Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Ireland Announces Referendum for Constitutional Amendment for Gender Equality

Taoiseach and Minister O’Gorman announce holding of referendum on gender equality

The Taoiseach said:

For too long, women and girls have carried a disproportionate share of caring responsibilities, been discriminated against at home and in the workplace, objectified or lived in fear of domestic or gender-based violence.

"I am pleased to announce that the government plans to hold a Referendum this November to amend our Constitution to enshrine gender equality and to remove the outmoded reference to ‘women in the home’, in line with the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality.

h/t Prof. Julie Suk

March 14, 2023 in Constitutional, Family, Gender, International, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

DC Circuit Dismisses Equal Rights Amendment Case Seeking to Enforce Amendment

ABA J, Backers of Equal Rights Amendment Lose Mandamus Bid in DC Circuit

The states of Illinois and Nevada lost their bid to make the Equal Rights Amendment part of the Constitution on Tuesday, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that they did not satisfy the high threshold needed to obtain a writ of mandamus.

The D.C. Circuit said the two states failed to show that they had a “clear and indisputable right” to compel the U.S. archivist to certify and publish the ERA as part of the Constitution.

Bloomberg Law has coverage noted by How Appealing, which linked to the Feb. 28 opinion.

The states had contended that the ERA was part of the Constitution because it had been ratified by 38 states as called for in the Constitution. But ratification by the last three of the 38 states didn’t happen by a 1979 deadline set by Congress that was extended to 1982.

In 2018, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the ERA, followed by Illinois and Virginia. When Virginia urged the archivist to certify and publish the amendment, the archivist asked the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel for an opinion on the legal status of the ERA.

See also Federal Appeals Court Dismisses Equal Rights Amendment Appeal

Meanwhile, Congress held a hearing on the ERA to change the deadline. Senate Holds Equal Rights Amendment Hearing as US Court Denies Attempt to Include in Constitution 

The Office of Legal Counsel said in a January 2020 opinion the ERA can’t be ratified because of the missed deadline. The opinion said Congress couldn’t extend the deadline, but it could restart the whole process by again proposing the amendment. In January 2022, the office said the prior opinion doesn’t prevent Congress from taking further action regarding ratification because the issue will ultimately be decided by the courts and Congress.

The D.C. Circuit discussed prior U.S. Supreme Court cases supporting the view that Congress has the power to set a ratification deadline.

March 1, 2023 in Constitutional, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 24, 2023

Ohio Will Be the 7th State to Put Abortion to a Popular Vote

Ohio Will Be the 7th State to Put Abortion to a Popular Vote

Ohio will become the seventh state to put abortion to a popular vote, as two competing pro-abortion rights groups have combined forces to file a ballot measure as soon as next week, according to local media.

The odds are looking good for supporters of reproductive autonomy: In all six ballot measures states put forth last year, abortion rights won. Kansas voters overwhelmingly chose to keep abortion legal. In Montana, voters were given a confusingly worded “born-alive” ballot initiative that presented the false belief that infants survive abortion, and they managed to protect abortion rights anyway. Michigan, Vermont and California also voted “yes” to enshrine the right in the states’ constitutions.

Ohio will likely be taking the proactive approach. Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom and Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights will file paperwork with the state attorney general next week to start the process of getting on the November ballot.

“The language has been worked out with both groups for weeks and weeks at this point,” Celina Coming, a spokesperson for Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, told Cleveland.com. “We’re just dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s and waiting for a final round of poling to be completed and reviewed. But we’re all set to go very, very soon.”

The effort of gathering 400,000-plus signatures by activists could be complicated by Republicans who are upset that abortion remains popular. When news of pro-abortion rights ballot measures started to crop up last year, Republicans tried to change how a constitutional amendment is passed from a simple majority to 60 percent.

February 24, 2023 in Abortion, Constitutional, Legislation, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 13, 2023

Center for Reproductive Rights Publishes 2022 State Legislative Wrap-Up

The Center for Reproductive Rights has published its 2022 legislative report providing a comprehensive summary of state legislative efforts both to restrict and support all aspects of reproductive healthcare. Here are a few excerpted highlights. The full report is deeply informative. 

  • "During 2022, the Center for Reproductive Rights tracked almost 700 abortion bills. States introduced more than 430 restrictive bills and more than 230 proactive abortion bills expanding protection for abortion."

  • "In 2022, eight states (Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Wyoming) introduced 12 trigger bans. Three states enacted or amended existing trigger bans including Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

  • "In 2022, 20 states (Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia) introduced 42 complete bans in the form of granting fetal personhood or just outright banning all abortions. Three states (West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Indiana) enacted complete bans."  
  • "In 2022, 28 states introduced 50 restrictive medication abortion bills, five of which were enacted. The bills included total medication abortion bans, medication abortion “reversal” requirements, medication abortion regulation schemes, telemedicine bans, and other medication abortion bans." 
  • "In 2022, 17 states (Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia) introduced 25 telemedicine bans. Of those, seven were enacted in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia. These bans built upon existing telemedicine bans in these states."
  • "Thirty-seven states introduced 109 bills with restrictions on abortion providers. States enacted 13 laws with those restrictions. For example, Tennessee enacted legislation that (1) requires medication abortion to be performed by a “qualified physician,” (2) creates onerous reporting requirements for medication abortion providers, and (3) requires admitting privileges for medication abortion providers."
  • "Sixteen states introduced 28 bills to create new crimes in the criminal code or add additional criminal penalties to existing restrictions. These bills aimed to criminalize research on fetal tissue, self-managed abortions and feticide, medication abortion restrictions, and more. Two such bills were enacted." 

  • "In 2022, the Center tracked over 230 proactive abortion bills to expand or protect access to abortion care. Of these, 42 were enacted, including interstate shield protections, insurance coverage, and expanded provider scope of practice. Additional proactive bills included those that repeal restrictive laws, expand minors’ access to abortion, expand medication abortion care, protect self-managed abortions, include crisis pregnancy center consumer protections, and expand clinic access protections and statutory protections for abortions. Whereas 2021 brought bills that repealed abortion restrictions, expanded scope of practice, and expanded insurance coverage for abortion care were popular, this year, legislators focused on protecting abortion providers and individuals seeking access outside their home state in anticipation of a negative Dobbs decision. Proactive trends discussed include: 1) interstate shield bills, 2) scope of practice expansion, 3) statutory fundamental right to abortion, 4) expanded insurance coverage, and 5) other proactive measures."

  • "In 2022, 10 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the District of Columbia introduced interstate shield bills. California,  Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York enacted their bills."
  • "In 2022, 13 states (California, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Vermont) introduced 19 bills to make abortion a fundamental right through statute. Two of these types of bills were enacted in Colorado and New Jersey."

February 13, 2023 in Abortion, Healthcare, Legislation, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 10, 2023

New NY Child Custody Law Protects Rights of Unmarried Fathers

A New Law Co-Drafted by Christine Gottlieb Protects Custody Rights for Unmarried Fathers 

On December 30, 2022, Governor Kathy Holchul signed the Parental Equity Act, which amended decades-old legislation to provide unwed fathers a full and fair opportunity to maintain custody of their child. The new law was written by Christine Gottlieb ’97, director of NYU Law’s Family Defense Clinic, and Amy Mulzer, a senior attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services and a former Family Defense Clinic fellow.

Gottlieb and Mulzer drafted the bill with two goals in mind: to reunite children with parents whenever safely possible, and to deconstruct the gender stereotypes that they say the previous law perpetuated. 

In this Q&A, Gottlieb talks about her 20 years in the Family Defense Clinic, the court case that inspired the Parental Equity Act, and the work that went into getting the bill to the governor’s desk.

February 10, 2023 in Family, Gender, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Consequences of Misgendering After Death

Orion Rummler writing for The 19th documents the harms that trans people face when misgendered after death. 

Without updated identity documents, such as a driver’s license or other government-issued I.D., trans people are likely to be misgendered and have the wrong name on their death certificates — in spite of their lived experience, gender expression or physical transition. That acute loss of self weighs heavily on the minds of many trans people, especially those with unsupportive families or those without resources to change their documentation.

* * * 

The paperwork, policies and software used to record death vary from state to state. Without state or federal requirements to gather LGBTQ+ data after death, crucial choices on the remembrance of deceased transgender people are left in the hands of individual funeral directors, medical examiners and death investigators working within a convoluted and underfunded system. 

The article profiles a recent study out of Portland concluding: 

Of the 47 trans and nonbinary people who died from 2011 to 2021 that researchers could find, more than half had their genders marked incorrectly on their death certificates. That number was small — 29 trans people over that 10-year period were misgendered on their death certificates.But the time-consuming manner that researchers had to use to prove even that sliver of information underlines the key problem: For Oregon and most other states, there is no formal record of someone’s gender identity after death at all. 

The article recommends legal changes to avoid what the Portland study co-authors described powerfully as the "nonconsensual detransitioning after death.” "Lawmakers should create policy to ensure transgender people can be recognized as their true selves after death if they lack updated identity documents, * * * especially since the process of obtaining those documents can be difficult in some states."  

Read the full article here

January 23, 2023 in Gender, Healthcare, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Missouri House Republications Adopted Stricter Dress Code for Women, Arms Must be Concealed

Missouri House Republicans Adopted Stricter Dress Code -- Just for Women

The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives used its session’s opening day Wednesday to tighten the dress code for female legislators, while leaving the men’s dress code alone.

The changes were spearheaded by state Rep. Ann Kelley (R), a co-sponsor who was among the Republicans seeking to require women to wear a blazer when in the chamber. She was met by swift opposition from Democrats who called it “ridiculous.”

The state House eventually approved a modified version of Kelley’s proposal, which allows for cardigans as well as jackets, but still requires women’s arms to be concealed. Missouri Democrats tore into Republicans for pushing the new restrictions on what women in the chamber could wear. ***
While previous rules said that “dresses or skirts or slacks worn with a blazer or sweater and appropriate dress shoes or boots” were allowed to be worn by female lawmakers, Kelley, one of the co-sponsors of H.R. 11, said Wednesday that women needed to wear jackets on the floor as “it is essential to always maintain a formal and professional atmosphere.”

January 17, 2023 in Equal Employment, Legislation, Women lawyers, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 16, 2023

Interview with Author of New Shirley Chisholm Biography

The 19th features an interview of historian Anastasia Curwood on her new biography of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress.  The article explains why a "cradle to grave" biography about Chisholm is so important: 

Shirley Chisholm was a trailblazer: the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first Black candidate and the first woman candidate for a major-party nomination for president of the United States. Still, despite her tremendous influence on American politics, biographies of Chisholm have been immensely hard to come across. 

With her recently released book, “Shirley Chisholm: Champion of Black Feminist Power Politics,” Anastasia C. Curwood, a professor and interim chair of the Department of History at the University of Kentucky, hopes to alleviate this gap. A cradle-to-grave biography as Curwood calls it, the book gives insight into who Chisholm was as a person and how Chisolm’s many lived experiences and multiple identities shaped who she was. In the book, Curwood coins the term “Black Feminist Power Politics” to describe how Chisholm’s identity as a Black woman born to immigrant parents in a working-class family allowed her to empathize with the lived experiences of marginalized individuals and informed her politics. 

The 19th article features an interview with the author describing many themes of the book. The book was published on January 10, 2023. 

January 16, 2023 in Legal History, Legislation, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Right to Build Families Act of 2022 Introduced to Congress

The Right to Building Families Act was introduced into Congress by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-PA-07) in December 2022. This bill would prohibit states from limiting the rights of individuals to access assisted reproductive technologies. It would prohibit states from regulating reproductive genetic material. It would protect providers who deliver counseling related to assisted reproductive technologies. It authorizes the Department of Justice to pursue civil actions for violations.

The background summary of the bill provides: 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four women married to men have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. This does not include the many LGBTQ+ couples and those that choose to parent without a partner who may need assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), to start and grow families. Since 1981, those hoping to become parents from across the country have used ART, and to date, over one million infants have been born because of the availability of this medical procedure. About two percent of all infants born in the United States each year are conceived via ART, and the CDC has noted that the use of IVF specifically has more than doubled over the past decade.

Check out the full text of the bill here

January 9, 2023 in Legislation, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Senate Passes Protections for Pregnant Workers and New Mothers

Senate Passes Protections for Pregnant Workers and New Mothers

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act passed the Senate with bipartisan support on Thursday as amendments to the omnibus spending package.

Why it matters: It's a major milestone for women's workplace civil rights. Advocates have pushed for protections for pregnant workers for over a decade, arguing that thousands of women lose their jobs each year — either fired or placed on unpaid leave — because employers are under no obligation to offer pregnant workers reasonable accommodations.

  • Those would include things like extra bathroom breaks, the ability to sit while working a cash register or restrictions on how much weight they can lift.

January 4, 2023 in Equal Employment, Family, Legislation, Pregnancy, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Respect for Marriage Act Doesn't Codify the Fundamental Right of Same-Sex Marriage But Requires Interstate Recognition of Marriages

The 19th, Why The Respect for Marriage Act Doesn't Codify Same-Sex Marriage Rights

The U.S. House approved legislation Thursday to shore up marriage rights for LGBTQ+ couples. The Respect for Marriage Act has been hailed by lawmakers as a landmark law that will protect queer Americans for generations to come. 

The Senate advanced the bill last month, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it. 

But the bill doesn’t codify the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that granted LGBTQ+ couples the right to marry. Instead, it forces states without marriage equality laws to recognize LGBTQ+ marriages from other states. 

It also declares all legal marriages in the United States must be recognized, even across state lines. That means if a marriage is recognized in Maine, it must be recognized in Texas. That part is seen as critical so that queer families can cross state lines to get married even if their home states don’t offer those rights. It also means that married couples can travel without having to worry that a hospital in another state won’t recognize their marriage in the event that one spouse has an emergency and another needs to visit or make medical decisions on their behalf. The same would be true for interracial couples, who the bill also protects — although the justices have not indicated that interracial marriage rights should be reconsidered.

Bill to Protect Same Sex Marriage Rights Clears Congress

The legislation repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and allows states to refuse to honor same-sex marriages performed in other states. It prohibits states from denying the validity of an out-of-state marriage based on sex, race or ethnicity.

But in a condition that Republican backers insisted upon, it would guarantee that religious organizations would not be required to provide any goods or services for the celebration of any marriage, and could not lose tax-exempt status or other benefits for refusing to recognize same-sex unions.

December 8, 2022 in Constitutional, Family, Legislation, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 5, 2022

Michele Goodwin and Mary Ziegler on "The Next Anti-Abortion Tactic: Attacking the Spread of Information"

Michele Goodwin and Mary Ziegler have published an Op-Ed titled "The Next Anti-Abortion Tactic: Attacking the Spread of Information in the New York Times." Here is an excerpt: 

Now that abortion has been banned in more than a dozen states, abortion opponents want to stoke confusion about the legality of not just having an abortion, but even of discussing the procedure. The ultimate goal seems to be ensuring that women are unclear about their options to obtain an abortion or contraception, in their home state or elsewhere.

Signs of this trend can be found around the country. In Nebraska, law enforcement obtained a warrant to search a teenager’s private Facebook messages, in which she told her mother of her urgent desire to end her pregnancy. The mother is now being prosecuted on charges of helping her daughter abort the pregnancy by giving advice about abortion pills.

Proposed legislation in South Carolina would have made it unlawful to provide information about abortions. In September, the University of Idaho issued guidance that it might be illegal for employees to “promote” birth control or abortion. In Texas, two abortion funds (groups that help people pay and travel for abortions) this year received deposition demand letters from people tied to anti-abortion lawmakers for information on anyone who has “aided and abetted” the procedure.

And in Oklahoma, some library workers were warned about helping patrons find information about abortion, or even uttering the word. In an email, the employees were told they could face a $10,000 fine, jail time or even lose their jobs if they didn’t comply. (The library system later updated its guidance.)

Attacks on speech about abortion may seem a sudden reversal for an anti-abortion movement that long claimed to be a champion of the First Amendment. But in fact, decades before Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that overturned Roe,social conservatives set their sights on the First Amendment as a tool to chip away at reproductive rights. And it worked.

* * * 

The gains of social conservatives in curtailing access to abortion are substantial. The next front of their work — hindering access to information about abortion by trampling the First Amendment rights of others — requires more than reversing a Supreme Court decision. The next frontier is interpretation of the First Amendment in ways that contradict how some conservatives have previously interpreted the Constitution, presenting new obstacles for those who wish to keep abortion accessible for women.

December 5, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

NPR Article on Increasingly Common Bills Targeting Trans Youth

NPR published an article covering how Bills targeting trans youth are growing more common -- and radically reshaping lives

An NPR analysis of this fast-changing landscape found that over the past two years, state lawmakers introduced at least 306 bills targeting trans people, more than in any previous period. A majority of this legislation, 86%, focuses on trans youth.

While not every proposal has succeeded — about 15% of the bills have become law — the surge of legislative activity reflects what many advocates see as an increasingly hostile environment for LGBTQ rights in statehouses across the country and even some corners of Congress.

Some of the new laws have been temporarily blocked by the courts. But legal challenges have done little to slow the pace of new proposals, according to Katie Eyer, a professor at Rutgers Law School. It's an echo, she says, of the period after Brown v. Board of Education, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down segregation in schools, but many states kept trying to pass laws to obstruct the ruling.

In four states — Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona and Tennessee — lawmakers have enacted either a partial or total ban on access to gender-affirming care, though in Alabama and Arkansas the laws are not currently in effect due to court injunctions. At least 20 others have tried.

Many of these proposals have sought to restrict anyone under the age of 18 from care that includes puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy or transition-related surgery. In some of those states, health care providers now face the threat of jail time for offering gender-affirming care.

* * * 

Advocates fear the overall fallout could be dramatic. An estimated 300,000 American youth ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender, and according to a March study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, at least 53,800 were at risk of losing gender-affirming medical care.

The article includes useful visual maps depicting the states that have passed laws restricting health care access for trans youth and the state that have enacted anti-trans laws centered on schooling. 

December 5, 2022 in Gender, Legislation, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Abortion Rights Referendums are Winning, but Opponents Seek to Change the Initiative Rules

Rachel Rebouche, Abortion Rights Referendums are Winning with State Battles Over Rights Replacing National Debate.

Division over abortion did not start when the Supreme Court abandoned constitutional protection for the right to have an abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June 2022 – but the decision did prompt referendums at the state level about whether abortion should be permitted or not.

Eighteen states, from Ohio to Alaska and Arizona to Wyoming and Washington, allow voters to directly amend a state constitution through ballot measures.

Ballot measures – or referendums – could show the power of people’s direct vote in determining abortion law at the state level.

During the November 2022 midterms, voters added protection for the right to get an abortion to constitutions in CaliforniaVermont and MichiganKentucky voters were asked a reverse version of this question – whether the state constitution should bar abortions. They said no.

Kentucky’s vote is similar to an August 2022 referendum on abortion that was held in Kansas. Fifty-nine percent of people in Kansas – a state with a history of anti-abortion policies and activism – voted to keep state constitutional protection of abortion rights.

As a scholar of reproductive health and justice, I think the referendum results in places often considered red or purple states, such as Michigan, Kentucky and Kansas, demonstrate just how varied and complex abortion beliefs and opinions are in the United States.

Ballot measures, perhaps in the short term, may provide one way to protect or restore the ability to get an abortion in states where the politics tend to skew conservative. Simply put, not all conservatives want to ban abortion

Abigail Tracy, Republicans Lost Big on Abortion Ballot Measures: Now They Are Trying to Change the Rules., Vanity Fair.

Republicans, perhaps coming to terms with the unpopularity of their antiabortion agenda, seem to be grasping for a new playbook. Republicans in Ohio want to make it harder to amend the state constitution via ballot initiative, which abortion advocates say is a blatant attempt to block voter-driven efforts to enshrine reproductive protections in state rights.

“Ohio’s constitution has been far too susceptible to efforts by outside groups and special interests seeking to alter the people’s constitution to achieve their own ends,” Republican state representative Brian Stewart said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. With the backing of Frank LaRose, the Republican Ohio secretary of state, Stewart has introduced a resolution that would require a supermajority of Ohioans, 60%—as opposed to the current threshold of 50% plus one vote—to change the state constitution.

December 1, 2022 in Abortion, Legislation, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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)

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Nevada Set to Pass Most Comprehensive State Equal Rights Amendment to Include Gender Identity and Expression

Voters to Decide Nevada Version of Equal Rights Amendment

Nevada voters on Tuesday will decide to adopt or reject what is widely considered the most comprehensive state version of the Equal Rights Amendment, a sweeping update that would put protections in place for people who have historically been marginalized in the state Constitution.

Nevada’s ERA would amend the state Constitution to ensure equal rights for all, “regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin.” It is a more wide-ranging amendment than the federal ERA that Nevada adopted in 2017, which outlaws discrimination based on sex, though the push to ratify it in the U.S. Constitution remains gridlocked.

With 90% of the vote counted, the new ERA is winning 57% to 42%.  See NYT, Nevada Question 1 Election Results (may take several days for full count).

November 9, 2022 in Constitutional, Legislation, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

The significance of this is big -- even in an election dominated by Republican wins, pro-choice succeeds.  

NYT, Abortion on the Ballot 2022  - CA, KY, MI, MT, VT (+ KS from the summer)

the19th, Abortion Initiatives on the Ballot

Voters in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont weighed in on abortion ballot measures in the general election this year. When combined with this summer’s vote in Kansas, Tuesday set a record for the most abortion initiatives in a single election year.  

After a decided victory for abortion rights in Kansas this summer, these midterms previewed more measures that could come in the next few years, as state lawmakers navigate what limits — or protections — they can place on abortion, and what must be put to voters.

CNN, Abortion Rights Were on the Ballot. Here's What Voters Decided.

November 9, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Legislation, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 7, 2022

Nino Monea on Gender Neutrality in the Uniform Code of Military Justice


Nine Monea has published "An Officer and a Gentlewoman: Why Congress Should Modernize Article 133 of the UCMJ" in volume 61 of the Washburn Law Review. The abstract previews: 

Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice—the penal code for the armed forces—makes it a crime for an officer to do anything that is “unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” This Article argues that Congress should modernize the statute to acknowledge the contributions of servicewomen to the officers’ corps and the unequal treatment they had to endure in order to serve their country by making the offense gender neutral. Given that Congress is poised to overhaul the military justice system, there is no reason why this relic should not be addressed.

November 7, 2022 in Equal Employment, Legislation, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

State Ballot Initiatives on Abortion

Four states have abortion rights explicitly on the ballot for voters this week. This election cycle is the highest number of ballot measures relating to abortion since 1986, according to Ballotpedia, and the most ever proposing affirmative constitutional protections for abortion access. 

  • California's proposed amendment seeks to add the following text: 
    The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. This section is intended to further the constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by Section 1, and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection guaranteed by Section 7. Nothing herein narrows or limits the right to privacy or equal protection.
  • Michigan voters will consider Proposal 3, seeking to add a constitutional right to reproductive freedom, defined as "The right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care."

  • Vermont voters will consider Proposal 5, adding the following language to the state constitution: "an individual's right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one's own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means."

  • Kentucky's referendum seeks to add a new section to the constitution stating, "to protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion."

November 7, 2022 in Abortion, Constitutional, Legislation, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act Introduced in Congress

US Rep Pat Ryan Introduces First Bill For Access to Abortion

On Sept. 22, nine days after being sworn in as congressman, Ryan, D-Gardiner, introduced the “Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act.”

The bill would pre-empt state laws that prohibit women from accessing abortion medication through telehealth and would require a report to Congress on additional ways to expand access to reproductive health care.

“A woman’s right to choose is one of this country’s foundational freedoms, and there is no place for government interference in these private medical decisions, yet extremist state lawmakers are restricting access to FDA-approved abortion medication and even threatening to open Americans’ mail to stop the delivery of doctor-prescribed healthcare services,” Ryan said in a press release announcing the measure. “This legislation would ensure that women across the country can access this safe and effective medical treatment.”***

Since January, legislators in at least 20 states have proposed bills that would restrict or ban access to those abortion pills, which were approved more than two decades ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as bills that would require women to obtain those medications from a doctor in person

October 4, 2022 in Abortion, Healthcare, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)