Gender Justice - Spring 2022

Gender Justice GU4506

This course will provide an introduction to the concrete legal contexts in which issues of gender and justice have been articulated, disputed and hesitatingly, if not provisionally, resolved.  Through these readings we will explore the multiple ways in which the law has contended with sexual difference, gender-based stereotypes, and the meaning of equality. So too, we will discuss how feminist theorists have thought about sex, gender and sexuality in understanding and critiquing our legal system and its norms.


January 18thIntro to the Course: Paradigms of Gender Equality

  • Nancy Levit and Robert R.M. Verchick, Feminist Legal Theories, in Feminist Legal Theory, 11 (New York University Press, 2016).

January 25thEarly Framing

February 1stLimits of Formal Sex-Based Equality 

February 8thSex-Based Categories as a Matter of Gender Justice – Boundary Work

February 15thThe Pregnant Body

February 22ndSexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

March 1stMarriage Rights vs. Sexual Justice

  • Obergefell v. Hodges:
    • Opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy
    • Opinion of Justice Katherine Franke
    • Opinion of Justice Sherif Girgis and Robert George

March 8thEqual Rights Amendment

March 15thSpring Break

March 22ndAbolition Feminism NowAngela Davis and Gina Dent

March 29th: Galen Sherwin, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU, Women's Rights Project on Peltier v. Charter Day School (Dress Code case), and the ACLU's other Women's Rights work.

  • Expert Report of Dr. Christia Spears Brown, Ph.D., Peltier v. Charter Day School
  • Trial court ruling in Peltier v. Charter Day School
  • 4th Cir. opinion in Peltier v. Carter Day School
  • Petition for certiorari in National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System

April 5th: Trafficking

April 12th: Hillary Schneller, Senior Staff Attorney, U.S. Litigation, Center for Reproductive Rights

  • Memorandum of law in support of plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, JWHO v. Dobbs, filed April 29, 2021(notice the difference between the liberty and equality arguments in this brief)
  • JWHO v. Currier, Order Granting Permanent Injunction
  • JWHO v. Dobbs, Howard University School of Law amicus brief
  • CRR’s “What if Roe Fell?” interactive map (Links to an external site.)