Women and the Law Stories
Introduction: Telling Stories to Courts: Women Claim Their Legal Rights 83 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Women are no strangers to stories. Consciousness-raising, the feminist method of the 1960s women’s movement, involved women talking about their lived reality. Through the thread of these stories women came to understand that the personal was indeed political. Women’s stories and women’s experiences have shaped the development of the field of women and law.
- And finally, a central message of this book is that gender is everywhere and women and law stories are, too. From the hidden history of , retold from the new perspective of women, to the “everyday” case of the unknown domestic violence survivor seeking an order of protection in tribal court, many different women have told their stories to courts. By beginning and ending with these “hidden histories,” this book emphasizes the importance of the continuum of women’s stories in law whether the issue of gender is explicit, implicit, “hidden,” or “everyday.” These stories of women and law surround and enrich us all.
- Like the story Leeds tells of the case before her, many women’s stories of involvement with the law are not famous or well-known. This case typifies many women’s experiences of anonymity and invisibility in the legal system and the thousands of cases involving women that happen every day. These “everyday” cases may litigate matters that determine life and death for the women involved. This story is included as the final chapter in the book because consideration of stories of women and the law must recognize the significance of these cases as well.
- This book provides stories that are central to major issues about women and law and will enrich any course. The book can also stand alone as a text for a course on women’s legal rights, gender and law, feminist jurisprudence, women’s studies, or other courses, as it provides detailed stories of the litigants, their legal struggles, the strategic dimensions of their battles, and the implications of their cases for contemporary feminism. This volume groups the stories utilizing subject areas that coincide with the organization of the field common to many legal casebooks: history, constitutional law, reproductive freedom, the workplace, the family, and women in the legal profession. Several chapters explore issues of domestic violence and rape.
- Women of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and different degrees of wealth have used law to battle for their liberation and recognition of their equality under law. The women whose stories appear in this book represent that diversity. The names of some of these women, like the woman who challenged sex-segregation at VMI or the Indian woman contesting domestic violence in tribal court are unrecorded. Their legal struggles are their legacy. Some women, like Lillian Garland, the Relf sisters, Ann Hopkins and Jessica Gonzales, whose stories appear in this book, consciously chose to contest the legal treatment of their status, perhaps aware they were making legal history. For some, like Diane Blank, whose story is also told here, the effort involved organizing with other women to raise awareness of discrimination and to sue as the named plaintiff as part of a class action.
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Chapter 1: Hidden Histories, Racialized Gender, and the Legacy of Reconstruction: The Story of United States v. Cruikshank 173 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Most Americans learn the history of the Reconstruction Era, the years following the Civil War during which the Memphis Riots occurred, as a story about race. But this era also reveals a story about gender and the bravery of many Black women who struggled for recognition of women’s and men’s bodily integrity in the face of horrific brutality. In all, five colored women—Frances Thompson, Lucy Tibbs, Harriet Armour, Lucy Smith, and Rebecca Walker—testified at those congressional hearings. One year before, each of these women had been enslaved—a status that made them not only legally incapable of being raped but not even fully human. Now, each of these women spoke before representatives of the United States Congress as legal persons, not property. Their willingness to testify—an act that one historian has called “radical in the context of southern state law and tradition” —attests to both their courage in the face of possible retaliation and their refusal to be ashamed by an act meant to...
- Feminist legal histories typically begin with the 1848 Declaration of Rights and Sentiments at Seneca Falls, and quickly move to the 1851 Ohio Women’s Rights Convention at which Sojourner Truth made her famous speech, “Aren’t I a woman?” Told thus, the story of feminist legal history is about the fight of women as a class for the political, economic, and civil rights already possessed by men and the need to add Black women’s concerns into that fight.
- This chapter begins with the story of Frances Thompson and Lucy Tibbs to show how an understanding of racialized gender violence and its workings exposes more about the nature of subordination than either an analysis of male dominance or racism allows alone. Part I of the chapter, Hope Kindled, explains the birth of the Reconstruction civil rights regime. This part examines the changes Reconstruction wrought enabling Black women and men to claim freedom and the brutal retaliation they faced in lawless episodes like the Memphis riots. It also explains the human rights regime—a combination of constitutional provisions and federal statutes—that Congress envisioned as a response to the violence. Part II, Hope Dashed, examines the role of racialized gender violence in the response to this nascent human rights regime, reporting stories of Black women and men who sought legal protection only to be faced with inadequate federal enforcement. This part describes yet another terrorist attack...
- To the extent that scholars cite the United States Supreme Court decision in at all today, they classify it as a “race case.” Behind the decision, however, lie hidden stories of Black women’s efforts to resist violence based on both gender and race subordination. These stories of violence and resistance, moreover, have continuing significance for constitutional law, legal theory, and feminist legal history. This chapter suggests that understanding “racialized gender”—that is, the interplay of race and gender subordination—is necessary to understand the path of legal reform during Reconstruction and after.
- The freedpersons’ bid for social equality also included claiming the privileges of dominant gender roles. Under slavery, men and women of African descent had always been treated as “sexed” beings. Their sexual and reproductive capacities were central to the maintenance of slavery as an institution. Indeed, enslaved women’s lack of reproductive freedom bred the American slavery system, embodied in the rule that a child took the status of its mother. Yet enslaved women and men had none of the privileges that today’s society would link to “gender.” Both law and custom, for example, treated enslaved women as lacking the “honor” that rape law protected. Enslaved women could never have hoped to be treated as “ladies”; they were “wenches” presumed to be sexually voracious and not worthy of respect. Enslaved men exercised none of the patriarchal powers over the household that White men wielded. Slave men and women lacked the basic family rights associated with European gender systems: they...
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Chapter 12: The Entry of Women into Wall Street Law Firms: The Story of Blank v. Sullivan & Cromwell 184 results (showing 5 best matches)
- is, at first glance, a tale of Goliath and David’s sister, of young women law students taking on a powerful old Wall Street law firm and winning. In retrospect, women’s entry into the most prestigious and highly-paid firms in the legal profession might seem inevitable. But why did this social change through litigation happen in the 1970s? How and why did these particular women sue to enter the arena that for some represented the pinnacle of the legal profession? Why did they succeed? And, looking at the subsequent development of the profession, how effective has their victory proved to be? This chapter tells the story of those women and those times.
- Until the 1970s, with very few exceptions, Wall Street law firms overtly excluded women. In the late 1960s, a group of young women law students at NYU Law School decided that this practice must change. This chapter explores who they were, how they reached this conclusion, and the steps they took, in concert with a young woman clinical professor and women students at Columbia Law School, to force Wall Street law firms to hire and employ women attorneys on the same terms as men. The decisiveness and commitment with which these young women organized and litigated cannot be understood apart from the context of the late 1960s in the United States—the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and, most important, the women’s movement.
- With a heady sense of possibility and power from this quick victory, the WRC went on to attack one problem after another over the next couple of years—exclusion of women from the steam room in a residence hall, sexist remarks by faculty in class, recruitment and admission of more women students, recruitment of women faculty (there were none), and the addition of a course on women and the law to the curriculum in 1970, the first in the nation. They also took on the issue of discrimination against women by law firms.
- The students from Columbia and NYU selected thirteen cases based on the interview questionnaires and drafted complaints against ten firms (in three cases, more than one complaint was brought against a single firm) to bring to the Human Rights Commission. Harriet Rabb, with Carol Bellamy as co-counsel, prepared a brief to accompany the complaints, arguing that the law firms showed a pattern and practice of discrimination and urging the Commission to undertake a larger investigation into sex discrimination at New York law firms. The brief relied not only on the facts set forth in the thirteen complaints but also upon statistics, evidence contained in surveys of women graduates of both Columbia and Harvard Law Schools, and a path-breaking study by Professor James J. White of the University of Michigan. Statistics compiled by the Columbia law students showed that the fifty largest law firms in New York City employed 3,926 lawyers, of whom only 161 were women, and had 1,409 partners, of...
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Chapter 8: “What Not to Wear”—Race and Unwelcomeness in Sexual Harassment Law: The Story of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson 153 results (showing 5 best matches)
- This chapter begins by describing the back story of the Supreme Court case and highlights how the courts that heard the case, especially the U.S. Supreme Court, ignored the race of the plaintiff and her harasser. It then presents social science data that demonstrates the salience of race in sexual harassment victimization. The importance of race is central to Mechelle Vinson’s own story as a young Black woman struggling in poverty until hired as a bank teller by the Black Meritor Savings Bank vice president who then victimized her, as he did many other of the young Black women he hired. In short, it was both race and gender politics that made Mechelle Vinson vulnerable to being sexually harassed. This raced and gendered factual context in persuaded the Supreme Court to allow evidence regarding whether the harassment was “welcome” by the woman who was harassed including evidence about her dress and speech. Thus the Court introduced the racially informed concept of “welcomeness”...
- In conclusion, the story of Mechelle Vinson shows how her case validated the concept of sexual harassment while at the same time shaping the law of sexual harassment in problematic ways. The Court developed the evidentiary standards for the sexual harassment unwelcomeness concept in by implicitly relying upon longstanding stereotypes of Black women as promiscuous. By ignoring race in the case, the Court rendered invisible the racialized construction embedded in its analysis and insulated it from challenge and reform. All sexual harassment plaintiffs continue to endure this unfortunate legacy.
- “That Mechelle Vinson, a Black woman, was the plaintiff in the landmark [sexual harassment] case has not automatically protected women of color from being marginalized in the legal theory of sexual harassment.” By ignoring the potential salience of race in sex discrimination law, the courts have created a doctrine that consistently obscures the experiences of minority women, and thereby veils the use of racial stereotypes in the development of sexual harassment jurisprudence. Doctrinally, the absence of a race conscious Supreme Court analysis results in a problematic jurisprudential conceptualization of “welcomeness” in relation to sexual harassment law. To be precise, the Supreme Court’s decision to make a complainant’s “sexually provocative speech or dress” relevant to a finding of sexual harassment embeds unconscious historical presumptions about the wantonness of Black women into the legal doctrine. The examination of the attire of Black women (such as Mechelle Vinson) dovetails...
- The case involved a Black woman plaintiff publicly asserting that her Black supervisor had sexually harassed her. In fact, women of color have figured prominently in the development of sexual harassment law and policy. African–American women brought most of the early precedent-setting sexual harassment cases, including the first successful Title VII cases in a federal district court (Diane Williams), a federal court of appeals (Paulette Barnes), and the Supreme Court (Mechelle Vinson). They were also the plaintiffs in the first successful cases involving sexual harassment of a student (Pamela Price) and sexual harassment by a coworker (Willie Ruth Hawkins). Despite the central role of women of color in the evolution of sexual harassment law, few people know about the racial context of these cases. No discussion of race appears in the court opinions themselves, and discussion of race has also been largely absent from the legal discourse and commentary surrounding these cases.
- The landmark case, , none of the judicial opinions at any level mention that both Mechelle Vinson and her harasser were African American despite the presence of the information in the court record. The paucity of race-based analysis in the legal discourse surrounding is particularly striking given the importance of the case to the development of sexual harassment law and the significant involvement of women of color in the early sexual harassment movement. Moreover, the social science literature demonstrates that racial identity often shapes a woman’s experience of sexual harassment. This impact occurs because both racial and gender discrimination interweave in the experience of sexual harassment of women of color. Unlike White women, women of color who are sexually harassed typically describe workplace interactions where racially and sexually charged comments are made regarding their clothing, bodies, and conduct.
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Acknowledgments 9 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The editors, Liz Schneider and Stephanie Wildman, thank the courageous women whose stories appear in this volume: Frances Thompson, Lucy Tibbs, Sharron Frontiero, Susan Vorchheimer, Katie, Mary Alice, and Minnie Relf, Cora McRae, Lillian Garland, Mechelle Vinson, Ann Hopkins, Barbara and Renee Webster-Hawkins, Jessica Gonzales, Diane Blank, and the women whose names we don’t know who sought their legal rights against the Virginia Military Institute and in tribal court. Learning these stories inspires us to combat injustice.
- Thanks as well to Paul Caron, editor of the Law Stories series, and the Foundation Press team, especially John Bloomquist and Jim Coates, for making the book possible, and Kathleen Vandergon and her proofreaders.
- Finally, the editors thank the wonderful colleagues who wrote the chapters that follow. We are grateful to them and to each other for very special generative and collaborative work on this book. We also thank the Brooklyn Law School Summer Research Program and the Santa Clara Law Faculty Scholarship Support Fund for generous assistance on this project.
- NeChelle Rucker, Mary Grace Guzmán, and Michelle Waters did tremendous work, both substantively and technically, in creating the web page for the book (see below). Thank you to Dean Aviam Soifer, University of Hawai‘i Law School for providing proofreading assistance and to Tatjana A. Johnson for her thoughtful work.
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Chapter 5: Infertile by Force and Federal Complicity: The Story of Relf v. Weinberger 118 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In other parts of the United States, health care providers, backed by retrenchment views, selected Native women, Mexican American women, Puerto Rican women, and White women who lived in poverty for sterilization. Nationally, women of color underwent voluntary and involuntary sterilization in disproportionate numbers. However, the specific racial group targeted for sterilization varied by geographic region. In each case, the blame stories, tailored to the group, made both voluntary and involuntary sterilization seem appropriate—at least to some—in that time and place.
- In California, Mexican American women were sterilized in the name of immigration and population control. Generally, fears of overpopulation dominated stories that blamed social problems on women. Concern about overpopulation had begun in the 1950s. Globally, developed nations blamed developing nations for their high population rates. In 1969, Richard Nixon became the first president to address overpopulation in a speech. Shortly after, overpopulation fears crossed paths with negative reaction to immigration, often without documentation, from Mexico. This nexus positioned Mexican immigration as a major source of overpopulation. The accompanying blame story asserted that increasing numbers of pregnant Mexican women immigrated so that their children could acquire U.S. citizenship, at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. Thus, in the west, doctors who took population control into their own hands sterilized many women immediately after childbirth.
- By the 1970s, limitations on and goals of sterilization had been proven elastic. Retrenchment on civil rights, and concerns about poverty and crime, accompanied by blame stories made sterilization of those whose “ways or types were inimical to the dominant group” to be a justifiable means of protecting the rest of society. At the same time, surgical sterilization also offered reproductive choice to many women. Many women’s rights advocates championed access to sterilization as a means to achieving reproductive freedom and equality for women. The case arose at the nexus of these two aspects of the power to sterilize.
- These stories of blame assume moral failure, not genetic defect. Eugenic sterilization laws, then, would seem to be an inapt means of solving the social problem at issue. Yet, the laws were available—in 1973, twenty-six states had eugenic sterilization laws. In addition, the nurture rationale seems to have facilitated a new sterilization practice. From the 1960s, officials sought court orders to sterilize women with mental disabilities who were not institutionalized. Perhaps not surprisingly, the new practice accompanied an old one—using lack of fitness as cover for sterilization of women deemed socially transgressive or otherwise unsuitable, regardless of mental ability.
- The practice of involuntary sterilization and the explanations for it pre-date eugenic sterilization laws. Imposing social control on racial minorities by targeting girls and women with respect to their reproductive capacity has a long history in the United States. In broad brush-strokes, that history includes the brutal practices that accompanied the treatment of Black women who lived in slavery as breeding stock, the killing of Native women and children as a means of exterminating Native Americans during the colonial period, and the restriction of women’s immigration from China to prevent Chinese population growth in late nineteenth century. Slavery, genocide, and racially selective immigration restrictions are very different forms of institutionalized racism. Note, however, that in each of these cases, the specific practices were aimed at women because of woman’s biological capacity to bear children. And in each case, racial identity made these women the perceived means of...
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Chapter 13: A Tribal Court Domestic Violence Case: The Story of an Unknown Victim, an Unreported Decision, and an All Too Common Injustice 101 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Editors Note: This chapter is doubly unique among the law stories in this book. First, rather than relating the tale of a famous case, it reports on the experience faced by many women, viewed as unremarkable by the U.S. legal system. Yet the situation is no less urgent for its commonness. Second, this story is multi-layered. In addition to recounting one woman litigant’s effort to engage with the law, it also sheds light on the role of women in the legal profession, as explained through the eye of the judge in the case, author Stacy Leeds.
- I returned to my law school office knowing that “[e]very hour of every day an American Indian woman within the authority of a tribal court is a victim of sexual and physical abuse.” if we tell this story often enough, the people with the power to change this state of affairs will finally say “yes.”
- Each individual case story is complex and likely many explanations exist for why so few tribal domestic violence cases are prosecuted following the issuance and violation of a tribal court order of protection. A Westlaw search of federal and state cases produces only one reported case that resulted in a state or federal prosecution following a violation of a tribal order of protection. In that case, the perpetrator was an Indian from another tribe. There are no reported cases involving a non-Indian perpetrator. Given the high rate of violence against American Indian women, far too many women are being told “no” when they ask for help with ensuring their safety.
- Rounding out the smaller subset, currently three women tribal citizens serve as tenured law professors with the rank of full professor. Each has sat as a tribal judge or justice for her own tribe: Professor Christine Zuni–Cruz (Isleta Pueblo) at the University of New Mexico School of Law, Professor Angela Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) at U.C.L.A. Law School, and me, Stacy Leeds (Cherokee Nation) at the University of Kansas School of Law. Within the law school community, we are a super-minority. Within our home community, or in the other tribal communities we serve, we are viewed (for better or worse) as women who should be in a position to help American Indians, especially American Indian women. The community expects us to be difference makers. We live with the strength of these powerful expectations.
- Our continued presence and growth as teachers and scholars in the legal academy is equally powerful. It allows us the privilege of teaching and working with students, but it also provides a platform to tell our stories—particularly the stories of our struggle to say “yes” or “no” to the many requests we hear.
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Chapter 7: Pregnant and Working: The Story of California Federal Savings & Loan Ass’n. v. Guerra 120 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Lillian Garland, one of the most important individuals to impact the development of law affecting women workers, was not even a named party to the landmark case involving her story. Ms. Garland’s pregnancy led to litigation and a court decision that confirmed a woman worker’s right, under state law, to retain her job if she took pregnancy leave. The United States Supreme Court decided on January 13, 1987, five years after the birth of Ms. Garland’s daughter Kekere. The case changed public consciousness about women’s need to be both caregiver and breadwinner.
- Garland’s story highlights the U.S. focus on employment-based insurance to provide a safety net to support vulnerable workers. This work-based focus remains entrenched and has made it difficult for policy makers to imagine other models, like universal community-based day care, health care, or wages for housework. Yet workers have made strides using the employment based model. Beginning in the 1980s and continuing after the decision, California advocates sought to enact job protections for workers with families. Advocates recognized that all workers needed time away from work to care for themselves and their families and to bond with their children. The California Legislature and many California advocates knew that female workers were likely to become pregnant at least once during their working lives. Without job-guaranteed leave, these women could lose their jobs. Thus a greater percentage of women than men would be adversely affected by the absence of job-protected leave. Male...
- Against this backdrop of potential legislative change, advocates prepared briefs for the oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. Following California’s victory in the Ninth Circuit, the feminist legal community was “in a state of tension and disarray.” The Southern California chapter of the ACLU wanted to file a brief supporting the state law. But the national ACLU overruled that decision. Ultimately the national ACLU filed a brief, declaring it supported neither party, but rather “more fully represent[ed] the interests of women workers than the positions taken by either of the parties.” The ACLU argued that women-only, protectionist laws value women for their childbearing roles and undermine women’s capacity and reliability in the workplace. Emphasizing biological differences between men and women could relegate women to “a separate sphere of home and family.”
- The Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU and National Organization for Women (“NOW”) agreed with the bank that the state law violated Title VII. They urged: “We don’t think women are weak and in need of special assistance.” for Garland by upholding the state law, a NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund spokesperson said: “It is history repeating itself. It is an invitation to discriminate…. [Such an employment law says,] ‘you pregnant women, you’re different.’ ” Advocates siding with Cal. Fed. feared not only different treatment for pregnant women but also discrimination against all women that might result from the burden of accommodating pregnancy. If the leave law made it more costly to hire women, then employers would avoid hiring them.
- But women-only protective labor laws caused harm to women. The early 20th century laws created a sex-segregated wage market and facilitated the exclusion of women from higher earning jobs with power. The legislation that “protected” women thus also protected them out of jobs and did not secure safety benefits for male workers. Women seeking jobs needed a legal theory that would open the factory and office doors to them. So the movement embraced a notion of equal treatment for all workers. Equal treatment was a slogan that said, “Just let me in; I can do the job.”
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Chapter 4: Unconstitutionally Male?: The Story of United States v. Virginia 233 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In the majority opinion, Justice Ginsburg riveted her analysis to the long historical narrative of women’s rights litigation—a story Justice Ginsburg knew well from her many years as a leading advocate for women’s rights. History, she pointed out, has disproved stereotypes about women’s proper place in society, generalizations about women’s ability to thrive only in cooperative settings and not in adversarial ones, and outmoded concerns that the presence of women in traditionally male pursuits degraded public norms of decency and propriety. So, too, history would disprove Virginia’s claim that women could not make the grade at VMI, or would destroy the adversative system that had made VMI unique and valuable. From this historical standpoint, Virginia’s claims about women’s limitations were simply not persuasive.
- The VMI story is about the battle between the federal government seeking to gain access for an unknown number of women to a school that deliberately excluded them. From the government’s perspective, the VMI litigation was part of a long, ongoing effort to eliminate sex distinctions and gender stereotypes from laws and public institutions. The government did not expect that many women would ever attend VMI. In this sense, as one commentator has written, “the continued existence of an all-male military school in Virginia may have been more significant for its expressive effects than for the actual deprivation of educational opportunities.” The federal government viewed the principle of equal treatment as a means of transforming how society viewed and treated women and thus as a principle worth continuing to extend. In addition, the case looked winnable. As one lawyer who participated in the litigation later put it, “Although VMI’s admission policy might have seemed like a small fish,...
- In 1989, a northern Virginia female high school student complained to the U.S. Department of Justice that the Virginia Military Institute (“VMI”) did not accept applications from women. Seven years later, in the U.S. Supreme Court vindicated her complaint, holding that VMI’s exclusion of women was unconstitutional, even after Virginia attempted to save the male-only school by adding a parallel program for women at a neighboring all-women’s college. The story of this case and its aftermath exhibits both the muscle of sex discrimination doctrine and its unresolved tensions.
- The Virginia Military Institute, Where the Men are Men (and so are the Women)
- This chapter traces the story of through the lenses offered by these different views of equality. It concludes that while the standard for evaluating VMI’s exclusion of women became more rigorous at each stage, the case remained caught in a paradigm in which women’s right of access to existing institutions could depend upon assurances that women would not change those institutions. Yet just below the surface, raised unanswered questions about whether a state should be allowed to fund an educational program defined by particular, hyper-masculine norms. In proceeding as if preserving the institution was both possible and desirable, the parties and the courts failed to confront the constitutional problems of a state-sponsored institution premised on the principles of male superiority. As a result, the decision in the case opened VMI to women, but it did nothing to address the objectionable gender norms that defined the school. In treating the problem of VMI as if it were solely about...
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Title Page 3 results
Women and the Law Stories 25 results (showing 5 best matches)
- WOMEN AND THE LAW STORIES
- Chapter 12: The Entry of Women into Wall Street Law Firms: The Story of Blank v. Sullivan & Cromwell
- WOMEN IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION: LAW STUDENTS, ATTORNEYS, LAW PROFESSORS, AND JUDGES
- Introduction: Telling Stories to Courts: Women Claim Their Legal Rights
- Chapter 8: “What Not to Wear”—Race and Unwelcomeness in Sexual Harassment Law: The Story of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson
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Chapter 11: State–Enabled Violence: The Story of Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales 208 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The horrific facts of this case are not fiction; they are the reality that Jessica Gonzales has had to endure. Unfortunately, her story is not extraordinary; this tale is not isolated in the overall fabric of domestic violence countenanced by law and its operation throughout history. Violence against women in intimate relationships, as well as against their children, is routine and pervasive. Long developed patterns of state laws, policies, and practices have permitted the abuse of women by their husbands and encouraged police condonation of husbands’ control, violent and otherwise, over their wives.
- The Sexual Contract
- Law once explicitly recognized women as the property of their husbands: “The wife who inherits no property holds about the same legal position as does the slave of the Southern plantation. She can own nothing, sell nothing. She has no right even to the wages she earns; her person, her time, her services are the property of another.” This law meant that women were unable to contract or own property outright. These disabilities in law contributed to women’s status as inferior to that of men. State law and procedure, specifically coverture and chastisement, enabled violence against women, implicitly supported by these concepts of “property.” “By law, a husband acquired rights to his wife’s person, the value of her paid and unpaid labor…. A wife was obliged to obey and serve her husband….”
- The majority also does not mention, much less discuss, the long history of police inaction and non-enforcement in cases of domestic abuse that was central to the Tenth Circuit ruling and relied upon by the dissent. The majority instead chose to focus on the “deep-rooted nature” of law-enforcement discretion. This focus is particularly ironic because this history of law enforcement discretion, enabling police to ignore violence between intimates, is precisely the reason for the nationwide wave of legislation of mandatory enforcement laws. This irony is even more poignant because the Court also does not mention that such broad policies enabled the historically heightened attention paid to the poor and in communities of color. In fact, in light of the relevant patterns of lack of enforcement of crimes against women, protective orders with real guidelines and requirements are especially important for poor women of color. That is, women in these communities are too often faced with two...
- Battered Women & Feminist Lawmaking
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Biographies of Women and the Law Contributors 17 results (showing 5 best matches)
- is the Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor at Harvard Law School where she has taught since 1981. An expert in human rights with a focus on members of racial and religious minorities and women, children, and persons with disabilities, her scholarship also has addressed private military contractors, management of mass torts, transitional justice, and law, culture, and social change. She has published over 150 articles and her books include
- is the Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and has also been Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools. Professor Schneider teaches and writes in the fields of federal civil litigation, gender, law and domestic violence. She is the author of
- is the Economic Justice Coordinator for the state of Utah’s Domestic Violence Council. She has taught law and history at University of California at Berkeley School of Law and the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of law. After graduating from Berkeley Law in 1989, Dr. Hall represented low income families in housing law, and represented plaintiffs in race and sex-based discrimination cases. After seven years as a litigator in public interest law experiencing how the structured patterns of race, class, and gender deformed the possibilities of justice through the legal system, she returned to academic life to study the history of the law and its relation to the creation and maintenance of systems of social stratification. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004 in History with a minor in Feminist Studies. She was Mellon Foundation Post–Doctoral Fellow at Berkeley Law and University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender...
- , a feminist activist and professor at CUNY Law School and director of its widely acclaimed International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic (IWHR), died in May 2010 shortly after completing the chapter. Prior to joining CUNY’s founding faculty, she worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights on a broad range of civil rights and feminist cases involving race, class and gender. She advised on many, and argued two, cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, including chapter 6). In l991, she became involved in the global women’s human rights movement and authored groundbreaking articles on gendered war crimes and domestic violence as torture. With IWHR, global, and U.S. partners, she contributed to evolving women’s human rights, including the recognition of sexual violence and gender in international criminal law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as well as the movement to embed international human rights to U.S. law, policy and culture. She had Fulbright grants to...
- is the Inez Mabie Distinguished Professor of Law at Santa Clara University. She is a graduate of Vassar College (A.B.) and the University of Georgia (J.D.). A member of the American Law Institute and prior board member of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, she is a former co-president (with Jean Love) of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). She currently serves as Treasurer of SALT. Professor Cain teaches courses in federal taxation, wills and estates, property, feminist legal theory, and sexuality and the law. She has published several book chapters, including “stories” in both
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Chapter 9: Of Glass Ceilings, Sex Stereotypes, and Mixed Motives: The Story of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins 113 results (showing 5 best matches)
- has relevance two decades later is that the glass ceiling has yet to be completely shattered. In 2009, for example, it was still rare to see a woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company—only fifteen women (3%) held such positions —and women continued to lag substantially behind men in law partnerships (12.71% women) and partnerships in accounting firms (19% women). The candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States in 2008 underscored both the progress and the limitations of women’s slow climb to the top, as pundits incessantly questioned whether the country was ready to have a woman leader. Hopkins’s case still has meaning for professional women who search for the right formula to gain acceptance into male domains and who have ever considered using the law to pressure a firm to change its ways.
- Of paramount importance to Fiske’s analysis was the fact that Ann Hopkins was a “token” or “solo” woman at Price Waterhouse. Fiske used the term “token” to mean a rarity in an organization and explained the significance of tokenism in organizational research. She indicated that when a group is very small—constituting approximately 15% or less in an organization—the members of that group are unable to form alliances and have little prospect of influencing the dominant culture of the group. She referenced research that indicated that in settings of dramatic underrepresentation of a group, token individuals are much more likely to be thought about in terms of their social category, rather than as individuals. In such an environment, people expect token individuals to fit preconceived views about the traits and qualities of the group and react negatively to persons who do not fit the conventional mold. In such imbalanced workplaces, both descriptive and prescriptive stereotyping...
- Women CEOs of the Fortune 1000
- As part of the record before the Supreme Court, Fiske’s approach had been endorsed and expanded upon in an amicus brief filed by the American Psychological Association (“APA”), and critical portions of Brennan’s opinion seemed to pick up on major points in the brief. Significantly, the brief explained how both descriptive and prescriptive stereotyping can have negative consequences for “achievement-oriented” women, citing research that showed that “descriptive stereotypes characterize women in a manner that undermines their competence and effectiveness” and that “normative stereotypes cast as deviant women whose behavior seems inappropriately masculine.” The brief also described the “double bind” of professional women in clear terms, drawing on empirical studies that indicated that if professional women are viewed “as women,” they run the risk of being denied access to high power positions because “their presumed attributes cause them to appear incapable or their performance is...women
- As a woman seeking partnership, Hopkins was a rarity in the firm. When Hopkins became a candidate for partner in 1982, only 7 of the 662 partners at Price Waterhouse were women and all of the partners in her home office were men. Most significantly, Hopkins was the only woman in the group of eighty-eight persons being considered for partnership that year.
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Chapter 10: Six Cases in Search of a Decision: The Story of In re Marriage Cases 192 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The court in left open the question of whether or not the statutory restriction of marriage to one man and one woman violated the California Constitution, as Mayor Newsom believed it did. The determination of the constitutionality of such a statute, explained the court, was not an appropriate function for the Mayor or for any other member of the executive branch in California. Such a determination was within the sole province of the judiciary. The story of begins here. It is the story of the litigation in six consolidated cases that determined the constitutionality of restricting marriage to one man and one woman.
- During the Constitutional Convention of 1878–79, the issue of equality arose once again. This time, two women pressed the issue. They were not delegates to the Convention, but they lobbied those men who were, asking them to include specific provisions in the Constitution that would guarantee equality to women in the areas of employment and education. They were motivated by the fact that they both had been recent victims of sex discrimination. Clara Shortridge Foltz (a suffragist and a housewife with five children) and Laura DeForce Gordon (a sister-suffragist and newspaper publisher) had been barred from entering the legal profession by a California statute that had provided that only white males could become lawyers. Foltz had responded by drafting the Woman Lawyer’s Bill in 1877, and she and Gordon had lobbied successfully for the Bill’s enactment in that same year. In 1878, after reading law, both women had been admitted to the bar—an event that had received national publicity....
- . For a detailed account of the passage of the Woman Lawyer’s Bill in 1877 and of Clara Foltz’s subsequent lawsuit seeking admission to the new law school at Hastings in 1879, see Barbara Allen Babcock,
- . Wendy Williams is a law professor at Georgetown. She is also one of the founding members of Equal Rights Advocates, a feminist law firm established in 1973 in San Francisco. In 1971, as a law clerk to Justice Raymond Peters, she was instrumental in focusing the California Supreme Court on the question of sex discrimination in , 485 P.2d 529 (Cal. 1971). We called her to discuss the role of in the California Marriage Cases and, at the end of that discussion, she told us the story of her sister Barb and she put us in touch with Renee and Barb so that we could learn their story first hand.
- Forgotten Lessons on Race, Law, and Marriage: The Story of
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Chapter 6: “Nearly Allied to Her Right to Be”—Medicaid Funding for Abortion: The Story of Harris v. McRae 201 results (showing 5 best matches)
- On April 9, 1970, New York repealed its law making abortion a crime and allowed women to choose abortion until the 24th week of pregnancy. The legislature had heard extensive testimony on the devastating health and life impact of criminal abortion, particularly on poor women. While doctors asserted that the criminal law interfered with their right to provide essential medical care, feminist activists broke into the hearings to assert women’s right to control their bodies and to abortion on demand. The law passed dramatically by one vote on a second try when upstate Assemblyman George M. Michaels listened to the women in his family, changed his vote, and ended his legislative career.
- . Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, General Recommendation No. 24: Article 12: Women and Health, ¶ 14 (20th sess. 1999) (“Other barriers to women’s access to appropriate health care include laws that criminalize medical procedures only needed by women and that punish women who undergo those procedures.”),
- When several states legalized abortion and, subsequently, the Supreme Court transformed abortion from a crime to a right in 1973 in , many assumed that health insurance, private and public, would provide funding for all women to assert that right. For a short time, coverage was unchallenged. This chapter tells the story of the 1980 Supreme Court decision upholding the Hyde Amendment’s exclusion of coverage for medically necessary abortions from the otherwise comprehensive Medicaid program. Decided in the context of a growing, religiously-impelled mobilization against abortion and funding, this decision not only gutted the right to abortion for poor women, but it also undermined fundamental constitutional principles. Furthermore, the decision set the stage for restrictive approaches to constitutional protection of fundamental rights affecting the poor, reproductive rights, and previously assumed rights more broadly. As we write almost thirty years later, the Hyde Amendment and the
- A second claim that could be made today but was not yet ripe was based on international human rights norms. The notion of human rights as applicable to everyday life rather than to conditions of dictatorship was in its infancy, and no international movement for women’s human rights yet existed. Although even today, women’s right to abortion is not yet fully established in international law, abortion to save life and to protect physical and mental health including in cases of rape and incest and fetal abnormality is increasingly recognized by international human rights law. Moreover, in diametrical opposition to the position of the U.S. Supreme Court in the pregnancy cases, the international right to equality for women includes access to health services that only women need. And contrary to the negative rights approach of the U.S. Constitution, nations have not only an obligation to “respect” or not deny or interfere with the exercise of a fundamental civil right, but also a...
- A coalition of groups including the Center for Constitutional Rights (“CCR”), the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Reproductive Freedom Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU–RFP”), and the Health and Hospitals Corporation of the City of New York, which filed a separate complaint, organized the litigation. Members of the original litigation team included CCR lawyers Rhonda Copelon and Nancy Stearns who had been representing women in numerous recent abortion and women’s rights cases. Harriet Pilpel, a partner at the New York firm Greenbaum, Wolff & Ernst, and General Counsel to both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, had represented women and doctors challenging restrictions on contraception and abortion since the 1940s. She was joined by two firm colleagues, Eve W. Paul, subsequently General Counsel to Planned Parenthood, and Fredric S. Nathan, former Corporation Counsel of the City of New York. The ACLU had supported reproductive choice, primarily through...
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Chapter 3: Single–Sex Public Schools: The Story of Vorchheimer v. School District of Philadelphia 189 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Virginia Military Institute, Where the Men are Men and So are the Women
- The repercussions of for gender started with the civil rights framework developed in challenging racially segregated schools even before the women’s movement organized to pursue litigation and reforms in the 1960s. President John F. Kennedy proposed federal legislation in response to the massive resistance to racial integration in Birmingham, Alabama and elsewhere; President Lyndon Johnson carried through on this promise after Kennedy’s assassination and the resulting Civil Rights Act of 1964 enlarged the legal guarantees against exclusion beyond schooling, beyond government-run institutions, and beyond race-based exclusions. As enacted, Title VII of the Act included “sex” as a forbidden ground of discrimination, even though the draft of the legislation did not include that language. Initially proposed by an opponent of the law as an effort to defeat it, the amendment adding “sex” was quickly endorsed by women in Congress and in the country as a much needed and deserved recognition...
- Oddly, I am the product of single-sex education; St. Benedicts Prep School, Holy Cross College and Harvard Law School. Moreover, my four daughters attended Oak Knoll School, an all-girl preparatory school and where one of them, Mary Whipple, is currently Vice–Chairman of the Board. I was instrumental in persuading the Holy Cross trustees to admit women in the early 1970’s, and Mary was in the first class of women admitted there. Two of her sisters followed her there.
- http://www.indiana.edu/?rcapub/v18n2/p17.html (last visited Dec. 11, 2009); Tribute: The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and WRP Staff (Mar. 7, 2006), http://www.aclu.org/womensrights/gen/24412pub20060307.html. The Supreme Court struck down a statute preferring men over women as administrators of estates without identifying a standard of review. Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971). Again without a clear standard, it then rejected differential treatment of male and female spouses of members of the armed forces for purposes of dependency benefits. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973). The Court adopted an intermediate scrutiny standard in a 1976 case rejecting a statute prohibiting the sale of “non-intoxicating” 3.2% beer to males under the age of 21 and females under the age of 18. Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976). When she became a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced for the Court an even more searching level of constitutional scrutiny: the...and
- . The first-wave women’s rights movement grew from the movement to abolish slavery; the second-wave women’s rights movement drew from the movement for racial equality, but also reflected independent sources. President John F. Kennedy created a commission on women’s equality in 1961, before he became engaged in the debates over racial justice, and Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act in 1963, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The National Organization for Women was not founded until 1966.
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Chapter 2: “When the Trouble Started”: The Story of Frontiero v. Richardson 149 results (showing 5 best matches)
- At the time that Sharron Frontiero sued, the federal courts’ sex discrimination record was, at best, lackluster. In 1970, the Supreme Court had yet to invalidate any sex discriminatory law under constitutional equality principles. The Court’s most recent pronouncement on women’s roles as citizens had located women “at the center of home and family life,” in the course of upholding state laws that exempted women from jury service. Although Congress had prohibited sex discrimination in employment several years earlier, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had largely failed to devote its limited resources to bringing cases on behalf of aggrieved women. The courts were still slow to recognize workplace inequities as civil rights violations. Indeed, after decades of division among women’s rights advocates over the desirability of pursuing a constitutional amendment to secure sex equality, judicial intransigence had helped to persuade a wide swath of feminist activists to support the
- was decided, the judges—particularly Johnson—understood that In a memorandum to Judge Johnson in July 1971, law clerk Jack Billings enumerated the political and economic discrimination suffered by women, including the paucity of women public officeholders, the widening income gap between men and women, and the courts’ affirmation of various restrictions on women’s employment. Billings concluded that “women have been the object of pervasive discrimination, albeit generally less blatant than that visited upon minorities” and urged the judge to declare sex a suspect classification. Both “prior cases” and the “growing recognition of [women’s] subjugation” supported such an outcome, Billings argued. Billings’ memo, with its lengthy discussion and endorsement of the race-sex analogy, formed the basis of Johnson’s draft opinion for the court, which he circulated to his colleagues in October. Rives’s reply indicated that his own conviction of the law’s validity had not changed upon...
- Ginsburg went on to address what she saw as the two primary arguments against recognizing sex-based classifications as suspect: first, that “women are a majority” of the population; and second, that classifications based on sex did not imply the “inferiority of women.” But numerical superiority notwithstanding, she argued, women had not received the right to vote until a mere half-century earlier; women continued to encounter discrimination in employment “as pervasive and more subtle” than that encountered by racial minority groups; quotas continued to limit women’s access to higher education; and women’s “absence” from high-level government positions remained “conspicuous.” As to inferiority, she noted that “even the court below” had recognized the potential injury to women from differential treatment. She then offered several examples of stigmatizing sex-based classifications upheld by the Court over the previous decades—hours and wage regulations that prevented women from...
- did not foreclose all sex-based differentiation in government benefits. In the years after it was decided, became a paradigm example of “invidious” sex discrimination, in contradistinction to “benign” sex classifications and “genuine affirmative action.” Indeed, less than a year after , the Court upheld a small tax exemption for widows in and the following year ruled in that the military could enforce a sex-specific “up or out” policy that gave male officers less time than female officers to win a promotion before forcing their resignation. Though feminists like Ginsburg viewed these decisions as defeats, they did leave the door open for the Court to distinguish between classifications that harmed women and those designed to expand opportunities, promote non-traditional employment, and enhance women’s economic independence. In (1977), an obscure case never briefed by the parties, the Court upheld a Social Security rule that allowed women to exclude more low-wage-earning years...
- Finally, Huntington tackled Ginsburg’s argument. The other categories—race, national origin, and alienage—identified by the Court as suspect had encompassed the sort of “discrete and insular minorities” contemplated by the Court’s famous 1938 footnote in represent their own interests effectively. Though women admittedly had not achieved political power equal to men, Huntington argued that legislation like the proposed Equal Rights Amendment constituted compelling evidence of women’s burgeoning political influence. Further, he contended, sex-based classifications, unlike those based on race and the other suspect categories, “frequently are not arbitrary, but reflect actual differences between the sexes which are relevant to the purpose of the statutes containing the classifications.” Rational basis review allowed courts to decide “on a case-by-case basis” which classifications were based on “physiological or factual” differences and which had no such basis. To treat women differently...
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Copyright Page 3 results
- This publication was created to provide you with accurate and authoritative information concerning the subject matter covered; however, this publication was not necessarily prepared by persons licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and this publication is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal or other expert advice, you should seek the services of a competent attorney or other professional.
- Nothing contained herein is intended or written to be used for the purposes of 1) avoiding penalties imposed under the federal Internal Revenue Code, or 2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.
- Printed in the United States of America
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- Edition: 1st
- Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
- ISBN: 9781599415895
- Subject: Gender law
- Series: Law Stories
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This book examines landmark cases establishing women’s legal rights, offering accounts of the litigants, history, parties, strategies, and theoretical implications. It will enrich any law school course and can serve as a text for a course on women and the law, gender and law, feminist jurisprudence, or women’s studies. This volume utilizes subject areas common to many women and law casebooks: history, constitutional law, reproductive freedom, the workplace, the family, and women in the legal profession. Several chapters explore issues of domestic violence and rape.See http://law.scu.edu/socialjustice/women-and-the-law-stories-book.cfm (a website with additional resources for teaching). Visit our author's webpage, including questions for discussion and suggestions for further reading at http://law.scu.edu/socialjustice/women-and-the-law-stories-book.cfm.