THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S PUSH FOR SINGLE-SEX EDUCATION:
AN ATTEMPT TO ERODE FEDERAL GENDER EQUALITY
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman argues that we
should be troubled by recent indications that the Department of Education's
Office for Civil Rights will attempt to change the law to make single-sex
education programs easier to adopt -- allowing, for instance, more single-sex
classes in public schools. Grossman contends that the OCR should pay more
attention to constitutional limitations, and that the changes may, in the
end, be bad news for young women and girls.
Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2002
AN ISSUE RIPE FOR SUPREME COURT REVIEW:
A DECISION UPHOLDING MICHIGAN LAW SCHOOL'S RACE-BASED ADMISSION PLAN CREATES AN EVEN CIRCUIT SPLIT
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a
recent federal appeals court decision regarding an important issue: Is a
race-based admissions plan for higher education ever constitutional, and if
so, when? The recent decision, which approved Michigan Law School's plan,
and another, earlier federal appeals court decision -- have said that such
plans can indeed be constitutional, and that ensuring diversity is a
compelling interest that justifies taking race into account. However, two
other federal Circuits have reached very different holdings. The issue is
thus primed for the Supreme Court to resolve the conflict.
Monday, May. 20, 2002
SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE:
DO EMPLOYERS' EFFORTS TRULY PREVENT HARASSMENT, OR JUST PREVENT LIABILITY?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman takes issue with
a line of Supreme Court cases that set forth what an employer must do to
establish the affirmative defense that enables it to avoid liability for
sexual harassment. Drawing on survey evidence and evidence about the effects
of anti-harassment training (which is not currently required), Grossman
contends that these cases do not require employers to do enough in order to
take advantage of the defense.
Tuesday, May. 07, 2002
CAN A WOMAN SUE FOR SEX DISCRIMINATION IF SHE IS FIRED BECAUSE HER BOSS'S WIFE IS JEALOUS?
A NEW YORK COURT SAYS NO, BUT THE ANSWER SHOULD BE YES
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers a
recent New York decision, in which the an appeals court ruled in favor of a
doctor who fired his pregnant secretary because of his wife's irrational
belief that he might have fathered the secretary's baby. According to the
court, the firing constituted neither sex discrimination nor pregnancy
discrimination; rather, it was, at most, disloyalty to a valued secretary.
Grossman argues, however, that firings that result from employers' wives'
jealousy, whether rational or irrational, are indeed discriminatory.
Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2002
SHOULD THE LAW BE KINDER TO "KISSIN' COUSINS"?:
A GENETIC REPORT SHOULD CAUSE A RETHINKING OF INCEST LAWS
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the
potential legal consequences of a new report that cousin marriages present
only slightly greater genetic risk to children. Grossman examines the
justifications, genetic and otherwise, for the taboo against cousin marriage
and other incest taboos, and considers whether a constitutional challenge to
cousin marriage bans, based in part on the new report, could succeed.
Monday, Apr. 08, 2002
IN A DECISION REJECTING A TRANSSEXUAL'S MARITAL UNION, KANSAS EMBRACES TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE - OR DOES IT?
The Kansas Supreme Court recently voided a marriage between a male-to-female
transsexual and a biological male -- and therefore held that the transsexual
was not entitled to a $1.25 million spousal share of her late husband's
estate. FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman
discusses the ironies of the decision, which, she argues, claims to respect
traditional marriage but may actually decimate it.
Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2002
CAN THE FIFTY STATES' GRANDPARENT VISITATION STATUTES SURVIVE IN THE WAKE OF THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN TROXEL V. GRANVILLE?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the ramifications for the states of the Supreme Court's decision in Troxel v. Granville, which invalidated the State of Washington's third-party visitation statute. That statute had broadly authorized courts to order parents to allow third parties, such as grandparents, to visit their children even over the parents' objection. Although the Court specifically noted certain states' statutes with approval in Troxel, other states, and state courts, are trying to work out their own responses to Troxel. Grossman explains the issues and the recent response by New York courts.
Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2002
TWO NEW, BUT OPPOSING, DEVELOPMENTS FOR GAY AND LESBIAN PARENTS:
A PEDIATRICIANS' GROUP SUPPORTS GAY RELATIONSHIPS, BUT A GEORGIA COURT DOES NOT
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman asks and answers some provocative questions: Does, and should, the law allow noncustodial parents to have their same-sex partners stay overnight during periods of visitation with their children -- a result a Georgia court forbade? And what are the potential legal implications if a pediatricians' group's recent stance in favor of co-parenting for the children of homosexual individuals is widely accepted?
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2002
THE SUPREME COURT CONSIDERS THE CONTINUING VIOLATIONS DOCTRINE, IN A DECISION SURE TO AFFECT MANY PARTIES TO HARASSMENT CASES
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a case recently heard by the Supreme Court, which poses the following question: Can incidents of discrimination that fall outside the statute of limitation still be part of a federal employment discrimination suit, as long as they are part of a pattern of conduct some of which did occur within the statute of limitations? Courts have been all over the map on this issue; Grossman describes all of the different approaches they have employed, and argues that the Court should indeed allow the whole pattern of discriminatory conduct, not just the part within the limitations period, to form the basis of a suit.
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2002
FAULT-BASED DIVORCE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN NEW YORK,
AS TWO RECENT DECISIONS SHOW
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses how a court in New York -- traditionally one of the most conservatives states when it comes to divorce -- addressed two recent cases raising the same question: How bad does a spouse's conduct have to be to constitute "cruelty" sufficient to allow the other spouse to procure a fault-based divorce? Grossman also provides a brief history of divorce in America, explaining how fault-based divorce frequently gave way to, or was paired with, no-fault divorce in many states, and what the results have been.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2002
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