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Ruth Bader Ginsburg & the Future of Feminist Jurisprudence
Legacy of Justice: Ruth Bader Ginsburg & the Future of Feminist Jurisprudence*
Panel Discussion followed by Q&A
Monday, Oct. 5th @ 4pm on Zoom—Please register HERE
(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.)
“A gender line ... helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
For more than fifty years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg worked to end sex and gender discrimination in U.S. law. First as the founder of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project in 1972, where she successfully argued five of the six cases before the Supreme Court, and then as only the second woman serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Please join us for a panel reflecting on Justice Ginsburg’s legacy and what the future holds for feminist jurisprudence, the Supreme Court, the country, and the prospect of using the courts to secure equal rights and justice going forward, not just for women, but for all folks marginalized by law. As cases involving racial justice, voting rights, immigrant rights, healthcare access, Native American rights, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive rights continue to wind their way toward the Court, does a jurist like Justice Ginsburg matter? How and why? And if not, why not?
Carrie Baker is a Professor in the Smith College Program for Study of Women and Gender, where she teaches courses on gender, law, public policy, and feminist activism, including topical courses on reproductive justice, sexual harassment and sex trafficking. She is co-founder of the Five College Certificate in Reproductive Health Rights and Justice, a frequent writer for Ms. Magazine, and the author of three books on sexual harassment and sex trafficking law.
Traci Parker is an historian and Associate Professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies (UMass), where she teaches courses on African American women’s history, nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history, race and racism, class, labor, capitalism, and consumer culture. Her current book project is titled Beyond Loving: Black Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Twentieth Century.
Kathleen A. Brown-Pérez is an attorney and a faculty member in the UMass Commonwealth Honors College, where she teaches the senior honors thesis seminar Conquest by Law: The Use of Law to Subjugate and Marginalize in the United States, Ideas that Change the World, and Criminal Law and Justice. Professor Brown-Pérez is member of the Brothertown Indian Nation (Wisconsin). Her research and publications focus on issues of federal Indian policy and law, including sovereignty, identity, and federal acknowledgment.
Laurie Frankl is a lawyer who has dedicated her legal career to gender equality issues. She is the current Title IX Coordinator at Amherst College and former a civil rights litigator in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. Laurie has represented plaintiffs in employment and housing discrimination matters and, most recently, served in the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where she worked to enforce the Commonwealth’s civil rights and consumer protection laws through affirmative litigation.
Jennifer L. Nye is Senior Lecturer in the UMass History Department where she teaches courses on law and social justice, including Women and the Law: History of Sex and Gender Discrimination, Rape Law: Gender, Race, (In)Justice, Social Justice Lawyering, and History of Reproductive Rights Law. She is currently co-director of the Five College Certificate in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice. She previously practiced public interest law for over a decade on behalf of survivors of domestic violence, immigrant women, and people with disabilities.
Afro-American Studies, UMass
Program for Study of Women & Gender, Smith College
Legal Studies, UMass
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, UMass
History, Amherst College
Center for Justice, Law, and Societies, UMass
Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts
*Black’s Law Dictionary defines feminist jurisprudence as “a branch of jurisprudence [philosophy of law] that examines the relationship between women and law, including the history of legal and social biases against women, the elimination of those biases in modern law, and the enhancement of women’s legal rights and recognition in society.”
Volumes have been written about Justice Ginsburg, as both a litigator and a judge. Below are a few select items that might be of interest to folks before the panel:
- Documentary: RBG (2018)
- Film: On the Basis of Sex (2018)
- Podcast: The Ginsberg Tapes (about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s oral arguments in the Supreme Court—before she became #NotoriousRBG.)
- More Perfect Podcast: Sex Appeal (about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s litigation of the landmark Supreme court case Craig v. Boren (1976), which held that sex based classifications are subject to intermediate scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment)
- Amicus Podcast: The Incrementalist RBG (A conversation with screenwriter Daniel Stiepleman on the biopic On the Basis of Sex, about his aunt, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)
- ACLU, In Memory of Justice Ginsburg (9/19/2020)
- Angela Onwuachi-Willig, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Fought Tirelessly for What She Believed Was Right,” BU Today (9/20/2020) [Prof. Onwuachi-Willig is the first dean of color at Boston University School of Law]
- Carrie Baker, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy—as a Lawyer, on the Bench and in Dissent,” Ms. (9/22/2020).
- Emily Bazelon, “Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Refused to Step Down,” New York Times Magazine (9/21/2020).
- Penny Venetis, “Ginsburg’s legal victories for women led to landmark anti-discrimination
rulings for the LGBTQ community, too,” The Conversation (9/21/2020).
- Ainslie Cromar, “A lifelong fight for justice: Local women in law reflect on the impact and legacy Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves behind,” Boston.com (9/25/2020).
- The Marshall Project, RBG’s Mixed Record on Race and Criminal Justice (9/23/20).
- Jennifer Schuessler, “Amid the Outpouring for Ginsburg, a Hint of Backlash,” New York Times (9/21/2020).
- Linda Greenhouse, “Why R.B.G. Matters: A new decision on women and the draft underscores her consequential role in shaping the law on sex equality,” New York Times (2/28/2019).
- Paul Butler, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg can learn something from Brett Kavanaugh,” Washington Post (10/15/2018).
- Robert Cohen and Laura J. Dull, “Teaching About the Feminist Rights Revolution: Ruth Bader Ginsburg as “The Thurgood Marshall of Women’s Rights,” The American Historian (Nov. 2017).
- Brittney Cooper, “Black, queer, feminist, erased from history: Meet the most important legal scholar you've likely never heard of: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is this Supreme Court's liberal hero, but her work sits on the shoulders of Dr. Pauli Murray,” Salon (2/18/2015).
- Jeffrey Toobin, “Heavyweight: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg has moved the Supreme Court,” The New Yorker (3/11/2013).
- Emily Bazelon, “The Place of Women on the Court,” New York Times (7/7/2009).
- Jeffrey Rosen, “The Book Of Ruth: Judge Ginsburg's feminist challenge,” The New Republic (8/2/1993).