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Introduction: U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger & Bridget J. Crawford eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2016

Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-09

71 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2016 Last revised: 3 Aug 2017

Kathryn Stanchi

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Linda L. Berger

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Bridget J. Crawford

Pace University School of Law

Date Written: January 26, 2016

Abstract

What would United States Supreme Court opinions look like if key decisions on gender issues were written with a feminist perspective? To begin to answer this question, we brought together a group of scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, the most significant U.S. Supreme Court cases on gender from the 1800s to the present day. While feminist legal theory has developed and even thrived within universities, and feminist activists and lawyers are responsible for major changes in the law, feminist reasoning has had a less clear impact on judicial decision-making. Doctrines of stare decisis and judicial language of neutrality can operate to obscure structural bias in the law, making it difficult to see what feminism could bring to judicial reasoning.

The twenty-five opinions in this volume demonstrate that judges with feminist viewpoints could have changed the course of the law. The rewritten decisions show that previously accepted judicial outcomes were not necessary or inevitable and demonstrate that feminist reasoning increases the judicial capacity for justice, not only for women but for many other oppressed groups. The remarkable differences evident in the rewritten opinions also open a path for a long overdue discussion of the real impact that judicial diversity has on law and of the influence that perspective has in judging.

Included here are the table of contents for the book, and the introductory chapter to the book.

Keywords: feminism, jurisprudence, Supreme Court, constitutional law, constitution, feminist judgments

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K3, K30, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Stanchi, Kathryn and Berger, Linda L. and Crawford, Bridget J., Introduction: U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (January 26, 2016). U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger & Bridget J. Crawford eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2016; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2722845

Kathryn Stanchi

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-8807 (Phone)

Linda Berger

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Bridget Crawford (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

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