Liberty's Forgotten Refugees? Engendering Assembly

13 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2012

See all articles by Susan Frelich Appleton

Susan Frelich Appleton

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: June 19, 2012


This Essay explores what considerations of gender could add to Professor John Inazu’s efforts to revitalize the freedom of assembly. The Essay appears as part of a symposium celebrating the publication of his book, Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly, which critiques the Supreme Court’s development of the freedom of association and argues for recognition of a robust “right to exclude” under the First Amendment’s Assembly Clause.

Using a very rudimentary feminist lens, I examine three strands of Liberty’s Refuge: its treatment of the always-contested divide between public and private, its overly narrow reading of the Supreme Court’s intimate association doctrine, and its failure to distinguish exclusion from subordination. My analysis shows how, in overlooking several opportunities to take gender into account, the book risks leaving women as liberty’s forgotten refugees.

Keywords: intimate association, public, private, women, gender, feminist

Suggested Citation

Appleton, Susan Frelich, Liberty's Forgotten Refugees? Engendering Assembly (June 19, 2012). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 89, No. 6, p. 1423, 2012; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-08-01. Available at SSRN:

Susan Frelich Appleton (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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