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Full-Text Articles in Law and Gender

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Aug 2019

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence precedential lawmaking on class certification under Rule 23. We find that the partisan composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having more than double the certification rate of all-Republican panels in precedential cases. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence of two females (but not one), is associated with ...


Hushing Contracts, David A. Hoffman, Eric Lampmann Feb 2019

Hushing Contracts, David A. Hoffman, Eric Lampmann

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The last few years have brought a renewed appreciation of the costs of nondisclosure agreements that suppress information about sexual wrongdoing. Recently passed bills in a number of states, including New York and California, has attempted to deal with such hush contracts. But such legislation is often incomplete, and many courts and commentators continue to ask if victims of harassment can sign enforceable settlements that conceal serious, potentially metastasizing, social harms. In this Article, we argue that employing the public policy doctrine, courts ought to generally refuse to enforce hush agreements, especially those created by organizations. We restate public policy ...


The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons Feb 2018

The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Human rights treaty bodies have been frequently criticized as useless and the regime’s self-reporting procedure widely viewed as a whitewash. Yet very little research explores what, if any, influence this periodic review process has on governments’ implementation of and compliance with treaty obligations. We argue oversight committees may play an important role in improving rights on the ground by providing information for international and primarily domestic audiences. This paper examines the cumulative effects on women’s rights of self-reporting and oversight review, using original data on the history of state reporting to and review by the Committee on the ...


Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies From The Field, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jan 2018

Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies From The Field, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Sustainable Development Goals seek to change the history of the 21st century, addressing key challenges such as poverty, inequality, and violence against women and girls. The inalienable rights of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls addressed in Goal 5 are a pre-condition for this. Despite decades of struggle by women’s movements and reformist agendas, much still needs to be done to address de facto and de jure discrimination against women. At a time of enormous change for women, these essays from around the world are a critical analysis of the role of law in regulating and ...


Women’S Human Rights And Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws In The United States And India, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jan 2018

Women’S Human Rights And Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws In The United States And India, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sital Kalantry’s Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India addresses a long-existing gap in feminist theory at the intersection of a migrant woman’s experience and culturally motivated reproductive decisions. By recognising the possibility that ‘practices that are oppressive to women in one country context may not have a negative impact on women in another country context’ Kalantry takes an important step in creating a framework for evaluating competing human rights interests within the complex cultural contexts that arise in migrant-receiving countries. Her proposed framework rejects the decontextualisation and politicisation ...


“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin Jan 2018

“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

More than 70 years after Eleanor Roosevelt pioneered the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW or what is known as the global Bill of Rights for Women). The Trump administration is planning measures such as paid parental leave and child care legislation which are supported by the CEDAW. Despite the Trump administration's caution about human rights treaties, we argue that an enlightened self-interest on the part of the administration will draw it towards the CEDAW ratification despite the ratification ...


Baby M Turns 30: The Law And Policy Of Surrogate Motherhood, Eric A. Feldman Jan 2018

Baby M Turns 30: The Law And Policy Of Surrogate Motherhood, Eric A. Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article marks the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Baby M decision by offering a critical analysis of surrogacy policy in the United States. Despite fundamental changes in both science and society since the case was decided, state courts and legislatures remain bitterly divided on the legality of surrogacy. In arguing for a more uniform, permissive legal posture toward surrogacy, the article addresses five central debates in the surrogacy literature.

First, should the legal system accommodate those seeking conception through surrogacy, or should it prohibit such arrangements? Second, if surrogacy is permitted, what steps can ...


Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2017

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around ...


Women And The Making Of The Tunisian Constitution, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Anware Mnasri, Estee Ward Jan 2017

Women And The Making Of The Tunisian Constitution, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Anware Mnasri, Estee Ward

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article attempts to glean from field interviews and secondary sources some of the sociopolitical complexities that underlay women’s engagement in Tunisia’s 2011-14 constitution-making process. Elucidating such complexities can provide further insight into how women’s engagement impacted the substance and enforceability of the constitution’s final text. We argue that, in spite of longstanding roadblocks to implement and enforce constitutional guarantees, the greater involvement of Tunisian women in the constitution drafting process did make a difference in the final gender provisions of Tunisia’s constitution. Although not all recommendations were adopted, Tunisian women were able to use ...


The Role Of Personal Laws In Creating A “Second Sex”, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Indira Jaising Sep 2016

The Role Of Personal Laws In Creating A “Second Sex”, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Indira Jaising

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The cultural construction of gender determines the role of women and girls within the family in many societies. Gendered notions of power in the family are often shrouded in religion and custom and find their deepest expression in Personal Laws. This essay examines the international law framework as it relates to personal laws and the commonality of narratives of litigators and plaintiffs in the cases from the three different personal law systems in India.


Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri Jun 2016

Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The twentieth-century equality revolution established the principle of sex neutrality in the law of marriage and divorce and eased the most severe legal disabilities traditionally imposed upon nonmarital children. Formal equality under the law eluded nonmarital parents, however. Although unwed fathers won unprecedented legal rights and recognition in a series of Supreme Court cases decided in the 1970s and 1980s, they failed to achieve constitutional parity with mothers or with married and divorced fathers. This Article excavates nonmarital fathers’ quest for equal rights, until now a mere footnote in the history of constitutional equality law.

Unmarried fathers lacked a social ...


The Legal Limits Of “Yes Means Yes”, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2016

The Legal Limits Of “Yes Means Yes”, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This op-ed piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education argues that the affirmative consent rule of "yes means yes" is a useful standard that can help educate and ideally change norms regarding consent to sexual intercourse. But that goal can best be achieved by using “yes means yes” as an ex ante announcement of the society's desired rule of conduct. That standard only becomes problematic when used as the ex post principle of adjudication for allegations of rape. Indeed, those most interested in changing existing norms ought to be the persons most in support of distinguishing these two importantly ...


Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Nov 2015

Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, I measure the majority’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges against two legacies of second-wave feminist legal advocacy: the largely successful campaign to make civil marriage formally gender-neutral; and the lesser-known struggle against laws and practices that penalized women who lived their lives outside of marriage. Obergefell obliquely acknowledges marriage equality’s debt to the first legacy without explicitly adopting sex equality arguments against same-sex marriage bans. The legacy of feminist campaigns for nonmarital equality, by contrast, is absent from Obergefell’s reasoning and belied by rhetoric that both glorifies marriage and implicitly disparages nonmarriage. Even so ...


Intersectionality And Title Vii: A Brief (Pre-)History, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

Intersectionality And Title Vii: A Brief (Pre-)History, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Title VII was twenty-five years old when Kimberlé Crenshaw published her path-breaking article introducing “intersectionality” to critical legal scholarship. By the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reached its thirtieth birthday, the intersectionality critique had come of age, generating a sophisticated subfield and producing many articles that remain classics in the field of anti-discrimination law and beyond. Employment discrimination law was not the only target of intersectionality critics, but Title VII’s failure to capture and ameliorate the particular experiences of women of color loomed large in this early legal literature. Courts proved especially reluctant to recognize multi-dimensional discrimination ...


Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite a transformative half century of social change, marital status still matters. The marriage equality movement has drawn attention to the many benefits conferred in law by marriage at a time when the “marriage gap” between affluent and poor Americans widens and rates of nonmarital childbearing soar. This Essay explores the contested history of marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—through the lens of the “illegitimacy” cases of the 1960s and 1970s. Often remembered as a triumph for nonmarital families, these decisions defined the constitutional harm of illegitimacy classifications as the unjust punishment of innocent children for the “sins ...


Freedom From Violence And The Law: A Global Perspective In Light Of Chinese Domestic Violence Law, 2015, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Jeni Klugman Jan 2015

Freedom From Violence And The Law: A Global Perspective In Light Of Chinese Domestic Violence Law, 2015, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Jeni Klugman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Functions Of Family Law, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

The Functions Of Family Law, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Melissa Murray's Family Law's Doctrines provides a fascinating case study of legal parentage cases involving assisted reproductive technology, where judges applied relatively new laws to even newer circumstances never contemplated by the laws' drafters. The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) was a modernizing statute intended to resolve legal questions generated by new societal developments: namely, the rise of nonmarital heterosexual relationships producing children, and the use of artificial insemination within heterosexual marital relationships.

In the decades after its adoption in California, the UPA confronted a brave new world. Two developments further transformed the reality of family life: assisted reproductive ...


Migrant Workers' Access To Justice At Home: Nepal, Sarah Paoletti, Eleanor Taylor-Nicholson, Bandita Sijapati, Bassina Farbenblum Jun 2014

Migrant Workers' Access To Justice At Home: Nepal, Sarah Paoletti, Eleanor Taylor-Nicholson, Bandita Sijapati, Bassina Farbenblum

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Nepal’s citizens engage in foreign employment at the highest per capita rate of any other country in Asia, and their remittances account for 25 percent of the country’s GDP. The Middle East is now the most popular destination for Nepalis--nearly 700,000 were working in the Middle East in 2011 on temporary labor contracts. For some Nepalis, working abroad provides much-needed household wealth. For others, their contributions to Nepal come at great personal cost. Migrant workers in the Gulf, for example, routinely report wage theft, lack of time off and unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. Some migrant workers ...


Money, Sex, And Religion--The Supreme Court's Aca Sequel, George J. Annas, Theodore Ruger, Jennifer Prah Ruger Jan 2014

Money, Sex, And Religion--The Supreme Court's Aca Sequel, George J. Annas, Theodore Ruger, Jennifer Prah Ruger

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case is in many ways a sequel to the Court's 2012 decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The majority decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is a setback for both the ACA's foundational goal of access to universal health care and for women's health care specifically. The Court's ruling can be viewed as a direct consequence of our fragmented health care system, in which fundamental duties are incrementally delegated and imposed on a range of public and private actors. Our incremental, fragmented, and incomplete ...


Pauli Murray And The Twentieth-Century Quest For Legal And Social Equality, Serena Mayeri Jan 2014

Pauli Murray And The Twentieth-Century Quest For Legal And Social Equality, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen Jan 2014

Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

U.S. courts and policy-makers have recently authorized laws and practices that interfere with the wearing of religious modesty attire that conceals the hair or face in contexts such as courtroom testimony or driver’s license issuance. For example, in response to a court’s dismissal of the case of a woman who refused to remove her niqab in the courtroom, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that judges can exercise “reasonable control” over the appearance of courtroom parties. But what degree of control over religious attire is reasonable? The Constitution will not allow a blanket niqab removal policy based on ...


Why Women's Leadership Is The Cause Of Our Time, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jan 2013

Why Women's Leadership Is The Cause Of Our Time, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions throughout the world. Yet, studies show that the exclusion of women from politics and public service negatively impacts the public good. Identifying women's leadership as the economic and moral imperative of our time, this Article explores the way in which greater representation of women in leadership positions yields beneficial results for both women and men, as well as social and economic progress. By examining the reasons for the substantial barriers women face in obtaining such positions, including the masculinization of politics, gendered caregiving responsibilities, and gender violence, this Article concludes that ...


First Amendment Privacy And The Battle For Progressively Liberal Social Change, Anita L. Allen Mar 2012

First Amendment Privacy And The Battle For Progressively Liberal Social Change, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Domestic Violence Lawmaking In Asia: Some Innovative Trends In Feminist Lawmaking, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jan 2012

Domestic Violence Lawmaking In Asia: Some Innovative Trends In Feminist Lawmaking, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Domestic violence lawmaking intersects global human rights norms and domestic women's movements. Domestic violence is both a global and local phenomenon. The World Bank argues that domestic violence accounts for one in five lost years in women aged 15-44. The costs range from direct expenses such as medical care and social services to productivity and labor market costs to the psychological toll imposed by the intergenerational transmission of violence. The international women's movement and the international human rights conventions have confirmed that violence in the home is neither a private issue nor a cultural practice. Domestic violence was ...


Collateral Consequences, Genetic Surveillance, And The New Biopolitics Of Race, Dorothy E. Roberts Apr 2011

Collateral Consequences, Genetic Surveillance, And The New Biopolitics Of Race, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article is part of a Howard Law Journal Symposium on “Collateral Consequences: Who Really Pays the Price for Criminal Justice?,” as well as my larger book project, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2011). It considers state and federal government expansion of genetic surveillance as a collateral consequence of a criminal record in the context of a new biopolitics of race in America. Part I reviews the expansion of DNA data banking by states and the federal government, extending the collateral impact of a criminal record—in the ...


Supply Side Or Discrimination? Assessing The Role Of Unconscious Bias, Amy L. Wax Jan 2011

Supply Side Or Discrimination? Assessing The Role Of Unconscious Bias, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Examining Gender Stereotypes In New Work/Family Reconciliation Policies: The Creation Of A New Paradigm For Egalitarian Legislation, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jan 2011

Examining Gender Stereotypes In New Work/Family Reconciliation Policies: The Creation Of A New Paradigm For Egalitarian Legislation, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen Sep 2010

Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

U.S. courts and policy-makers have recently authorized laws and practices that interfere with the wearing of religious modesty attire that conceals the hair or face in contexts such as courtroom testimony or driver’s license issuance. For example, in response to a court’s dismissal of the case of a woman who refused to remove her niqab in the courtroom, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that judges can exercise “reasonable control” over the appearance of courtroom parties. But what degree of control over religious attire is reasonable? The Constitution will not allow a blanket niqab removal policy based on ...


Diverging Family Structure And “Rational” Behavior: The Decline In Marriage As A Disorder Of Choice, Amy L. Wax May 2010

Diverging Family Structure And “Rational” Behavior: The Decline In Marriage As A Disorder Of Choice, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The past fifty years have witnessed a growing divergence in family structure by social class, income, education, and race. The goal is to explain why significant segments of the population are moving away from the traditional patterns of family and reproduction. Most demographers acknowledge that external and material constraints fail to account for most of the present dispersion by class and race in marriage, divorce, and patterns of childbearing. Nor do these factors explain the widening of disparities over time. In attempting to improve on prior theories, this paper proposes a different explanation for these developments. It argues that demographic ...


Race, Sex, And Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism And The Workplace, 1960 To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2010

Race, Sex, And Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism And The Workplace, 1960 To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.