Cleveland, Ohio, running parallel to Ruth Bader Ginsburg's ACLU Women's Rights Project.  See Tracy Thomas, The Struggle for Gender Equality in the Northern District of Ohio, 171 n.27, in Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie (Paul Finkelman & Roberta Anderson eds.,2012). 

August 4, 2022 in Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Transgender Constitutional Law

Katie Eyer, Transgender Constitutional Law

Litigation addressing the constitutional rights of the transgender community has exploded in the last decade. This litigation revolution has fundamentally reshaped the constitutional landscape with respect to the equality and liberty rights of transgender litigants, recognizing the transgender community as constitutionally protected subjects entitled to meaningful rights. And yet—because this litigation revolution has occurred in the lower and state courts—it has remained comparatively invisible from the perspective of the legal literature.

This Article provides the first systematic account of this constitutional law revolution in transgender rights. Based on an analysis of the last five years (2017-2021) of transgender constitutional rights litigation, it offers a comprehensive descriptive account of contemporary constitutional transgender rights litigation in the Equal Protection and Due Process contexts. As that analysis reveals, recent transgender rights litigation has resulted in important and consistent victories for transgender constitutionalism in the lower and state courts. Indeed, recent constitutional decisions are close to unanimous in their treatment of the transgender community as warranting meaningful constitutional protections.

This revolution in transgender constitutional rights is important in its own right—indeed it is likely to be critical at a time when a wave of anti-transgender legislation is currently sweeping the country. But it is also important for the ways it calls into question the conventional wisdom of constitutional law as a field. As this Article elaborates, contemporary transgender constitutionalism challenges many of the assumptions of constitutional law scholars, including assumptions regarding the death of suspect class analysis under Equal Protection doctrine, the impossibility of new fundamental rights under the Due Process clause, and the weakness and futility of rational basis review. It thus highlights the importance of attending to the constitutional law of the lower federal and state courts—not only that of the United States Supreme Court.

August 2, 2022 in Constitutional, Courts, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Risk of Mandatory Reporting Laws to Out-of-State Abortion Patients

Sophia Ballog, Will Laws Requiring CA Doctors to Report Abuse Put Out-of-State Abortion Patients at Risk? , SF Chronicle

The story of an Ohio 10-year-old who traveled to Indiana for an abortion after she was raped sparked a national media frenzy earlier this month.

It also raised questions about what legal obligations doctors have to report instances of minors receiving abortions and whether that could alert authorities in their home state that they had the procedure.***

Several bills to prohibit California agencies from sharing information about abortions with law enforcement in other states are currently moving through the legislative process. AB1242 would bar police from providing information about abortions to people or agencies from out of state. Another bill, AB2091, would prohibit health providers from releasing a patient’s medical information in response to a subpoena based on another state’s abortion ban.

Earlier this year, California enacted a law shielding people who get abortions or help others obtain abortions, such as doctors who perform the procedure, from civil liability.

Gov. Gavin Newsom also issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies and departments from sharing medical records related to reproductive health care with an agency in another state. Through the order, he also announced he will decline non-fugitive extradition requests for abortion-related charges.

At the same time, some lawmakers in conservative states are trying to pass laws that would restrict their residents from traveling out of state for an abortion. Newsom has said he believes Texas’ abortion ban, which allows private citizens to sue people who help women obtain abortions, could be used to sue people in California who help women from Texas get abortions or people who help them travel to the state.***

Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said she doesn’t think laws that aim to regulate travel to other states for an abortion will hold up under legal scrutiny, though she acknowledged there’s some debate among legal scholars about the issue.

Even so, efforts to ban interstate travel for abortions could still be intimidating for people. Levinson argued in a recent MSNBC op-ed that efforts like the attempts to intimidate the doctor who performed the abortion for the Ohio 10-year-old will have a chilling effect.

Mandated-reporting laws are coming under more intense scrutiny since Roe was overturned because they create data that could be used by entities or law enforcement in states that ban abortion to reveal someone traveled out of state to obtain the procedure, said Tracy Thomas, a constitutional law professor at the University of Akron in Ohio.

”That’s the concern we have with a lot of these reporting laws,” she said. “If you require the report, will that trigger further harm to that person?”

Even if the form for a mandated report of abuse doesn’t include any information about the minor’s abortion, just the fact that a mandated reporter was a doctor at a California clinic that provides abortions could be a sign the minor had the procedure, she said. Efforts to ban residents from traveling to other states to obtain abortions are new and untested, so it’s difficult to say whether or how that information might be used against a minor or their family, but it’s a reasonable question in the wake of Roe being overturned, she said.

”Everybody’s worried about data out there, whether it’s your period app, or whether it’s your GPS following where you’ve been,” she said. “Those are all normal ways that criminal law enforcement uses to figure out what happened, so those become areas of concern.”

July 26, 2022 in Abortion, Healthcare, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Precarity of SCOTUS's LGBTQ Jurisprudence

Kyle Velte, The Precarity of Justice Kennedy's Queer Canon, 13 ConLawNOW 75 (2022)

This essay gives a brief overview of the legal and normative of impact of Justice Kennedy’s Queer Canon, a series of four LGBTQ cases written by Justice Kennedy over nearly two decades. The pro-LGBTQ outcomes in the Queer Canon cases made Justice Kennedy a hero to many LGBTQ people. It then explores Justice Kennedy’s fifth, and final, LGBTQ opinion, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That case, which held that a traditional Christian baker would prevail on his First Amendment Free Exercise challenge to a state public accommodations law, was not the finale hoped for by the LGBTQ community. The essay next asks and answers the question: What will a post-Justice Kennedy Court mean for LGBTQ people and the 25 years of constitutional progress reflected in his Queer Canon? Through a comparative analysis of the Court’s two post-Justice Kennedy decisions, Bostock v. Clayton County and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Justice Kennedy’s Queer Canon, and his opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop, this essay contends that the progress made during the Justice Kennedy era is a fragile progress, one that is under threat by the current Court.

July 25, 2022 in Constitutional, Family, Judges, LGBT, SCOTUS | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 22, 2022

Study Shows Effects from French Law Reform Requiring 40 Percent Gender Quota on Corporate Boards

Francois-Xavier Ladant & Louise Paul-Delvaux, "Women on Boards: Evidence from a French Reform Imposing a 40 Percent Gender Board Quota" 

In 2010 the French government mandated a 40% gender quota on corporate boards to be met by January 2017. The policy raised the average female board share of publicly traded firms from 10.3% in 2009 to 43% in 2019. We examine the effects of this staggering increase, leveraging new data on 200 French publicly traded firms from 2006 to 2019. Newly appointed female board members are as qualified as their male counterparts and less likely to have any family connection with incumbent board members. Female board members are also accessing powerful positions within the boardroom (committee membership and chairmanship). We then assess how these changes in corporate board composition (i) impact the implementation of board prerogatives and (ii) influence gender imbalances within the firm. Using an IV strategy exploiting the fact that the 40% threshold was set exogenously by the government and a Difference-in-Differences strategy comparing firms differently exposed to the quota, we show that an increase in the share of female board members has impacts at the very top. Indeed, we observe changes in practices that are aligned with better governance, higher likelihood of having a female CEO, and increased female representation in the top management. Beyond the very top of the firms’ hierarchy, an increase in the female board share has no or even negative impact on gender wage or promotion gaps.

July 22, 2022 in Business, International, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

11th Circuit Upholds Georgia's Abortion Ban and Fetal Personhood Law

Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective v. Georgia (11th Cir. July 20, 2022)

WILLIAM PRYOR, Chief Judge:

This appeal concerns whether Georgia can prohibit some abortions and whether its redefinition of “natural person” to include unborn children is unconstitutionally vague on its face. The district court entered a summary judgment for the abortionists challenging the Georgia law and permanently enjoined state officials from enforcing it. But intervening Supreme Court precedent, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), makes clear that no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them. And the expanded definition of natural person is not vague on its face. We vacate the injunction, reverse the judgment in favor of the abortionists [!!], and remand with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the state officials.***

Georgia enacted the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act in 2019. 2019 Ga. Laws Act 234 (H.B. 481). Section 3 of the Act amends the definition of “[n]atural person” in the Georgia Code to mean “any human being including an unborn child.” Id. § 3(b) (internal quotation marks omitted). And it defines “[u]nborn child” as “a member of the species of Homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.” Id. § 3(e)(2) (internal quotation marks omitted). Section 4 prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected with enumerated exceptions. Id. § 4(b). The Act also clarifies that removal of an “ectopic pregnancy” or “a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion” is not an “abortion.” Id. § 4(a)(1) (internal quotation marks omitted). Sections 5 through 12 amend other provisions of the Georgia Code involving child support, tort recovery for fetal homicide, informed consent for women seeking abortions, tax benefits, and related issues. Id. §§ 5–12.

July 22, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bills to Protect Rights to Contraception and Marriage Equality Pass US House

Bills to Defend Marriage Equality and Contraception Pass US House, Head to Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed two landmark pieces of legislation: the Respect for Marriage Act, which would grant federal recognition of both same-sex and interracial marriages, and the Right To Contraception Act, which would establish a right in federal law to obtain and use contraceptives.

Democratic leaders say both bills are a direct response to Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson which called on the Court to “reconsider” past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

The bills now both head to the Senate, where Democrats need 10 Republican senators to consider and ultimately pass either bill.

July 22, 2022 in Constitutional, Family, Legislation, LGBT, Reproductive Rights, Same-sex marriage | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 18, 2022

A RESOURCE LIST of the NEW LEGAL, POLITICAL, and PRACTICAL ISSUES of ABORTION POST-ROE

Updated 8/2/22

Most recent news posted at top of each category.

 

It’s an all-out effort--legally, politically, and practically--as the country grapples with the legal and social effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization holding there is no fundamental federal constitutional right to an abortion or reproductive choice.

This post identifies and summarizes the key areas of action now happening in the post-Roe world.

Many of these options present a ping-ponging potential—substantive changes back and forth as legislatures and executives change red and blue with each election

Legally

            New State Laws:

                        NYT, Tracking the States Where Abortion is Now Banned (9 states as of 6/27/22)

           Mary Ziegler, Why Exceptions for the Life of the Mother have Disappeared (8/2/22)    

           Guttmacher Inst., An Overview of Abortion Laws

Texas District & County Attorneys: TX Statutory Laws on Abortion After Dobbs

OH Statutory Framework of Abortion Laws After Dobbs

                        ABCNews, Abortions Now Banned in Ohio After "Fetal Heartbeat" is Detected

            Challenges to State Abortion Bans:

Courts Deliver Mixed Rulings on Pro-Life Laws After Roe (8/2/22)

Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective v. Georgia (11th Cir. July 20, 2022)

State Judge Strikes Down Many of MN's Abortion Restrictions (7/11/22) 

LA Judge Allows Abortion Ban to Take Effect (7/8/22)

TX, OH Top Courts Allow Abortion Bans to Take Effect (7/6/22)

FLA Judge will Temporarily Block 15 Week Abortion Ban (7/3/22)

TX SCt Lifts Freeze on Abortion Ban (7/2/22)

OH SCt Rejects Request to Suspend State's 6 Week Abortion Ban (7/1/22)

Judge Grants Restraining Order to Restore Abortion Access in Kentucky (6/30/22)

Ohio Lawsuit Filed to Enjoin 6 Week Ban on State Constitutional Grounds of Due Process, Equal Protection, & Freedom to Choose Health Care (6-29-22)

WI AG Files Lawsuit Challenging Near Complete Abortion Ban Passed in 1849 (6/29/22)

                        WP, Judge Temporarily Blocks Trigger Law on Abortion in Louisiana (6/27/22)

                        WP, Planned Parenthood Sues to Halt Utah's Trigger Law Abortion Ban (6/27/22)

Abortions Can Resume in Texas Per TRO Issued by Harris County Judge (6/28/22)

                        Equality arguments: Ms, The Importance of Talking About Women in the Fight Against Abortion Bans

                        Ninth Amendment arguments:22

                              Allison Kruschke, ConLawNOW, Finding a Home for the Abortion Right in the Ninth Amendment

                        First Amendment Religion arguments:

KY Court Holds that Abortion Ban May Violate State Establishment Clause (7/25/22)

                                    Jewish Synagogue Sues Florida Saying Abortion Restrictions Violate Religious Freedom

            Federal Legislation

House Passes Bill to Codify Abortion Rights and Ensure Access (7/15/22)

                        Women's Health Protection Act

Pence Calls for National Abortion Ban

            Executive Action- presidents and governors

Biden Signs Executive Order to Support Abortion Rights (7/11/22)

Under Pressure, Biden Signs Executive Order on Abortion

NM Governor to Sign Executive Order on Abortion Access (6/30/22) 

WI Governor Vows to Grant Clemency to Drs Charged Under State Abortion Ban (6/28/22)

                        WP, The Nominal Ways Biden Could Expand Abortion Rights

                        The Possibility of Executive Orders

           Prosecutors:

Local Prosecutors Who Refuse to Prosecute Ohio's Abortion May be in the Clear (7/11/22)

Cuyahoga Cty Prosecutor Says He Won't Enforce 6 Week Abortion Ban (6/30/22) 

Liability for Pregnant Women:

Abortion Abolitionists Want to Punish Women (7/1/22)

FDA Preemption of Abortion Pills:

                        Time, Merrick Garland's Mention of FDA Hints at Possible Way to Fight Restrictions on Abortion Pills

                        Supremacy Clause May Preempt State Restrictions on Abortion Pills

Drug & Device Law, Federal Preemption of State Attempts to Ban FDA Approved Abortion Drugs After Dobbs

            First Amendment Rights of Speech and Advise

First Amendment Confrontation May Loom in Post-Roe Rights (6/30/22)

            Out of State Travel: 

The Risk of Mandatory Reporting Laws to Out-of-State Abortion (8/2/22)

The Right to Travel in a Post-Roe World (7/15/22)

MT Clinics Preemptively Restrict Out of State Patients Access to Abortion Pills (7/11/22)

WP, Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Want to Block Patients From Crossing State Lines (6/30/22)

                        Anthony Michael Kreis, Prison Gates at the State Line, Harvard L.R. Online

                        Caroline Kitchener, WP, Roe's Gone. Now Antiabortion Lawmakers Want More

            Federal Enclaves/Tribal Jurisdiction:

Lauren Van Schilfgaarde, Aila Hoss, Sarah Deer, Ann Tweedy, Stacy Leeds, The Indian Country Abortion Safe Haven Fallacy

            Other Constitutional Liberties: contraception, marriage, LGBTQ

Marc Spindelman, Dobbs' Other Dangers: Dobbs & Women's Constitutional Sex Equality Rights (8/2/22)

Thirteenth Amendment:

The Amendment Ending Slavery Could be the Key to Securing Abortion Rights (7/7/22)

State Legislation:

Where Abortion is on the Ballot (8/2/22)

Voters in as Many as Eight States Will Vote on Abortion This Year (7/7/22)

What Prohibition History Tells Us About Returning Abortion to the States (it won't stay there)

            State Constitutional Amendments: pro-choice and anti-abortion

Want to Protect Abortion? Look to KS (8/2/22)

NY Moves to Enshrine Abortion Rights in State Constitution (7/6/22)

                        NYT, California Seeks to Enshrine Abortion Rights in State Constitution

CAL puts Constitutional Amendment Protecting Abortion Rights on Fall Ballot (6/28/22)

                        Iowa Rules no State Constitutional Right to Abortion

See Paul Lipford, Abortion Under States Constitutions (3d ed. 2020) (Carolina Press)

           See generally:

Strict Scrutiny Podcast, Roe is Dead; Now What?

David Cohen, Greer Donley, Rachel Rebouche, The New Abortion Battleground

Politically

Rethinking Strategy Post-Roe (7/25/22)

            Referendum: 62-69% of polls pro-choice; “reasonable” right that does not overreach

Abortion Defenders in MI and OH Get It: Take it to the Voters (6/30/22)

            Fetal Personhood:

New OH Personhood Bill Would Declare All Individuals are Human from Moment of Conception (7/15/22)

We are Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe. We are Going Somewhere Worse.

            Protests and Activism:

The Green Wave in Latin America

How Green Bandanas Became the International Color of Abortion Rights

The 1960s Provide a Path for Securing Legal Abortion in 2022

Akron Abortion Rights Activists Makes Plans to Help Women After Roe

            Election issue

            Pack and Unpack the Court: expand number of Justices (13 for 13 circuits per 1869), impeach, term limits

            Foreign Effect:

WP, US Decision Horrific and Appalling, World Leaders Say       

French Lawmakers Want Abortion Rights in Constitution

Practically

            Focus on Abortion Medications: self-managed, FDA preemption, legal delivery

                        NYT, Abortion Pills Take the Spotlight as States Impose Bans

                        Bloomberg, Supreme Court's Roe Ruling Tees Up Fight Over Abortion Pills

            Contraception: double layer contraception, increase in vasectomies

Is Male Birth Control Finally Here?

Missouri AG Says State Abortion Ban Does not Prohibit Plan B or Contraception (6/30/22)

KC Area Health System Stops Providing Plan B in Missouri Because of Abortion Ban (6/29/22)

Stock up on Plan B emergency contraception 

            Digital Privacy & Period Tracking Apps:

SC Bill Would Ban Internet Information on Abortion; Tech Companies May Face Competing Laws (8/2/22)

HHS Issued Guidance to Protect Private Medical Info (inc Period Tracking Apps) (7/6/22)

Scholars Explain How Femtech Products Poised to Fill Gap as States Try & Limit Birth Control and Abortion 

Google Will Delete User Location History for Abortion Clinic Visits (7/6/22)

Period Tracker App Flo Develops Anonymous Mode (6/30/22)

Why Deleting Your Period Tracking App Won't Protect You (6/30/22) 

Newsweek, Why Delete Period Tracking Apps Roe v. Wade Ruling Sparks Panic Over Data

New Federal Bill Proposed to Curb Mass Collection of Privacy Data from Period Tracking Apps

Danielle Citron, The End of Roe Means we need a New Right to Privacy

Women's Medical Care: 

Dr Proposes Floating Abortion Clinic in Gulf of Mexico to Avoid Bans (7/15/22)

Can Pharmacists Refuse to Fill Prescriptions for Drugs Used in Abortion? (7/15/22)

Physicians Face Confusion and Fear in Post-Roe World

After Dobbs, What Happens to IVF and other ART Technology?

            Disparate Effect Race and Poor Women:

                        Michele Goodwin, No, Justice Alito, Reproductive Justice is in the Constitution

            Companies and cities paying travel expenses:

St Louis Will Help Women Get Out of State Abortions; Cleveland, Cincinnati Also Take Measures (7/25/22)

How St Louis Tapped Federal Funds to Help People Travel Who Need Abortion (7/25/22)

TX Lawmakers Target Law Firms Aiding Abortion Access (7/11/22)

                        NYT, Here Are the Companies Who Will Pay Travel Expenses for Employee Abortions

ABJ, Akron Employers Provide Employee Abortion Related Travel Costs

            Information & Assistance:  

Abortion Finder Org Site ("The pink book" of where to access providers)

ABJ, Experts Say Helping OH Patients Get Abortions Isn't Illegal (6/30/22)

            Rebecca Traister, The Necessity of Hope: "It means doing the thing that people have always done on the arduous                             path to greater justice: Find the way to hope, not as feel-good anesthetic but as tactical necessity."

July 18, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Courts, Healthcare, Legislation, LGBT, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights, SCOTUS | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Operational Definition of Feminism for the Corporate Board Structure

Joan Macleod Heminway, Corporate Management Should All Be Feminists, 40 Law & Ineq. 409 (2022)

The title of this essay may alienate some readers, including the very people who may benefit from it most—corporate directors and officers. Specifically, the title directs the reader to a potentially uncomfortable normative conclusion, using what may be an off-putting “f” word. However, the essay is less about feminism (although it is about feminism) than it is about effective, efficient corporate management in the United States.

The essay offers an operational definition of feminism (as anti-sexism) derived from the merger of two foundational literary texts. It is hoped that the resulting reflections and observations will refocus at least some broader academic and practical discussions of gender— and other elements of difference, for that matter—in the corporate board context on structures, systems, and processes rather than on counting female directors (or other directors of difference) or on analyzing and specifying the particular roles they may serve in corporate governance. In doing so, the essay seeks to change not only the beliefs of corporate management, but also those of external corporate constituents and the public at large. In sum, this essay urges that directors and officers be feminists to change what they do and change what they see—in order to effectuate change in what we all see. me readers, including the very people who may benefit from it most—corporate directors and officers. Specifically, the title directs the reader to a potentially uncomfortable normative conclusion, using what may be an off-putting “f” word. However, the essay is less about feminism (although it is about feminism) than it is about effective, efficient corporate management in the United States.


July 18, 2022 in Business, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Pre-Civil War History of Fugitive Slave Laws and its Parallel to the Battle Over State Abortion Rights

Kate Masur, What Pre-Civil War History Tells Us About the Coming Abortion Battles, Wash. Post

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion, is prompting allusions to slavery and the antebellum United States. There’s talk of a new “Underground Railroad” that conjures clandestine networks helping people to flee their home states in search of the freedom to end a pregnancy. And some predict Dobbs will result in conflicts among the states of a magnitude not seen since before the Civil War.

 

Any historical comparison requires considerable care, with attention to differences as well as similarities.***

 
The Dobbs decision, which gives states complete control over abortion laws, has unleashed conflicts that resemble the battles that arose when enslaved people fled slave states for free states, and enslavers, in turn, mobilized state and federal power to get them back.
 

This history doesn’t provide a blueprint for action in our own time, but it does remind us of the corrosive impact of interstate conflict and of the importance of federal protections for freedom and individual rights.***

 

The history of the 19th century reminds us that arguments for states’ rights, or for federal power, have no intrinsic political or moral valence. Northerners adopted personal liberty laws to mitigate oppressive aspects of the Constitution and federal law, while enslavers insisted on extending their jurisdiction beyond state lines and put unprecedented federal power in the service of human bondage.

 

But that doesn’t mean the best option for the country is to leave questions of fundamental rights in the hands of the states. To the contrary, history also shows that the United States has been at its best when, as in the Reconstruction amendments and federal civil rights laws, it offered federal guarantees of freedom, dignity and equality to all people. Federal guarantees not only strengthen democracy, they also tamp down conflicts among the states. Now the Supreme Court has withdrawn the 14th Amendment’s protection of reproductive freedom. No wonder we find ourselves looking for parallels to a period before the amendment existed.

July 18, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Legal History, Pregnancy, Race, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 11, 2022

Promising Male Birth Control Pill is Highly Effective with Few Side Effects

Is Male Birth Control Finally Here?

 Nevertheless, researchers recently announced that male birth control trials with mice were wildly successful—99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

The new pill, created by a team at the University of Minnesota, blocks proteins from binding to vitamin A, which is crucial to fertility and virility in mammals. In addition to the drug being virtually able to block all pregnancies, the researchers said the pill has no apparent side effects. The findings were shared in March at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.***

The sexism behind birth control is blatant. Why do women bear most of the burden of preventing pregnancy? Researchers have traditionally paid much more attention to birth control for women than men, male birth control researchers acknowledge—from pills to patches to intrauterine devices. Seeing men expand birth control options—including taking more responsibility—is essential, especially now.

When male mice were given the drug orally for just four weeks, researchers found they had such a steep drop in sperm count that they became sterile. Yet, when the team stopped dosing the animals, the drug’s effects reversed: The mice bounced back to normal virility in four to six weeks.***

Because this contraceptive is non-hormonal, it’s likely to have fewer side effects, researchers say. Earlier attempts at male birth control pills largely worked by blocking testosterone, which can lead to depression, weight gain and decreased libido. Even when scientists super-dosed the mice with the new drug, the rodents seemed to do just fine, Noman noted.***

As noted, the side effects of weight gain, depression and increased levels of LDL made testosterone not a good choice. “Since men do not have to suffer the consequences of pregnancy, the threshold for side effects from birth control pills is rather low. This is a big barrier to developing a male contraceptive. That’s why we are trying to develop non-hormonal birth control pills to avoid hormonal side effects,” Noman said.

July 11, 2022 in Healthcare, Masculinities, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reading the Nineteenth Amendment Differently than the Fifteenth

Paula Monopoli, Gender, Voting Rights, and the Nineteenth Amendment, 20 Georgetown J. Law & Public Policy (2022)

One hundred years after the woman suffrage amendment became part of the United States Constitution, a federal court has held—for the first time—that a plaintiff must establish intentional discrimination to prevail on a direct constitutional claim under the Nineteenth Amendment. In adopting that threshold standard, the court simply reasoned by strict textual analogy to the Fifteenth Amendment and asserted that 'there is no reason to read the Nineteenth Amendment differently from the Fifteenth Amendment'. This paper’s thesis is that, to the contrary, the Nineteenth Amendment is deserving of judicial analysis independent of the Fifteenth Amendment because it has a distinct constitutional history and meaning. The unique historical context preceding and following the Nineteenth’s ratification militates for courts to adopt a holistic interpretative approach when considering a Nineteenth Amendment claim. Such an approach has both expressive and doctrinal implications, providing support for courts to adopt disparate impact, rather than intentional discrimination or discriminatory purpose, as a threshold standard for such claims. Reasoning beyond the text—from legislative intent, purposes, structure, and institutional relationships—could restore the lost constitutional history around the Nineteenth Amendment, making it a more potent tool to address gendered voter suppression today, especially for women of color. This paper provides a framework for judges willing to move away from rigid textual analogy toward a more holistic constitutional interpretation when evaluating a constitutional claim under the amendment.

July 11, 2022 in Constitutional, Gender, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feminist Scholar Presentations This Week at Law & Society Annual Meeting

Law & Society Annual Meeting 2022 (Lisbon & virtual)

 

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

LSA Conference

July 13-16, 2022, in Lisbon, Portugal

Please note: All times listed are in Lisbon time (GMT +1/ -5EST).

prepared by Cyra Choudhury 

 

Wednesday July 13

8:15 – 10:00 AM

Roundtable: #Metoo and Global Gender Justice

Chair                Chaitanya Lakkimsetti
Presenters:       Vanita Reddy, Ashwini Tambe, Ayesha Khurshid, Ashley Currier

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Author Meets Readern (AMR):  Accidental Feminism and The Work of Rape: New Directions in Feminist Theory and Queer Governance

Chairs:             Stu Marvel, Libby Adler

Authors:          Rana Jaleel, Swethaa Balakrishnan

Readers:           Liz Montgomery, Aziza Ahmed, Greta LaFleur

12:45 – 2:30 PM

AMR Global Intersectionality and Contemporary Human Rights
Chair:               Robin Walker Sterling

Author:            Johanna Bond

Readers:           Carla LaRoche, Dina Francesca Haynes, Seema Mohapatra

2:45 – 4:30 PM

 Paper Session: Gender-Based Violence: Contexts and Comparisons

            Chair:               Elizabeth MacDowell

            Discussants:     Aziza Ahmed, Samantha Godwin

Presenters:       Meghan Boone, Heidi Matthews, Julie Goldscheid, Rachel Van Cleave, Christine Bailey, Nancy Cantalupo

Roundtable: Femicide: Law and Society (Virtual)

            Chair:               Dabney Evans

Participants:     Martin Di Marco, Claire Branigan, Esther Elisha

Thursday July 14, 2022

 8:15 - 10:00 AM

 Paper Session: Marriage and Parentage I

            Chair:               Laura Kessler

            Discussant:      Courtney Joslin

Presenters:       Erez Aloni, Ayelet Blecher-Prigat & Ruth Zafran (with Noy Naaman), Jessica Knouse, Noy Naaman, Cassia Roth

10:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Paper Session: Parentage II

           Chair:               Anibal Rosario Lebrón

            Discussant:      Erez Aloni

Presenters:       Susan Hazledean, Courtney Joslin (with Douglas NeJaime), Marcia Zug, Dara Purvis, Radhika Rao

12:45 – 2:30PM

Paper Session: Menstruation, Health, and the Law

            Chair:               Seema Mohapatra

            Discussant:      Dara Purvis

            Presenters:       Margaret Johnson, Marci Karin, Inga Winkler, Sarah Lorr

AMR: The New Sex Wars: Sexual Harm in the #MeToo Era

Author:            Brenda Cossman

Readers:           Penelope Andrews, Joseph Fischel, Ratna Kapur

2:45 – 4:30 PM

Roundtable: Abortion Rights after Roe: International Human Rights and Comparative Legal Approaches

Chair:               Rachel Rebouché

Presenters:       Mindy Roseman, Satang Nabaneh, Patricia A Skuster, Paola Bergallo

Roundtable: Social Parenthood in Comparative Perspective

Chair:               Courtney Joslin

Presenters:       Kristina Brant, Corinna Guerzoni, Christiane von Bary, Sofia Trevino, Lauren Hu

Paper Session: Reproductive Rights

            Chair:               Meghan Boone

            Discussant:      Elizabeth Kukura

Presenters:       Greer Donley (with David Cohen & Rachel Rebouché), Jill Lens (with Greer Donley), Francesca Laguardia, Elizabeth Kukura, Jessica Feinberg

Paper Session: Gender-Based Violence: Rape, Domestic Violence

            Chair:               Tugçe Ellialti-Kose

            Discussant:      Jamie Abrams

Presenters:       Jayne O’Connor, Tammy Kuennen & Leigh Goodmark, Michal Buchhandler-Raphael, Charisa Smith

Friday, July 15, 2022

2:45 - 4:30 PM

Roundtable: Gender, Power, Law, and Leadership I

Chair:               Renee Knake Jefferson

Presenters:       Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Laura Rosenbury, Paula Schaefer, Melinda Molina, Erin Buzuvis, Cindy Schipani, Carla Pratt

Paper Session: Infanticide laws in feminist context

            Chair:               Michelle Oberman

            Discussant:      Greer Donley

Presenters:       Daniel Grey, Emma Milne & Karen Brennan, Susan Ayres, Debra Wilson, Bruna Angotti

Paper Session: Law, Gender, and Democracy in International and Comparative Perspective 

            Chair:               Elizabeth MacDowell

            Discussant:      Suzanne Kim

            Presenters:       Ezgi Seref, Jonathan Crock, Jennifer Maher, Carla LaRoche

4:45 – 6:30 PM

Paper Session: Sex and Reproductive Rights

            Chair:               Jessica Knouse

            Discussant:      Jill Lens

Presenters:       Hillary Berk, Nofar Yakovi Gan-Or, Natalia Levin Schwartz, Bela Walker, Laura Lane-Steele

Paper Session: Speech, Testimony, and Truth: A Feminist Analysis of Human Rights Law

            Chair:               Valentina Ramia

            Discussant:      Julie Goldscheid

            Presenters:       Valentina Ramia, Brenda Dvoskin, Leyla Savloff, Farzana Ali

Paper Session: New Perspectives on Sex in Public

Chair:               Brenda Cossman

Discussant:      Gabriel Rosenberg

Presenters:       Joseph Fischel, India Thusi, Andrew Gilden, Lara Karaian (with Melanie Cantin)

 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

8:15 - 10:00 AM

AMR Privacy as Anti-Subordination Tool

Chair:               Daniel Susser

Author:            Scott Skinner-Thompson

Readers:           Seda Gurses, Eddie Bruce-Jones, Daniel Susser

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Paper Session: Sexual Orientation, Sex, and Privacy

Chair:               Susan Hazeldean

Discussant:      Andrew Gilden

Presenters:       Britni Moore, Anibal Rosario Lebron, Michael Boucai, Naomi Mezey

Roundtable: After Carceral Feminism

            Chair:               Aziza Ahmed

            Presenters:       Leigh Goodmark, Aya Gruber, Cynthia Godsoe, Kate Mogulescu

12:45 – 2:30 PM

Paper Session: Race, Gender, and Autonomy in Comparative Perspective

            Chair & Discussant:     Johanna Bond

Presenters:                   Rabea Benhalim, Catherine Harnois (with Yaqi Yuan), Caroline Hodes, Amy Dillard, Louise Langevin

2:45 – 4:30 PM

CRN 07 Business Meeting

Paper Session: Feminist Jurisprudence and Adjudication

            Chair:               Jennifer Hendricks

            Discussant:      Rachel Rebouché

Presenters:       David Cohen (with Elizabeth Kukura), Jill Hasday, Yanira Reyes, Jasmine Samara

Paper Session: Pedagogy and Practice

Chair & Discussant:     Paula Monopoli

Presenters:                   Jamie Abrams, Daniela Kraiem, Chris Demaske

4:45 – 6:30 PM

Roundtable: Theorizing Feminist Solidarity

            Chair:               Cyra Akila Choudhury

            Presenters:       Jennifer Hendricks, Lua Yuille, Elizabeth MacDowell, Cyra Akila Choudhury

Roundtable: Gender, Power, Law, & Leadership II

Chair:               Hannah Brenner Johnson

Presenters:       Kcasey McLoughlin, Paula Monopoli, Abigail Perdue, Tonja Jacobi, Jonathan Stubbs

July 11, 2022 in Conferences, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Legal Scholars Argue that Femtech Products Poised to Fill Gaps as States Try to Limit Birth Control and Abortion Access

Leah Fowler & Michael Ulrich, Femtechnodystopia 

Reproductive rights, as we have long understood them, are dead. But at the same time history seems to be moving backward, technology moves relentlessly forward. Femtech products, a category of consumer technology addressing an array of “female” health needs, seem poised to fill gaps created by states and stakeholders eager to limit birth control and abortion access and increase pregnancy surveillance and fetal rights. Period and fertility tracking applications could supplement or replace other contraception. Early digital alerts to missed periods can improve the chances of obtaining a legal abortion in states with ever-shrinking windows of availability or prompt behavioral changes that support the health of the fetus. However, more nefarious actors also have interests in these technologies and the intimate information they contain. In the wrong hands, these tools can effectuate increased reproductive control and criminalization. What happens next will depend on whether we can improve efficacy, limit foreseeable privacy risks, and raise consumer awareness. But the current legal and regulatory landscape makes achieving these goals far from a straightforward proposition, further complicated by political influence and a conservative Supreme Court. Thus, this Article concludes with multiple solutions involving diverse stakeholders, offering that a multifaceted approach is needed to keep femtech’s dystopian future from becoming a reality.

July 7, 2022 in Abortion, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Study Shows Unintended Consequences of MeToo in Fewer Research Projects and Collaborations for Junior Women Academics

Marina Gertsberg, The Unintended Consequences of #MeToo - Evidence from Research Collaborations 

In this study, I use research collaborations between junior female and male academics at U.S. Economics departments as a laboratory in which to analyze how #MeToo affected workplace interactions between men and women. I find that junior female academics start fewer new research projects after the #MeToo movement. This decrease is driven by a decline in the number of collaborations with new male co-authors at the same institution. The negative effect is more pronounced in locations with more liberal gender attitudes. Moreover, I show that the drop in collaborations is concentrated in universities with both a high number of sexual harassment cases and more ambiguous sexual harassment policies. These results suggest that the social movement had unintended consequences that disadvantaged the career opportunities of the protected group. The study has also important implications for the design of organizational sexual harassment policies.

July 7, 2022 in Education, Equal Employment, Science, Technology, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Misattribution of Authorship in Legal Work Masks Women's Efforts and Contributes to Gender Gap in Legal Profession

Jordana Goodman, Ms. Attribution: How Authorship Credit Contributes to the Gender Gap, Yale J. Law & Tech. (forthcoming)

 Misattribution plagues the practice of law in the United States. Seasoned practitioners and legislators alike will often claim full credit for joint work and, in some cases, for the entirety of a junior associate’s writing. The powerful over-credit themselves on legislation, opinions, and other legal works to the detriment of junior staff and associates. The ingrained and expected practice of leveraging junior attorneys as ghost-writers is, to many, unethical. But it presents a distinct concern that others have yet to interrogate: misattribution disparately impacts underrepresented members of the legal profession.

This Article fills that space by offering a quantitative analysis of gendered disparate impact of normative authorship omissions in law. Using patent practitioner signatures from patent applications and office action responses, which include a national identification number correlated to the time of patent bar admission, this work demonstrates how women’s names are disproportionately concealed from the record when the senior-most legal team member signs on behalf of the team. This work illustrates that, when women reach equivalent levels of seniority, they do not overexert their power to claim credit to the same extent as their male peers. This parallels sociological findings that competence-based perception, accent bias, and perceived status differentiation between male and female colleagues can manifest in adverse and disparate attribution for women. The gender gap in the legal profession is exacerbated through this practice by falsely implying that women do less work, are more junior, and do not deserve as much credit as their male colleagues.

Addressing the failure of current practices requires cultural changes and regulatory action to ensure proper and equitable attribution in scholarship, doctrine, and industry. Legal obligations to maintain the integrity of the legal profession must include these affirmative steps to remedy de facto and de jure discrimination.

July 7, 2022 in Equal Employment, Legislation, Technology, Women lawyers, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

School Dress Code Bans Skirts and Dresses

TX School District's Dress Code Dresses, Skirts to Promote Workforce Skills

The Forney Independent School District announced this week that it was implementing the new dress code to help improve the children’s “future workforce skills” for the 2022-23 academic year. All hoodies, as well as hooded jackets and coats, will be prohibited for all the roughly 15,000 students inside any of FISD’s 18 schools. Dresses, skirts and skorts are now allowed only for kids in prekindergarten through the fourth grade in an effort the district says will “help prepare students for a safe and successful future.”

 

“The use of a school dress code is established to improve student self-esteem, bridge socio-economic differences among students, and promote positive behavior, thereby enhancing school safety and improving the learning environment,” the district wrote in its announcement to parents.***

 

Historians have noted how school dress codes have been a way to assert power and control over students. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, an assistant professor of American history and women’s and gender history at Case Western Reserve University, wrote in The Post last year about the long history schools had of imposing codes of appearance and behavior, from uniforms to rules of conduct.

 
“As social institutions that are meant to prepare future citizens to function in society, schools are hardly democratic spaces. Instead, schools use their authority to enforce social values through curriculum choices, enrollment decisions and also dress codes,” Rabinovitch-Fox wrote. “Dress codes have usually targeted women and minorities, continuing a long tradition of policing these groups’ appearance and presence in public.”

 

Yet other schools have required skirts for girls: See Fourth Circuit En Banc Holds Charter School Dress Code for Girls is Gender Discriminationsee also Controlling Women by Controlling Clothes in the Workplace

July 6, 2022 in Education, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Bipartisan "Speak Out" Bill in Congress Removes Legal Barriers to Reporting Sexual Harassment from Nondisclosure Agreements

The Speak Out Act Removes Legal Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault

A new bipartisan bill would enable workers to report workplace sexual assault and harassment even if they signed a confidentiality agreement, nearly five years after the viral #MeToo movement exposed how the common legal tools can muzzle survivors.

 

Reps. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told The Washington Post they introduced legislation Friday that would empower survivors to report instances of abuse in the workplace. The bill, called the “Speak Out Act,” would prevent employers from enforcing nondisclosure or nondisparagement agreements (NDAs) in instances when employees and workers report sexual misconduct.

 

“This is a preventive piece,” Frankel said. “When companies that are going to have offenders are aware that they cannot hide illegal sexual harassment, that they cannot put it under the rug, they’re going to take more steps from the get-go to keep it from happening.”

 

NDAs are standard features of employment contracts that protect sensitive company information. They’re common across industries: Over one-third of the U.S. workforce is bound by an NDA, according to a 2018 Harvard Business Review report.

July 6, 2022 in Business, Equal Employment, Legislation, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP Centering Family Violence in Family Law

Call for Papers

Centering Family Violence in Family Law

Abstract Submission Deadline: July 22, 2022

from the Family Law Center, UVA School of Law and National Family Violence Law Center, GW Law School

We invite submissions to contribute to a roundtable about the place of domestic violence in family law and scholarship. Submissions should consist of a proposed abstract under 300 words. The roundtable will be held on January 20, 2023 at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Although evidence shows that family violence is endemic, family law continues to design doctrines and procedures around an image of families in which violence is exceptional. Significant new empirical research indicates that, despite extensive law reforms designed to require courts to address family violence, mothers in custody litigation who seek to protect their children from paternal abuse typically face resistance from judges, if not outright hostility. Moreover, most family lawyers are ill-equipped to effectively represent protective parents and at-risk children, especially in an unreceptive family court culture. Cf. Meier, Denial of Family Violence:  An Empirical Analysis and Path Forward for Family Law, 110 Geo. L. J. 835 (2022).

 

How would family law practice, scholarship, and teaching change if each centered the reality of family violence instead of treating it as exceptional? 

This roundtable will bring together a group of diverse participants to explore how the realities of family violence and judicial intransigence should affect core doctrines and practices in family law, such as allocating custody and establishing parenthood. Participants will also consider how concern for family violence should inform discussions of systemic reforms such as decriminalization, abolition of the child welfare system, and parenting after incarceration. The roundtable’s goal is to carve out new ways to think about how family law can respond to the failure of the law, scholarship, and the courts to appropriately deal with violence within American families. 

We offer the following “provocations” for new thinking about how to place family violence at the center of family law:

  • Shared Parenting:  How might we talk about shared parenting and its appropriate place in child custody if we acknowledged the history of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment among many (possibly most) separating parents, both those that litigate and those that do not?
  • Functional Parenting:  As we seek to expand parenting rights and recognition to functional parents, how can we ensure that abusive partners are not empowered to extend their abuse through parenting litigation (a well-documented problem among biological parents)?
  • Pedagogy: How should we best integrate the realities of family violence in our teaching, particularly in broad courses such as Family Law, Criminal Law, and Child, Family & State?
  • Formerly Incarcerated Parents:  As we work to reintegrate formerly incarcerated parents into the community and their families, how can we ensure that reintegration maximizes and protects healthy and caring parent-child relationships?
  • The Child Welfare System:  As we work to reform the child welfare system and its known racial and class injustices, how can we best integrate the realities of family violence into such reforms to ensure they do not exacerbate the victimization of children or safe parents?
  • A Supportive State:  As we develop state tools to affirmatively support familial stability and security, how should such policies change if family violence is pervasive rather than an aberrant imperfection? 

We are delighted to report that the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law has agreed to publish eight short (5,000-word) papers from this gathering. We will be requesting drafts (3,000-5,000 words) one week in advance of the conference so they can be circulated and read by all participants. 

We plan to host the event in person, although the format may change depending on public health considerations. We will supply meals, and we have some funding available. If you need funding to attend, then please provide an estimate of your travel costs.  

Thank you.  Please submit abstracts to centeringfamilyviolence@gmail.com.  And please let us know if you have any questions!

July 6, 2022 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Family, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ohio Lawsuit Filed to Enjoin 6 Week Abortion Ban on State Constitutional Grounds of Due Process, Equal Protection, and Freedom to Choose Health Care

Lawsuit Filed Against Ohio Abortion Ban After Roe v. Wade Ruling

Just days after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic decision, multiple groups have come together to file a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court “seeking to block the state’s six-week ban on abortion and to restore and further protect Ohioans’ reproductive rights secured by the Ohio Constitution.”

Their lawsuit comes after a federal judge in Ohio granted the state’s request to allow the previously blocked six-week abortion ban – also known as the “heartbeat bill” – to take effect. The suit argues the bill “radically restricts access to abortion in Ohio by lowering the gestational age limit from 22 weeks to approximately six weeks, with very limited exceptions.”

The Complaint is here: Download Complaint, Preterm Cleveland v. Yost (Ohio S.Ct. 6-29-2022)

See also: Download Memo in Support of Writ, Preterm Cleveland v. Yost (Ohio S.Ct. 6-29-2022)

To add some additional information:

1.  There is original jurisdiction in the Ohio Supreme Court for "extraordinary writs" like mandamus when there is no adequate remedy at law.  It is an unusual option, but that is the argument the provider plaintiffs are making here. saying there is a need for a definitive, state-wide ruling on this emergency motion.

2.  Ohio may be different in interpretation of its state due process ("due course of law") clause because it also now has a "Freedom to Choose Health Care" constitutional provision.  Ohio Const. Art. I.21.  This freedom of health care provision was passed by initiative in 2011 in response to the federal Affordable Healthcare Act as an "anti-Obamacare" action.

 

 

June 29, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Courts, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)