Moore Kinship: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Moore v. City of East Cleveland

8 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2017

See all articles by Clare Huntington

Clare Huntington

Columbia Law School

R. A. Lenhardt

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: October 5, 2017


By holding that Due Process protections encompass extended families, Moore v. City of East Cleveland stands as one of the most important family law judgments rendered by the Supreme Court. The Fordham Law Review marked the fortieth anniversary of the decision by convening a group of family law scholars to reflect on what Moore meant for families and family law at the time it was decided and what it means today. Moore’s treatment of extended families ensures its mention in most conversations about alternative family forms. Yet, there are many ways in which Moore, notwithstanding its broad endorsement of familial privacy and protection, represents a missed opportunity. It makes no mention, for example, of family structures less rooted in tradition, such as those involving nonmarital unions and childrearing. Nor does it address the race and socioeconomic issues that seem to have informed the City of East Cleveland’s actions. Indeed, Moore studiously avoids grappling with any of the hard issues pertaining to race, equality, and family formation. The Court’s decision, which has largely been overlooked as a subject of scholarly examination, offers an important starting point for a deeper examination of the role of the law in both supporting and, too often, undermining families, especially families of color. The symposium on Moore that the Law Review hosted, and that Fordham’s new Center on Race, Law, and Justice cosponsored, grapples with these and other issues facing modern families. This Foreword introduces the symposium.

Suggested Citation

Huntington, Clare and Lenhardt, Robin A., Moore Kinship: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Moore v. City of East Cleveland (October 5, 2017). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 2551, 2017, Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3048515, Available at SSRN:

Clare Huntington (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Robin A. Lenhardt

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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