Richard L. Hasen, Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections (ACSblog)

As I was working on my new book, Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, a UC Irvine colleague asked me a key question: Who was I writing this book for? The answer I gave him, half-jokingly, was that I had written the book for a single person: Justice Elena Kagan. You see, before Justice Kagan joined the Supreme Court, she was Professor (and later Dean) Kagan, a progressive thinker to be sure but one who expressed some serious skepticism about a 1990 Supreme Court case, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which upheld Read More …

Merle Weiner, A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law

I wrote A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law (Cambridge University Press 2015) because I found it incredible (and upsetting) that two people could have a child together— one of the most important, challenging, and transformative events in life — and have virtually no legal obligations to each other. This legal gap seemed inappropriate because parenthood affects the parents’ interactions with each other, sometimes producing injustices, and because their interactions affect their child. For a very long time, marriage has been the primary legal structure that has regulated parents’ relationships to each other. Marriage, however, seemed to me insufficient for Read More …

Amos Kamil, Great is the Truth: Secrecy, Scandal and the Quest for Justice At Horace Mann School

“Once I heard the stories, there was no going back.” So said Kevin Mulhearn, a New York lawyer who has argued several high profile cases on behalf of adult victims of child sexual abuse including those against teachers and staff at Horace Mann, Yeshiva University High School and his own alma mater, Poly Prep. I could relate.  I had published “Prep School Predators” in the New York Times Sunday Magazine exposing decades of sexual abuse and cover up at my alma mater—the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, New York. Once the article ran, the last thing on my mind was Read More …

Caroline Fredrickson, Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over (ACSblog)

When she was 18, my great-grandmother Mathilda Olafsson left Sweden to escape poverty, sailing alone in steerage to Boston where she was lucky to find a job as a maid. Like countless immigrant women, Mathilda was subject to sexual harassment, underpayment, and abusively long hours. As she endured backbreaking labor and meals consisting of her employers’ scraps, she hoarded her meager earnings, working toward a better life. Growing up, I found Mathilda’s story ‒ so far in the past, so different from today ‒ inspirational. But sadly, even after the enactment of various labor laws and worker protections, many working Read More …

Gina Messina-Dysert, Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay

“Why do you stay?” It is a question often asked of women who balance both a feminist and religious identity. Many feminists argue that to embrace a patriarchal religious tradition is to participate in a structure that is oppressive to women. Likewise, many who belong to those traditions argue that to be feminist is to reject our “God-given” gender roles. Nonetheless, more and more, women are choosing to challenge oppressive structures by working within religion and honoring the foundational teachings that call for liberation of all persons. Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay explores this Read More …

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion

Sample Chapter Table of Contents On the cover of Beyond Religious Freedom is a photo of the desert with a sand berm in the distance and, in the foreground, a line of colorful hand-made flowers sticking haphazardly out of the sand. The Moroccan governmentbuilt the berm in the 1980s during the war against the Polisario to (literally) draw a line in the sand dividing Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara from the free zone controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. At 1,600 miles long, it is not surprising that the Sahrawis refer to the berm as al-Jidar, the wall. In stark contrast Read More …