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A Room for “Adam and Steve” at Mrs. Murphy’s Bed and Breakfast

David M. Forman
This article aims to encourage a vital and evolutionary step forward in understanding how multifaceted legal processes shape, and should shape, thinking about gay and lesbian couples within religious communities and the body politic. The article begins by providing context that illustrates the place-based and diffuse nature of an ongoing culture war between civil rights and religious freedom, further exposing the painful irony inherent in using misinterpretations of the Sodom and Gomorrah parable to reinforce...

Federalizing Embryo Transfers: Taming the Wild West of Reproductive Medicine?

Judith Daar
This article addresses the oft-spoken urban myth that the field of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) is a wholly unregulated medical subspecialty, leaving cowboy physicians to abuse vulnerable patients and disregard the well-being of ART-induced offspring. The birth of octoplets in January 2009 fueled this myth and launched a campaign to regulate the field by restricting the number of embryos allowed for transfer in any single IVF cycle. This article critiques the merits of a federal...

Honor as Property

Johanna Bond
This Article is the first to use a property lens to explore the social construction of honor within legal systems around the world. The Article makes the claim that the law in many countries has implicitly treated honor as a form of property and has made legal and social allowances for men who seek to reclaim honor property through violence. The Article expands the boundaries of the existing scholarship concerning honor-related violence by exploring the...

Dealing with DOMA: Federal Non-Recognition Complicates State Income Taxation of Same-Sex Relationships

Carlton Smith & Edward Stein
Various states now recognize relationships between people of the same sex, but due to the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government does not. In the context of income taxes, this combination of state recognition and federal non-recognition of same-sex relationships produces a significant problem for many same-sex couples and some state taxing authorities. Most states have income tax and, typically, state income tax laws “piggyback” on federal income tax laws. Depending on the state,...

Is the Inability to Marry a Marital Status? Levin v. Yeshiva University and the Intersection of Sexual Orientation and Marital Status in Housing Discrimination

Andrew Kravis
This Article posits that when an unmarried same-sex couple is denied a housing opportunity, the discriminator’s motivation is not always clear. The discriminator may simply deny discriminating altogether, or alternatively may justify his or her actions in one of two ways: either he or she discriminated because the couple was unmarried or because they were presumably not heterosexual. Where state law provides protections for only one of these classes (either unmarried persons or non-heterosexuals) or...

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Equal Protection Clause: 1970-80

Wendy W. Williams
Professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg of Columbia Law School was the leading Supreme Court litigator for gender equality in the crucial decade, 1970-80. In addition to teaching her classes, producing academic articles, and co-authoring the first casebook on sex discrimination and the law, she worked on some sixty cases (depending on how one counts), including over two dozen cases in the Supreme Court. Rumor has it she did not sleep for ten years; her prodigious output...

The Difference a Justice May Make: Remarks at the Symposium for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Susanne Baer
What have courts done to women? What can courts do for women? And what does it mean to do something for women without being paternalistic, or, eventually, maternalistic, which may be just as bad? These are questions Justice Ginsburg provided to inspire this symposium. Before I address them directly, we need to tackle some remarks on widespread assumptions that govern expectations around here, namely, expectations of, or attributions to, women on the bench. The key...

Sexuality’s Law

Marc Spindelman
The contemporary history of gay sexuality–the full history–has not been written. Within it, increasingly attested to in various ways, appears an ideology of sexual freedom that has played a significant role in shaping, conditioning, controlling, and defining the sweep of gay sexuality, identity, and social life. This Article describes the ideology of sexual freedom, including its valorization of sexual violence, abuse, and injury, up to and including death, traces the ideology’s implications for HIV/AIDS, and...

Men at Work, Fathers at Home: Uncovering the Masculine Face of Caregiver Discrimination

Keith Cunningham-Parmeter
Despite their many workplace advances, women remain constrained by an enduring social expectation that they will manage their families’ domestic lives. Women will not achieve full workplace equality until men do more at home, and men will not enter the domestic sphere if they face employment retaliation for doing so. Men at Work, Fathers at Home addresses this problem by critically evaluating the legal challenges that fathers and other male caregivers face in proving claims...

Going Offshore: Horseplay, Normalization and Sexual Harassment

Chris Diffee
On November 7 or 8, Oncale was present when a new galleyhand complained to the Chevron company representative in charge of the Chevron platform about Pippen kissing that galleyhand and Lyons telling that galleyhand that Lyons “loved him” and wanted to “fuck him in his butt.” During a safety meeting the next morning, the Chevron company representative told Lyons and Pippen “not to mess with the galleyhand anymore,” explaining that the galleyhand was “new” and...

Embryo Disposition, Divorce & Family Law Contracting: A Model for Enforceability

Deborah L. Forman
Courts, legislatures, and scholars have struggled with how to resolve disputes between progenitors of cryopreserved embryos in the event of divorce. This Article considers whether contracts entered into by the couple regarding disposition prior to divorce should be enforced and, if so, under what circumstances. The Article answers this question by taking a multidisciplinary perspective, incorporating insights from the social science literature, and by situating embryo disposition contracts in the broader context of other family...

Taking the Next Step in the Legal Response to Domestic Violence

Kathryn Gillespie Wellman
S.S. and R.T.’s story involved many of the elements common to domestic violence cases: multiple instances of physical, verbal, and psychological abuse of S.S. by her ex- boyfriend R.T.; initial reluctance on S.S.’s part to report the incident to the authorities out of hope that the violence would simply cease; and the eventual arrest of and entry of an order of protection against R.T. that he repeatedly violated, resulting in the filing of additional charges...

Introduction: Symposium Honoring the Advocacy, Scholarship and Jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Katherine Franke
I want to welcome back Justice Ginsburg to Columbia Law School. She has been a frequent visitor since her time here as a student in the late 1950s and again as a member of our faculty in the 1970s. I know she knows, but it is worth reiterating that she always has a home here at Columbia. Forty years and two weeks ago, on January 24, 1972, the Columbia Law School student newspaper reported an...

A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gillian Metzger & Abbe Gluck
Professor Gillian Metzger: Katherine, thank you for that wonderful overview of all that the Justice has achieved and the history of Columbia Law School. And I want to apologize for those to whom I am showing my back, but this will allow us to have more of a conversation with the Justice. Justice, thank you so much for being with us today. It is a real privilege for us to get to talk to you...

Introductory Remarks

Ariela Migdal
Thank you, Katherine Franke, for your kind introduction and to the Columbia Law School Center for Gender and Sexuality Law for hosting this event. I am privileged to moderate this conversation among distinguished scholars and activists, each of whom will offer a unique perspective on the women’s rights litigation of the 1970s. Justice Ginsburg spearheaded this litigation campaign, in collaboration with a number of our panelists. And I am tremendously honored to be part of...

Rhetoric of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Brief Comparison of the Language of the Advocate with the Language of the Justice

Kathleen Peratis
I worked with and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 1970s at the ACLU. I have been in private practice since then, mostly practicing employment law. As I was considering what to speak to you about today, I decided to look back at the briefs that Justice Ginsburg wrote in the 1970s. And as I read them, it occurred to me that there’s a very interesting difference between the way she framed her arguments...

Litigating Sex Discrimination Cases in the 1970s

Harriet S. Rabb
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it unlawful for an employer to hire or fire an employee or to discriminate by classifying, compensating, or denying opportunity to an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Sex as a protected category was an afterthought. The bill was opposed by many in Congress, among them a Virginia representative who caused the bill to be amended to add sex-...

Claiming a Space In the Law School Curriculum: A Casebook on Sex-Based Discrimination

Herma Hill Kay
We are gathered here today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Justice Ginsburg’s appointment in 1972 as Columbia’s first woman law professor. That auspicious date also marks the beginning of my collaboration with her on a law school casebook published in 1974 on the newly-created subject of sex-based discrimination.’ Linda Kerber traced the general history of this and other casebooks that appeared about the same time2 in her wonderfully insightful historical essay, Writing Our Own...

Equality and Choice: Sex Equality Perspectives on Reproduction Rights in the Work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Reva B. Siegel
This brief essay explores the sex-equality perspective on reproductive rights that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has articulated over four decades as lawyer, law professor, judge, and Justice. Throughout her career, Ginsburg has viewed laws that deprive women of control over whether and when they bear children as raising questions of equality, as well as liberty and privacy. Ginsburg and other feminists of the 1970s argued that, given the social organization of caregiving work, the state may...

Opening the Door: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Law’s Boundaries, and the Gender of Opportunities

Judith Resnik
A pervasive assumption is that nation-states have bounded legal regimes. Yet the burdens imposed on women in the name of gender and sexuality have not been circumscribed by jurisdictional lines. Rather, gender hierarchies have traveled-by way of Roman law, civil law, the common law, and religious systems-to impose constraints on women living under autocracies, republican democracies, and other political forms. The many laws supporting gender inequalities make plain that legal rules internal to a nation-state...

Symposium Honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Claire L'Heureux-Dubé
I must, at the outset, disclose my “multiple partiality”.. . I have been an unconditional admirer of Justice Ginsburg and her jurisprudence since she was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Since older, afortiori our respective backgrounds as early career women in law offer a lot of similarity, and I was myself the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada. Further disclosure: Justice Ginsburg and I share a passion:...

The Right to Equality in the South African Constitution

Kate O'Regan
When the young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited the United States of America in the early 1830s, he was fascinated by the idea of democracy and the role of law and lawyers within it. He went to America dismayed by the weak state of democracy in Europe and in France, in particular, in order to observe how democracy was faring in the United States of America. One of his observations was that lawyers had an...

Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Yvonne Mokgoro
It is indeed a great pleasure to pay a special tribute to a global trailblazer who has had a profound impact on the legal thinking of many scholars and jurists around the world- men and women alike. The visit of Justice Ginsburg to the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 2006, when she delivered her speech entitled “The Value of a Comparative Perspective in Constitutional Adjudication,” will always be fondly remembered. It was quite refreshing...

“Rugged Vaginas” and “Vulnerable Rectums”: The Sexual Identity, Epidemiology, and Law of the Global HIV Epidemic

Aziza Ahmed
AIDS remains amongst the leading causes of death globally. Identity is the primary mode of understanding HIV and organizing in response to the HIV epidemic. In this Article, I examine how epidemiology and human rights activism co-produce ideas of identity and risk. I call this the “identity/risk narrative”: the commonsense understanding about an identity group’s HIV risk. For example, epidemiology offers the biological narrative of risk: anal sex and the weak rectal lining make men...

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