Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Top Ten List of what is wussifying America's men is available here. Some readers will get mad; I just thought it was funny, and, given the zany and over-the-top items, embraced it as an unintentional bid for parody.
(drum roll, please).....at Number One: Firing Physically Abusive Coaches. Any one want to stand up for this beleagured and oppressed minority?
Two types of distortions often arise in abortion jurisprudence. The first is distortion of scientific fact. Too often abortion opponents distort medical facts and courts accept those distortions as true. Take, for example, the claim that abortion makes women depressed and suicidal. In fact, no reputable study supports any such causal link. Equally without scientific foundation is the claim that morning after pills like Plan B act as abortifacients. They do not.
The second kind of distortion that occurs in abortion jurisprudence is that the normal doctrine does not apply. Thus, despite the fact that compelling someone to articulate the government’s ideology is anathema in free speech jurisprudence, courts have upheld mandatory abortion counseling laws that force doctors to serve as mouthpieces for the state’s viewpoint. Similarly, despite the fact that for-profit corporations have never been held to have religious rights, several courts have stayed application of the new contraception mandate on the grounds that it might violate the corporation’s "conscience." This abortion exceptionalism is problematic for women and for First Amendment jurisprudence.
From a WaPo story:
Brian Stewart’s rejection letter from a fraternity at Morgan State University in Baltimore stated that members had reviewed and vetted his application and that, unfortunately, not enough brothers wanted him to join.
He was disappointed, as are many of the thousands of students across the country who rush Greek houses each year and aren’t accepted. But Stewart is convinced that he was rejected by Kappa Alpha Psi because he is gay.
AAUW (American Association of University Women) has Live Blogging of the regulatory meetings needed to implement the new campus safety provisions that were included in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) update that passed in March. Schools will rely on the details in these regulations to update their policies on campus, improve their disciplinary proceedings, provide better prevention training to students and faculty, and ensure that survivors have the services they need.
"Making regulations isn’t always exciting, but anyone can join in the dialogue and these rules will be key to getting the law implemented. You can learn more about how things will go by checking out the Department of Education’s website:" http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2012/vawa.html.
The Ms. JD blog announces a new column for 2014 tracking the role of women in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The focus of this column throughout 2014 will be to highlight the women of the United States Supreme Court: the practioners, the parties, the justices. It will also highlight specific cases that will be argued and decided by the United States Supreme Court this term that relate to issues specifically important to women....
In the last United States Supreme Court term (beginning in October 2012 and ending in June 2013) the Court issued 73 written merit opinions, 25 of those were authored by female justices. Justice Ginsburg wrote the most majority opinions of any of the justices, authoring a total of 9 majority opinions....
Six women argued three different times in front of the Court this session. Lisa S. Blatt is the only private counsel to make the list, while five female counsel represented the Solicitor General’s Office, including Ginger D. Anders, Sarah E. Harrington, Ann O’Connell, Nicole A. Saharsky and Melissa A. Sherry.
Ah, finally a little more explanation of how this mess of licensed, solemnized, but unrecognized gay marriages in Utah came to be. Emily Bazelon (Slate) in Is Eric Holder Making Up Gay Marriage Law as he Goes Along?, reveals THAT THE STATE DIDN'T ASK FOR A STAY in the district court. Why is anyone's guess - bad lawyering, oversight, politics, assumption that it wouldn't be granted. And of course the 10th Circuit didn't grant the stay either.
But the stay should have been granted. As the US Supreme Court cautioned in two child custody cases last year, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl and Chafin v. Chafin courts need to tread more carefully in procedures in family law matters. Because the effects on families and personal relationships can be devestating. See Exhibit 1, Utah Marriages. The Utah district court drastically altered the status quo as to marriage. The best procedure would have been to stay the order and expedite the appeal. No marriages lost in the gap, no expectations squashed, and no federalism clashes created. People are not money. We can't just undo harms with dollars or do-overs.
Paul Caron at Tax Prof Blog reports on an interesting new fellowship program with BigLaw designed to help women who take a few years off for family work to re-enter the practice of law.
The program is OnRamp Fellowship.
Another resource is American University's Lawyer Re-entry certificate program.
Monday, January 13, 2014
My friend Katharine Van Tassel alerted me to a NYT Op-Ed. The facts, though, seemed to me more interesting than the substance of the commentary:
ANDY INKSTER, a transgender man, had always wanted biological children. So when he embarked on the transition from female to male at age 18 — changing his name, taking testosterone and eventually undergoing surgery to remove his breasts — he left his female reproductive organs intact.
Mr. Inkster wanted to become pregnant. And did, eventually, and gave birth to a girl. But he was denied treatment by one of the fertility clinics.
According to court documents, he was denied treatment after failing to comply with a clinic counselor’s request that he supply information from his current therapist that he was emotionally ready to handle pregnancy and parenting. Mr. Inkster argued that nontransgender patients weren’t asked to do the same. This fall, theMassachusetts Commission Against Discrimination — the state’s civil rights agency — found probable cause for Mr. Inkster. The case will next move on to a conciliation conference, and then to a possible settlement.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
What explains this puerile shallowness? I see it as an expression of our cultural uncertainty about the social role of men. It's been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing.
I am intrigued by the argument. But "even a little embarrassing"? Maybe in thoroughly unmanly conditions like.... a faculty meeting, or a law school classroom, or any garden variety academic conference in some hotel ballroom. Yet elsewhere?..... I don't know.....
Anyone in their 40s reading this blog probably remembers Camille Paglia back from law school days. She had a lot of publicity on t.v., I remember, for her feminist (or perhaps more appropriate, anti-feminist) views. She's back in the news again. The full WSJ online discussion here.
I won't criticize or laud her general efforts, but some of what she says struck me as provocative and interesting. Like this:
"Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There's nothing left. There's no room for anything manly right now." The only place you can hear what men really feel these days, she claims, is on sports radio. No surprise, she is an avid listener. The energy and enthusiasm "inspires me as a writer," she says, adding: "If we had to go to war," the callers "are the men that would save the nation."
"The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster," she says. "
So, there's a book called Mansfield's Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self.
I guess I just don't get it.
Isn't being manly about not reading books, let alone books about how to be manly? Let alone books that contain unnervingly unmanly terms like "utterly" and "invigorating"? I mean, if you have to read a book about how to be manly, what does that say about you in terms of manliness?
I ask these questions as one who makes no pretensions about being manly (it's hard to claim to be a tough guy when my business card reads "professor" on it) and who loves reading books about manliness. But for those dudes who really want to be manly,....ummm...I don't get it. But it's your dime.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
In Texas, one hospital refuses to terminate life support for a young womant. In California, another hospital forces a family to disconnect life support. The juxtaposition is interesting. Both blatantly disregard the wishes of the family. One relevant distinction, according to the law, is that the Texas woman was 14 weeks pregnant.
“It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life,” said Mrs. Munoz’s mother, Lynne Machado, 60. “It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.”
At least 31 states have adopted laws restricting the ability of doctors to end life support for terminally ill pregnant women, regardless of the wishes of the patient or the family, according to a 2012 report from the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington.
Zachary Kramer (Arizona) has posted The New Sex Discrimination, 63 Duke L. J. ___(2014)
Sex discrimination law has not kept pace with the lived experience of discrimination. In the early years of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, courts settled on idea of what sex discrimination looks like — formal practices that exclude employees based on their group membership. The problem is that sex discrimination has become highly individualized. Modern sex discrimination does not target all men or all women, nor does it target subgroups of men or women. The victims of modern sex discrimination are particular men and women who face discrimination because they do not or cannot conform to the norms of the workplace. These employees have been shut out of a sex discrimination regime that still expects employees to anchor their claims to a narrative of group subordination.
This paper proposes a new regime for sex discrimination law. The model for the new sex discrimination regime is religious discrimination law. Unlike other areas of employment discrimination law, religious discrimination law offers a dynamic conception of identity and a greater array of different theories of discrimination. Sex discrimination law can and should work this way, too. On a broader level, the paper recalibrates sex discrimination law’s vision of equality. Difference is universal; no two people are the same, and this is a good thing. Thus the central task of sex discrimination law should be to better recognize — and in turn protect — the distinctive ways in which employees express their maleness and femaleness. It is these differences, after all, that shape the way employees experience modern sex discrimination.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, State Launches Campaign to Raise Awareness about Human Trafficking.
The state estimates that each year an estimated 1,078 Ohio children become victims of human trafficking and 3,016 more are at-risk for exploitation....
"The fact is that human trafficking is real and is happening across Ohio,” Gov. John Kasich said in a statement. “This incredible effort to coordinate state agencies and provide resources free to the public to increase awareness takes Ohio to the next level in our effort to bring an end to this modern-day form of slavery."
More details can be found online at the task force’s website.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Here's one such bid to rank them. Washington and Lee School of Law does a fantastic job of ranking the law journals. The former ranking, though, includes journals from all over the world, as well as those outside the legal academy. The list, in fact, is stunning in the number of journals that deal with gender on a consistent basis.
The British law of entail permits only sons to inherit titles of nobility from the father. But change might be afoot:
A new bill making its way through the House of Lords would for the first time allow noble fathers to pass their titles onto their daughters, the Daily Telegraph reports. The name of the legislation? “The Downton Law,” naturally.
The reference is to the popular PBS t.v. show, of course. (alas, I haven't had a t.v. for two years but I keep hearing that it is marvelous, and apparently, it might be helping to make history.) There is more information here.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
From my colleague, Professor Wilson Huhn, Associate Director of Akron's Center for Constitutional Law, one of four center's established by Congress. A summary of the January US Supreme Court case, McCullen v. Coakley, revisiting abortion protest laws.
McCullen v. Coakley:
In this case the Supreme Court will revisit the question of the constitutionality of laws prohibiting protests near abortion clinics. In previous cases such as Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703 (2000) the Court split 5-4 in upholding most of these laws, with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in the majority and Justice Anthony Kennedy dissenting. Since then Justice O’Connor has been replaced on the Court by Justice Samuel Alito.
Under consideration in this case is a Massachusetts statute that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” banning protests around reproductive health care facilities. The petitioners wish to approach closer to the clinic, and challenge the constitutionality of the law under the doctrine of Freedom of Expression.
The Supreme Court will have to decide the following issues:
(1) Which category of laws affecting speech this law falls into; that is, is the law is content neutral, content based, or viewpoint based; and
(2) Whether the law satisfies the standard that is applicable to that particular category.
If the law is found to be viewpoint based (that is, if the law was adopted because of the particular position that protesters take on the issue of abortion), then the law would be per se unconstitutional.
If the law is found to be content based (that is, if the law was adopted because it dealt with the subject of abortion), then in order to be constitutional the law would have to pass strict scrutiny, that is, the law would have to be the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling governmental interest. It is unlikely that this law could survive strict scrutiny.
If the law is found to be content neutral (that is, if the law was adopted not because of the ideas being expressed by the protestors but because of the danger that the protests posed to clinic patients and staff) then in order to be constitutional the law would have to be narrowly tailored to serve a legitimate state interest. This is a relatively weak form of intermediate scrutiny, and it is likely that the Court would uphold the law if it is found to be content neutral.
2014 Keynote Speaker
Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi, Judge Advocate General, United States Navy
Vice Admiral DeRenzi is the first woman to serve as Judge Advocate General. She is the highest-ranking lawyer in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
2014 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecturer
Captain Stacy A. Pedrozo, Commanding Officer, Naval Justice School
Captain Pedrozo is the first woman to serve as Commanding Officer of the Naval Justice School, which trains every lawyer in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
To register, go to http://www.tjsl.edu/conferences/wlc#register
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
We have the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The Aussies now have a Sex Party.
The Australian Sex Party is a libertarian, political response to the needs of Australians in the 21st Century.
We respect the rights of all individuals to live their lives in the ways they choose without infringing the rights of or causing harm to others.
In exercising their rights and freedom individuals should accept responsibility for their choices while being tolerant of the choices made by others.
The Sex Party believes that independent, peer-reviewed scientific research is essential to inform the broad spectrum of knowledge and debate in our 21st century world.
The vast majority of Australians hold relaxed and tolerant 21st Century views of the choices made by individuals. The Sex Party’s policies reflect these views.