Using Feminist Theory to Advance Equal Justice under Law
11 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017 Last revised: 19 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 10, 2017
This essay provides an overview of the purposes, themes and scholarly methodologies evidenced at the October 2016 conference, The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project: Writing the Law, Rewriting the Future, a two-day conference hosted by the Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Akron School of Law. This essay provides some of the background to the development of the path-breaking book, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press, 2016). It also focuses attention on the importance of diversity on the bench, with a particular need for judges who understand or experience the intersecting relationships among race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, physical abilities and many other factors. The authors argue that one theoretical foundation of Feminist Judgments Projects in the U.S. and globally is the belief that judges with feminist perspectives – broadly construed – will pay more attention to facts, context and a broad range of authorities, thus advancing equal justice under the law. The essay concludes by identifying further questions about the relationship between feminist perspectives and the judicial role, including how feminism can disrupt default judicial positions that otherwise make it more difficult to realize fully the law’s promise of equality.
Keywords: Feminism, Gender, Feminist Judgments Project, Symposium, Nevada Law Journal, Equal Rights
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