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The Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women

Cases in Law and Social Change

Third Edition

Judith A. Baer and Leslie Friedman Goldstein

Publication Date - April 2006

ISBN: 9780195330748

650 pages
8-3/8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $100.95

This book is designed to provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive, sophisticated treatment of the legal status of all American women.


The Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women: Cases in Law and Social Change is designed to provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive, sophisticated treatment of the legal status of all American women.

Authors Baer and Goldstein skillfully blend doctrinal and political developments to document and explain the evolution of women's rights and the law--as well as the dynamics and dissension within the feminist movement. Building on Goldstein's previous editions, this book combines updated material on constitutional law, gender discrimination, and women's rights with new cases and readings on family law, gay rights, and criminal law.

This edition takes a more socio-political and institutional approach than other books on women and the law. The authors consider issues such as institutional questions of constitutional interpretation, the scope of judicial power, the balance of federal-state power, the interaction between law and other social and political institutions, and the capacity of law to effect societal change. The inclusion of state and lower federal court decisions greatly strengthens the book's focus on the law's relationship to gendered inequality.

Topics also include constitutional history, job discrimination, gender equality, advances in reproductive technology law, divorce, child custody, education, same-sex marriage, pornography, and domestic violence.

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 1988


"Two of our nation's most distinguished constitutional scholars have superbly integrated history, court structure, and judicial politics with case law and commentary. This book is so well-written and approachable, scholarly, and complete in the range and depth of its discussion of the hot-button constitutional issues facing women (constitutional equality, employment and family law, reproductive freedom, education, and crime) that I plan to use it in my courses."--Ron Kahn, Oberlin College

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Women Seek Constitutional Equality
    Women and U.S. Law Before the Fourteenth Amendment
    The Privileges or Immunities Clause: The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)
    Access to the Bar: Myra Bradwell v. State of Illinois (1873)
    Women's Suffrage and the Fourteenth Amendment Debates
    Women and Modern Citizenship, Part One:
    The Vote by Constitutional Amendment
    Liberty of Contract: Lochner v. New York (1905)
    Protecting Women by Limiting Their Freedom: Radice v. New York (1924)
    Capitulation on Minimum Wages for Women: West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937) and U.S. v. Darby (1941)
    Equal Protection Clause
    Chapter 2: Women Attain (?) Constitutional Equality
    Almost Strict Scrutiny
    Court Bides Its Time
    Officially Intermediate Scrutiny: Craig v. Boren (1976)
    Sex Discrimination Post-Craig Statutory Rape: Michael M. v. Sonoma County (1981)
    Women and Modern Citizenship, Part Two
    Jury Service
    Interlude: Doctrinal Development on the Clinton Court
    Conferring Citizenship: Female Versus Male Parents
    When Is Discrimination Not Discrimination?
    Rights in Conflict
    Chapter 3: Women and Employment
    Equal Pay and Comparable Worth
    Comparable Worth: Washington County v. Gunther (1981)
    Title VII and Women's Labor Legislation
    'Sex Plus' Discrimination
    Sexual Harassment as Sex Discrimination
    Gender Stereotyping: Price-Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989)
    Affirmative Action: Johnson v. Transportation Agency (1987)
    Chapter 4: Gender and Family Law
    Same-Sex Marriage: Kowalski Cases
    Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
    Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions: Baker v. State (1999)
    Legal History of Marriage
    The Traditional Family
    Rights of Unmarried Fathers
    Parents versus Grandparents
    Parents' Rights Versus Community Rights: Native Americans and Family Law
    Chapter 5: Women and Reproduction
    Legal Contexts: Implied Constitutional Rights
    Contraception and the Right to Privacy
    Legalizing Abortion
    Securing Access to Abortion
    Pregnant Women's Privacy
    Reproductive Technology and the Law
    Whose Property Are Frozen Embryos?
    Posthumous Procreation: Woodward v. Commissioner of Social Security (2002)
    Chapter 6: Women and Education
    Single-Sex Public Schools: Separate but Equal?
    Higher Education
    Title IX and Educational Equality
    Title IX and Sexual Harassment
    Title IX and Retaliation
    Chapter 7: Women and Crime
    Spouse Abuse
    Feminists Divide Over Pornography
    The Violence Against Women Act
    Chapter 8: Conclusions

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