Home » lyles » Syllabus: PolS 356. Constitutional Law: Women, Gender, and Privacy

Syllabus: PolS 356. Constitutional Law: Women, Gender, and Privacy

9:30 – 10:45, T, TH, 100 Taft Hall
Student Drop-In Hours: by appointment only 
Office: 1147 BSB 
TA: Troy Gaston, tgasto2@uic.edu


POLS 356. Constitutional Law: Women, Gender and Privacy. 3 hours.  (Spring 2023)A multidisciplinary examination of U.S. constitutional law and politics in shaping issues of gender, privacy, race, and sexual orientation; including reproduction, labor, sexual harassment, political participation, and women and crime. Course Information: Same as AAST 356, and GWS 356. 

The Anglo-American legal tradition purports to value equality, by which it means, at a minimum, equal application of the law to all persons. Nevertheless, throughout this country’s history women have been denied the most basic rights of citizenship, allowed only limited participation in the marketplace, and otherwise denied access to power, dignity, and respect. Women have instead been largely occupied with providing the personal and household services necessary to sustain family life. 

“…the law has furthered male dominance by explicitly excluding women from the public sphere and by refusing to regulate the domestic sphere to which they are thus confined. … the law has legitimized sex discrimination through the articulation of an ideology that justifies differential treatment on the basis of perceived differences between men and women
.” Taub and Schneider, The Politics of Law 

“Historically, woman suffrage and abolition had been connected…. [However] the unified National American Women’s Suffrage Association turned away from universal suffrage in favor of literacy qualifications, excluded southern blacks from their organization, and argued that giving women the vote would restore white supremacy by enlarging the white voter base, making it impossible for blacks to gain a majority. Educational qualifications that would give most white women the vote would render the black women’s vote too small to matter, as a consequence of their lower educational rates. In this way white supremacy could be maintained without dependence on the state constitutional changes and segregation laws then being put into place… ‘Though historians usually focus on the race issue as a prime obstacle to the suffragists’ success, there is considerable evidence to indicate that the race issue was, in fact, a major causative factor in the emergence in the 1890s of the woman suffrage movement in the South.’ It is, indeed, one of the ironies of history that racism was part of a move toward gender equality.” Darlene Clark Hine and Christie Ann Farnham, “Black Women and the Right to Vote.” 

Brief Course Description 
This course provides a survey of the legal history of women in the United States and their continuing struggle for equal rights and protections under the yoke of a Constitution that rationalized both slavery and patriarchy. We will explore the extent to which women in the United States have used the federal courts to secure basic freedoms, including “freedom from inferior constitutional or juridical status,” “freedom from fertility and family discrimination,” and “freedom from fear.” In short, we will survey the extent to which women in the United States have achieved “emancipation” through law. “Emancipation,” paraphrasing Joan Hoff, means equitable treatment that is not grounded in dominant male values of any time period and that does not violate women’s sense of community, commonality, and/or culture by demanding assimilation or acceptance of stereotypic “feminine” roles as the price for full participation in U.S. society and equal protection under the law. 

These issues will be discussed in the overall framework of the role and participation of courts, primarily the U. S. Supreme Court, in the formulation and implementation of public policy. This discussion should allow us to consider such factors as: 

A. The nature, characteristics, and dynamics of the political system and the policymaking process: e.g. system features, values and structures, participants in the policy process, the development and implementation of public policy. 

B. The nature of civil liberty conflict, including how and why such conflicts begin, and the role and participation of various actors in such conflict: e.g. the participation of organized groups and the roles of law enforcement, prosecutors, lawyers, and judges. 

C. The role of courts in dealing with civil liberty conflict, especially the necessity and propriety of court action given the nature of issues submitted for judicial determination, and, the capacity and limitations of courts and the judicial process in dealing with such issues. 

D. The relation and interrelation of courts to other governing institutions in dealing with civil liberties: e.g. the role and participation of the Congress, the President, the executive and administrative agencies, and the role and participation of state and local governments. 

E. The political and social impact of court determinations, law and social change, factors affecting compliance and non-compliance, and the consequences of court actions. 

How the courts have responded to issues of constitutional equality for women is the major concern in this seminar. These issues include: (1) gender discrimination, (2) women’s rights, (3) privacy (as it relates to contraception and sex), (4) sexual orientation (e.g. gay and lesbian issues), (5) sexual harassment, (7) pornography, rape and other forms of violence against women, and (8) political participation (as it relates to women’s suffrage, participation, and representation). 

The broad categories above include a plethora of legal issues including: employment discrimination, affirmative action, gender based work classifications, women’s suffrage, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all-male juries, male-only estate administration, gender based G.I. benefits and veteran preferences in hiring, gender based survivor benefits, military promotion, social security contributions, divorce and child support payments, social security taxes and calculations, fathers’ rights and the rights of unwed fathers, marriage and alimony, the draft, education and single-sex admission policies, rape laws, miscegenation, procreation and the right of privacy, sterilization, contraception, pregnancy and pregnancy leave (for both men and women), abortion, the “oppression” of pornography, sexual orientation, homosexual sodomy, sexual harassment, poverty, etc. 

Students will also be encouraged to explore the parallels and contradictions between the Supreme Court’s denial or promotion of “women’s rights,” “white women’s rights,” and, “African-American/Black women’s rights.” The sexualization of “race” occurred within the context of changing legal practices [see PolS 358]. During the African slave trade, for example, the sexual exploitation of female slaves was commonplace. In fact, African women, especially young girls, were often given greater freedom on slave ships to make them available for the ship’s male crews’ sexual exploitation. “White men of every social rank slept with Negro women. The Colonists, as well as European travelers in the colonies frequently pointed to this facet of American life.” In fact, for the greater part of this nation’s history, the laws have encouraged the sexual exploitation of African-American women and the castration of African-American men. The Supreme Court, for example, recognized and defended—as one of the primary justifications for racial segregation and discrimination—the need to prevent black men from having sex with white women, i.e., to “preserve the purity of blood.” Thus, our study of the legal evolution of women’s rights in the United States must acknowledge both the similarities as well as the glaring contradictions between and among the everyday experiences of Black women and “white” women. 

What is “Women, Gender” and the Law?  
Goldstein’s The Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women 4th

This section [in green text] is taken directly from your textbook. I may, or may not agree with everything stated here (in green).  Before proceeding to a discussion of cases in in the text, it may be helpful to define what we mean by “women’s rights.”  For example, the term actually has three usages in the Goldstein text. First, it refers to women’s right to be treated by the government the same as men. Women have a right to “equal protection of the law,” and equal treatment in this sense is commanded by the Constitution. In other words, the Constitution directly forbids statutes denying this kind of equality of treatment (e.g., a hypothetical statute saying that robbery of women will not be prosecuted).

Second, the term can refer to women’s rights to be treated differently from men—in other words, favored or “protected” by the law. When used in this sense, the word right does not mean that the Constitution requires such treatment (contra the first usage), but it does mean that the Constitution permits such difference of treatment. Another way of stating this idea is to say that men’s right to “equal protection of the law” does not mean they shall in every way be treated the same as women. The courts recognize that not all groups in society are “similarly situated” and that to compensate for dissimilar societal situations, it may be appropriate to allow unequal treatment by the law in order to attain “equal protection of the law.” The Fourteenth Amendment has been read as sometimes permitting (but not as commanding) such unequal treatment of women.

Finally, “women’s rights” can refer to rights that are common to all American citizens but affect women in particularly strong ways, or that affect only women, for reasons that are biological rather than legal. The constitutional right to choose birth control or abortion is in a real sense a woman’s right because women are the ones who give birth and have abortions. (Of course, men share in the right to use birth control, and in a certain sense share in the right to terminate a pregnancy involving their own offspring. Clearly, however, the potential mother is more drastically and directly affected by the denial or the granting of these rights.)

In earlier editions, the term “woman” was uncontested, and was used to refer to biological females. While the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, one’s biological sex (i.e. female) may or may not correlate with one’s gender expression (i.e. a female may present as masculine or feminine). As such, a biological female may find that she is discriminated against on the basis of her sex (e.g. a policy that prohibits women from working as a prison guard in a male facility, see Dothard v. Rawlinson [1977]) or that she is discriminated against on the basis of her gender expression (e.g. a woman is denied a promotion because she is perceived as being unfeminine, see Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins [1989]). In recent years, however, growing scientific, socio-cultural and legal awareness about the intricacies of sex and gender have introduced new complexity to the terms woman, sex, and gender, and this edition now contains sections elaborating on these complexities as they relate to the law.

Recognizing that binary and fixed conceptions of sex (female-male), gender identity (woman-man), and gender expression (masculine-feminine) are oversimplified and inaccurate, the growing trans rights movement seeks to challenge laws, policies, and practices that discriminate against transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. At the national level, litigation has focused on whether or not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibitions on sex discrimination in the workplace include protections for individuals who are targeted for differential treatment because they are transgender or gender non-conforming as discussed in Chapter 3, and on whether Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments’ prohibitions on sex discrimination in education include protections for transgender and gender non-conforming students as discussed in Chapter 6.”

Course Format 
The class will be conducted in a formal seminar format utilizing the Socratic Method and team-based learning.  Online Synchronous, Blackboard Collaborate.This format lends itself to continuous active engagement and dialogue between the professor and students, and among students themselves. Accordingly, students are encouraged and expected to attend and participate in class. Meaningful participation, however, requires that students must come to class prepared. Should this occur, the class will be an interesting, challenging, and an exciting learning experience. A word of caution: it is important that students prepare for each class since material is cumulative and the workload increases dramatically as the semester proceeds. Attendance in class and participation in discussion seminars is both mandatory and essential. I will randomly take attendance. Your attendance grade will be calculated based on the percentage of days you are present when attendance is taken. For example, if attendance is taken 10 times and you are present 8 of the ten times, then your attendance is 80%. Lastly, Students are REQUIRED to “brief” every required case and bring their written briefs to class. 

Course Objectives 
By the end of the semester, students should be able to: 

  • Explain many of the complex relationships between law and public policy.
  • Utilize landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court as vehicles to survey and explain developments relating to women (women’s rights) in the United States.
  • Apply the interaction of law and politics in discussing the boundaries and constraints of gender, race, privacy, reproduction, violence, power, class, and political participation in defining citizenship in the United States.
  • Relate the legal process and judicial policy-making to the larger American political process and the constitutional experiences of women.

My Teaching Philosophy 
Learning to teach at the highest levels of the academy is a never ending process. It has been argued that the vast majority of professors lack basic communication skills, are not self-actualized, and often use the classroom to enact rituals of control that are rooted in domination and the unjust exercise of power (bell hooks. Teaching to Transgress, p. 5). I have spent much of my career trying to avoid this trap. I want my classroom to be an exciting place where students feel safe to express themselves, for it is only then that we can achieve higher learning. It is my goal to acknowledge everyone’s presence and I value everyone’s presence. 

I am also acutely aware of the various and unique sensitivities that play out in classes that explore issues of race and gender. We are a diverse group (race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, identity, etc.) and each of us has something to contribute to our community of learning. I want you to be engaged and active participants. To that end, the wiki also serves as a voice for student expression and the free exchange of ideas—a safe environment sans the fear of expressing ourselves in class. 

I find that many students would prefer “more lectures” and “less discussion” in my classes. I try to transgress traditional boundaries and to avoid “assembly-line” approaches to learning. I want to engage students and I take some non-traditional risks when I teach. As a research trained academic, I am always looking for answers. We learn from each other. For example, part of my teaching style is to bring narratives of my limited personal experiences into the classroom—not only to personalize the material but to also show how our individual experiences (both yours and mine) can illuminate and enhance our understanding and deconstruction of academic material. Admittedly, I do most of the talking, but I want us to hear each other, to listen to each other, and to recognize that the work of learning and processing this material is different for each of us. 

Most research concludes there are two approaches to teaching constitutional law: (1) lectures and (2) the Socratic Method. Traditional lectures are a popular and primary method of classroom instruction used in college today. I find that the lecture method, if done well, is an efficient system for delivering information to students. However, the lecture method of instruction has been widely criticized, “primarily on the grounds that it places students in a passive learning environment. It may also be less effective in developing analytic skills. The lecture method is weakest in helping students to develop their speaking abilities or critical thinking skills.” But, lecturing is also the easiest way for professors to teach, it requires the least amount of knowledge, effort, risk, requires limited skill, and is extremely safe. It works well for me when I teach introductory classes like PolS 101. 

An alternative to the lecture method is the Socratic Method. This is a form of instruction that is popular—and probably predominant—in law school classes, and this method is also used in undergraduate classes, especially law courses. “Professors use the Socratic Method in a wide variety of ways, varying from posing a series of friendly questions to an intense grilling of students with difficult questions and abstract queries.” Debate exists in the political science literature over the benefits and disadvantages of the Socratic Method. “The Socratic Method forces students to think on their feet and to articulate their ideas orally. However, the Socratic Method may not be as efficient in transmitting basic knowledge as does the lecture method.” In my classes and seminars, I utilize a modified Socratic Method in a low-threat/discussion manner that does not penalize or humble students for poor responses. 

However, even my low-threat Socratic Method can be frustrating if students have not read the assigned material, are not prepared for class, or do not attend class. It is frustrating (1) for me, (2) for the students who are prepared for class and want to engage, and, (3) for students who are not prepared but who plan on taking detailed class notes to help them prepare for exams. To avoid this frustration, students must come to class prepared! Welcome to my class and I look forward to an exciting learning experience. 

Additional Course Rules
All students must utilize the UIC Blackboard Learning system and WordPress (Lyles)

Students should be familiar with UIC’s policies regarding academic integrity. These guidelines can be found at the following URL: www.uic.edu/depts/sja/integrit.htm

The tape recording of any part of my class (or the use of any other electronic recording device) is strictly prohibited.

Students with disabilities who require accommodations for access and participation in this course must be registered with the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Please contact ODS at 312/413-2103 (voice) or 312/413-0123 (TTY). If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me immediately.

A. Readings/Case Law. 
Readings under the various topic areas are only suggestive of the vast and growing literature and case law available. All assigned cases must be read prior to the class session for which they are assigned. Be prepared to review and discuss all assigned cases and readings in class. 

Required Texts:

1. The Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women: Cases in Law and Social Change, Fourth Edition (2019). Judith A. Baer,Leslie Friedman Goldstein, Courtenay W. Daum, Terri Susan Fine. ISBN  9781640201255. 
 2. Nexis Uni (required) From time to time you will be required to locate cases on your own online [Lexis/Nexis]. I highly recommend Lexis/Nexis, available in the UIC library (you can also access Lexis/Nexis from home/dorm using your UIC net-id).
3. WordPress (Lyles)
4. UIC Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom

(1) Critical Race Feminism: A Reader, edited by Adrien Katherine Wing.
(2) Barker, Lyles, et. al. Civil Liberties and the Constitution (9th edition). If you have already purchased my text (Barker/Lyles), make note that we will only use about 1/3 of this book for PolS 356 this semester, the other 2/3 is required for PolS 354 (Civil Liberties and the Constitution) which I often teach during the Fall semester.  DO NOT BUY MY BOOK JUST FOR THIS CLASS.
(3) Baum. The Supreme Court, any edition.

Book Review Essay Options (select one from this list):
Augustus B. Cochran, Sexual Harassment and the Law, 2004
Sowande’ M. Mustakeem, Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage
bell hooks. Feminist Theory 
Joan Hoff. Law, Gender and Injustice: A Legal History of Women 
Kevin Lyles, The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process 
Linda Kerber. No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies 
Mary Lindon Shanley. Just Marriage 
Ronald Fiscus. The Constitutional Logic of Affirmative Action 
Sandra F. VanBurkleo. Belonging to the World: Women’s Rights and American Constitutional Culture 
Vicki Crawford, editor. Women and the Civil Rights Movement 
Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore. Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920. 

B. Assignments. 
In addition to written examinations at the mid-term and final grading periods and wiki posts, students may choose to prepare a written book review for extra credit. Additionally, throughout the semester there may be several short out-of-class research assignments, required case briefs (turned in), and frequent review quizzes (both in-class and take-home). These will be discussed later.

C. Computation of Course Grade

Midterm Exam30%
Final Exam30%
Attendance 25%
Online participation, WordPress posts10%
Critical Race Feminism5% of your final class grade

**Attendance Policy
If you fail to attend class more than EIGHT times, your course grade will be lowered by one letter grade. If you fail to attend class more than TEN times, your course grade will be an F. There will be no exceptions. 

Readings under the various topic areas are only suggestive of the vast and growing literature and case law available. These are the readings that I selected for my class.  All assigned readings (and cases) must be read prior to the class session for which they are assigned. Be prepared to review and discuss all assigned cases and readings in class. 


  1. Everything on the syllabus (unless it is marked optional), is required.  But, not all required materials listed on the syllabus will be discussed in class.  However, all required material—whether discussed in class or not—is appropriate for examinations. In other words, although we may not cover all required materials in class, it may still be on the test!
  2. What does [optional] mean in this class?  Readings preceded or followed by [optional] are highly recommended but you are not required to read them before class. You are however responsible for the material to the extent I opt to discuss it in class. If I discuss it in class, its fair game for the test.
  3. Additional REQUIRED material can be added to the syllabus at any time.  Like the Constitution, the syllabus can be amended.


Post a comment here BEFORE the first day of 356
Post Your preferred names and pronouns before the first day
ASSIGNMENT: 356 Ice Breaker cartoon (meme). Please comment today. 
Read the syllabus for PolS 356. Be sure to review all the course requirements.
Review the course requirements again, and then again.
Constitutional Law with Lyles
Extra Credit Guidelines
What is a Case Syllabus and/or Headnotes? 

Lecture 1.  Introduction to Courts and Law. 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ted Talk, We Should All Be Feminists All Students are required to comment before class today (will be discussed later in the semester)
[skim] Lyles, Barker, et. al. Civil Liberties and the Constitution: Cases and Commentaries (9th edition) CHAPTER 1. Civil Liberties and the Constitution, pp. 1-16. A Framework for Analysis, pp. 1-2; Law and Courts in Political-Social Context, pp. 3-5; Congress, the President, and Administrative Officials, pp. 5-8; Interest Groups and the Dynamics of Civil Liberties, pp. 8-9; More on the Court: Inside the Marble Palace, pp. 9-13; The Rules of the Game and American Political Values, pp. 13-16.
[skim] Lyles, Barker, et. al. Civil Liberties and the Constitution: Cases and Commentaries (9th edition) CHAPTER 2.  CIVIL LIBERTIES IN THE CONTEXT OF FEDERALISM, pp. 17-19
Civil Liberties in the Context of Federalism 17-19; The Supreme Court, the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment, pp. 19-23; State Constitutions, pp. 23-26; State Judicial Selection, pp. 26-27; Conclusion, p. 27.


Lecture 2: The Federal Courts: Nature and Structure of the Legal and Political System.
The Danger of the Single Story All students are required to comment before class today, including former students. This reading will be discussed later in the semester.
Martin Shapiro v. Robert Dahl
Supreme Court Criticism (2023)
[optional] Dahl, Robert. “Decision-making in a Democracy: The Supreme Court as a National Policy-Maker,” Journal of Public Law, vol. 6. (1957).
[optional] Casper, Jonathon D. “The Supreme Court and National Policy Making,” American Political Science Review 70 (1970): pp. 50-63.
[optional] Barker, Lucius. “Third Parties in Litigation: A Systemic View of the Judicial Function,” Journal of Politics 29 (1967): pp. 41-69.
[optional] Funston, Richard. “The Supreme Court and Critical Elections,” American Political Science Review 69 (1975): pp. 795-811.
[optional] Baum, ch. 4-6
[optional] Lyles, The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process, ch. 1, pp. 1-9.
[optional] EXTRA CREDIT:  Kevin Lyles, The Gatekeepers: Federal District Court in the Political Process, chapter 3, Judicial Selection
[optional] Lyles, The Bork Confirmation Battle: A Case Study on Judicial Selection, Lyles, (1994)
[optional] Amicus Curiae (skim)
[optional] Footnote 4 Stone

Lecture 3: Courts as Policy-making Institutions. 

Leslie Bender, “A Lawyer’s Primer on Feminist Theory and Tort    This reading is REQUIRED for class, and can also be critiqued for optional extra-credit. Your comment is due today, but we will discuss the reading later in the semester.
little legitimacy I hold even as a scholar sitting in the same class as many other male peers“ALL students are required to comment before class today.  It will be discussed later in the semester.
Watch the film Iron Jawed Angels before February 9 and comment on this page.
Calling a woman a mattress 
Why I Teach PolS 356, and Why You Should Too ALL students are required to comment before class today.
[optional] EXTRA CREDIT: Mary Wollstonecraft, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”
Watch the film Iron Jawed Angels before February 9 and comment on this page. By the middle of next month, you must have finished watching the film, “On the Basis of Sex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2018) directed by Mimi Leder.” There will be an in-class discussion and written quiz next month.
[optional] The Constitution of the United States of America [pp. 807-817]
[optional] *Alexander Hamilton, et. al. The Federalist Papers, No. 78-81
[optional] “Understanding the Federal Courts
How and Why to Brief a Case

Marbury v. Madison
[everyone should write their first brief AND post something on this page before class today

Watch the film Iron Jawed Angels before February 9 and comment on this page.
Skim: “A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court” 

Nadine Taub and Elizabeth M. Schneider  This reading is REQUIRED for class, and can also be critiqued for extra-credit. Your comment is due today, but we will discuss the reading later in the semester. 

Last day of introductory lectures
[optional Extra Credit]. The Story of Marbury v Madison, by Michael W. McConnell
Watch The Supreme Court Visitor’s Film (C-Span, narrated by A.E. Dick Howard) click here:  Supreme Court Visitor’s Film [everyone must post a comment TODAY]

[discuss] Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ted Talk,We Should All Be Feminists 
[discuss] Danger of the Single Story
[discuss] Leslie Bender, “A Lawyer’s Primer on Feminist Theory and Tort 
[discuss] little legitimacy I hold even as a scholar sitting in the same class as many other male peers
[discuss] Why I Teach PolS 356, and Why You Should Too 
Nadine Taub and Elizabeth M. Schneider
Why I DON’T Teach PolS 356, and Why You Should Not Either   ALL students are required to comment before class today.
White Women As Avid Slave Owners Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers.They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South
The Constitutional Status of Women in 1787

William Blackstone  [skim]  
Abigail Adams
Education for Black Women [optional]
How should men treat their wives [skim] 
Seneca Falls [optional] 
Frederick Douglas [optional]
Barron v. Baltimore 1833  [optional]
Incorporation Doctrine   [optional]
Married Women’s Property Act 1848  v. Prigg v. Pennsylvania 1842 
Prigg v. Pennsylvania 1842 and re-visit White Women As Avid Slave Owners Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers.
Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas
Harriet Ann Jacobs 1861, etc.  [optional]
Women’s Rights, Sojourner Truth 1867  [optional]
Thirteenth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment
Fifteenth Amendment
[optional] Black Women and the Freedman’s Bureau
United States v. Susan B. Anthony 1873
Butchers’ Benevolent Association v. Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co. (The Slaughterhouse Cases)  1873  
Lynching Affect: Irresistible Identification, Sadism, and White Femininity [optional]
EXTRA CREDIT: Sarah and Angelina Grimké “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman”  [optional]
Watch the film Iron Jawed Angels before February 9 and comment on this page.

Women and Lynching 
Lynching Affect: Irresistible Identification, Sadism, and White Femininity [optional]
The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States.  By Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1895). https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14977/14977-h/14977-h.htm#chap6 [optional/skim]

Follow-up on last week’s in class quiz
John Stuart Mill   [optional]
Feminist Jurisprudence (review these three schools of thought for the exams)
Brief of Bradwell’s Counsel 
Bradwell v. State of Illinois 1873 
Baer and Goldstein, pp. 23-25
Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett 1875 
United States v. Reese 1876   
U.S. v. Cruikshank 1876   
Kevin Lyles, et. al. Civil Liberties and the Constitution: Cases and Commentaries (9th edition), Chapter 2, esp. 19-23  [optional but recommended if you have not taken 354]
EXTRA CREDIT: “The Subjection of Women” An Essay by John Stuart Mill  [optional]
Watch the film Iron Jawed Angels before February 9 and comment on this page.


A Black Feminist Analysis of Bridgerton [optional]
The Higher Education of Women   [optional]
Substantive due process  
Baer and Goldstein,  (4th edition pp. 49-114)
Lochner v. New York 1905  4 ed. p. 50-
Muller v. Oregon 1908  4 ed. p. 61-
1911 The Lynching of Laura Nelson
1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 
Bunting v. Oregon 1917    4 ed. p. 65-
The Lynching of Mary Turner [optional]
Woman Suffrage and 15th Amendment   [optional]   
Woman Suffrage and the Negro   [optional]
The 19th Amendment 
Iron Jawed Angels
Warning: Watch the Movie First before reading this page:  Iron Jawed Angels Spoilers
How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women
Adkins v. Children’s Hospital 1923   4 ed. p67-
EXTRA CREDIT: Black Women and the Right to Vote,” by Darlene Clark Hine and Christine Anne Farnham  
EXTRA CREDIT  Sterilization Lecture at UIC [optional]

Baer and Goldstein, Protecting Women by Limiting Their Freedom,  4 ed. p. 81-84
Radice v. New York 1924 4 ed. p. 81-
West Coast Hotel Company v. Parrish 1936   4 ed. p. 84-
Palko v. Connecticut 1937 [optional]
Judicial Standards and Equal Protection Review 
Baer and Goldstein, The Equal Protection Clause, pp. 46-51 (4th edition pp. 87-98)
Goesaert v. Cleary 1948   4 ed. p. 98-
Baer and Goldstein, The Political Setting, pp. 58-59 (4th edition pp. 111-114)
Reed v. Reed 1971 
Beyonce-based Course at UIC  [optional]
EXTRA CREDIT: Memoriam: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The editors of the Harvard Law Review offer this collection of tributes to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 
[optional] A Black Feminist Analysis of Bridgerton 

EXTRA CREDIT: Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice The Pioneering African American Journalist & Activist
Frontiero v. Richardson 1973
Kahn v. Shevin 1974 
Stanton v. Stanton 1975 
Weinberger v. Wisenfeld 1975 
Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics” 
Watch 2014 film Selma (Directed by Ava DuVernay) before 3-2.

Today is a “makeup/catch-up” day if we are running behind in class due to my absences early in the semester. 
Also, catch up on your posting for the previous week(s).
By the end of the week, you must have finished watching the film, “On the Basis of Sex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2018) directed by Mimi Leder.” There will be an in-class discussion and written quiz today.

Before class today, everyone is required to comment here: On the Basis of Sex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Watch 2014 film Selma (Directed by Ava DuVernay) before 3-2.
Today: New Extra-Credit Opportunity.  Black Professional Roundtable Discussion, comment here.

2-26  NEW  Extra Credit Opportunity Today: Dr. Kishonna Gray.  Earn midterm exam points.  

Craig et al. v. Boren 1976 
Califano v. Goldfarb 1977 
Stanley v. Illinois 1972 
Caban v. Kazim Mohammed 1979
Parham v. Hughes 1979 
Watch 2014 film Selma (Directed by Ava DuVernay) before 3-2.2-25
India’s Daughter  New Extra Credit Opportunity   

Conservatives and Progressives Debate Feminism
Lehr v. Robertson 1983 
Miller v. Albright 1998
Tuan Anh Nguyen v. INS 2001
Orr v. Orr 1979 
Rostker v. Goldberg 1981 
Schlesinger v. Ballard 1975 
EXTRA CREDIT: “The Politics of Black Feminist Thought” by Patricia Hill Collins  [optional]
Watch the 2014 film Selma (Directed by Ava DuVernay) before 3-2.

Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney 1979 
The Equal Pay Act of 1963
“How Sex Got Into Title VII”
Title VII 
Baer and Goldstein, pp. 139-142
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Burger Court and Sex Discrimination
Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp 1971
Griggs v. Duke Power Company 1971  [optional]
Corning Glass Works v. Brennan 1974 [optional]
Equality v Equity

Extra Credit: After watching the 2014 film Selma (Directed by Ava DuVernay) and the film Iron Jawed Angelspost a comment here comparing aspects of the two films.  Be sure to focus on aspects of women, gender and privacy as much as you can. This is an optional Extra-Credit exercise.  

BFOQ Quiz  
Washington v. Davis 1976 [optional] 
Dothard v. Rawlinson 1977 
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power v. Manhart 1978 [optional] 
Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris 1983 [optional] 
County of Washington v. Gunther 1981 [optional]
[optional and extra-credit]  “Miss Representation”

Women, Gender, and Affirmative Action [take PolS 358]
This is a list of cases covering the policy of “affirmative action.” Although some of these cases deal directly with “women and affirmative action,” the cases are covered in PolS 358 and are optional for this class, PolS 356. You are responsible for these options cases only to the extent they are discussed in class.

[repeat] Griggs v. Duke Power Company 1971  [optional]
[repeat] Washington v. Davis 1976 [optional]  
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke 1978  [optional] 
Schuette v Bamn 2014 [optional]]
Johnson v. Transportation Agency 1987  [optional]
Wendy Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education 1986  [optional]    
Notes from Ronald J. Fiscus,  PolS 358 [optional] 
“Bush-style” affirmative action [optional]       

John Doe v. New Horizons Women’s Shelter QUIZ DUE BEFORE NEXT CLASS


Required: Before March 26, watch Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie.  Although from the surface it appears as a lighthearted movie about the famous Barbie doll, it is much more. With themes of feminism, female empowerment, intersectionality, etc. There will be a required QUIZ on the Barbie movie at the start of class on March 26.

Baer and Goldstein, Women and Education, pp. 498-500
Mississippi University for Women et al. v. Hogan 1982 
Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 
Grove City College v. Bell 1984
Making Partner: Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins 1989   
Patterson v McLean Credit Union 1989   [optional]
Baer and Goldstein, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, pp. 175-177  [optional]

United States v. Virginia 1996
Extra Credit:  The Intersection of Racial and Gender Bias  [optional]
Lyles summaries before and after the midterm.  This is an optional (but strongly suggested) reading that you might find helpful in condensing some of the material.

Nothing BELOW this line will be covered on EXAM #1

You will take the midterm exam (also called Exam #1) during the class period, 9:30 to 10:45The exam will cover everything up to and including WEEK 9 on the syllabus.


Anecdotal as Hell

Baer and Goldstein, Women and Reproductive Freedom, pp. 343-345 
Buck v. Bell 1927 
Skinner v. Oklahoma 1942
Stump v. Sparkman 1978 
Scarred by Sterilization 
M. Sanger: “Woman and the New Race”
Baer and Goldstein, “Contraception and the Right to Privacy,” p. 352  
The Catholic Church and Contraception 
Griswold et al. v. Connecticut 1965
Eisenstadt v. Baird 1972 
EXTRA CREDIT  Sterilization Lecture at UIC   [optional]
Asked to resign her job in 1929 
Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur 1974
Geduldig v. Aiello 1974 
General Electric Company v. Martha Gilbert 1976 
Nashville Gas Company v. Satty 1977
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act 
Newport Shipbuilding and Drydock v. EEOC 1983
California Federal Savings and Loan v. Guerra 1987 [optional]
Wimberly v. Labor and Industrial Relations Comm 1987 [optional]
UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc. 1991 
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993  FMLA
[optional] recent FMLA lower Ct ruling (2023)
Nevada v. Hibbs 2003 [optional]
EXTRA CREDIT: Lucinda M. Finley. “The Story of Roe v Wade [optional]

Critical Race Feminism assignments are due before spring break March 31, 11:59 PM

***********    EXAM #1   **************

There will be a required QUIZ on the Barbie movie at the start of class TODAY.
Baer and Goldstein, “Legalizing Abortion,”  pp. 369-370
Roe v. Wade 1973
Transcript Roe v Wade  [optional]
Doe v Bolton 1973 [optional]
Planned Parenthood v. Danforth 1976 [optional]
Frank Beal et al. v. Ann Doe 1977   [optional]
Edward Maher v. Susan Roe 1977 [optional]
Poelker et al. v. Jane Doe 1977   [optional]
Baer and Goldstein, Refinements of the Framework, 1979-1989
Harris v. Cora McRae 1980  [optional]
Planned Parenthood, etc. [optional]
Akron v. Akron CRH 1983 [optional]
Thornburgh v. ACOG 1986 [optional]
Webster v. RHS 1989 [optional]
Rust v. Sullivan 1991 [optional]
Planned Parenthood v. Casey 1992 [optional]
Shifting Judicial Consensus, 1989-1991
Schenck v. Pro-Choice 1997 [optional]  covered in PolS 354
Stenberg v. Carhart 2000 
Gonzales v. Carhart 2007 
lyles partial birth abortion [optional]
EXTRA CREDIT: “Should Abortion Be Restricted: Robert Bork vs. Mary Gordon?” [optional]
Optional/FYI:  2014 [2019] National Clinic Violence Survey  [optional]

Burwell v Hobby Lobby 2014  [also covered in 354]
EXTRA CREDIT: Feminism Inshallah: A History of Arab Feminism
Dobbs, State Health Officer of Mississippi Dept. of Health, et. al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization 2022
Tracking the States Where Abortion is Now Banned
[optional] The Dobbs Decision Could Erode Other Women’s Rights–Making the ERA More Important Than Ever
Abortions Rose in Most States This Year, New Data Shows [9-7-23]
They’re Coming for Birth Control (post a comment BEFORE the midterm)
Since Dobbs
Lepage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine, 2024

Baer and Goldstein, Feminists Divide Over Pornography, 3rd ed. pp. 609-615; 4th edition 1135-1138   [required] 
Regina v. Hicklin 1868   [optional, covered in PolS 354]
Roth v. United States 1957 [optional, covered in PolS 354]
Jacobellis v. Ohio 1964 [optional, covered in PolS 354]
Memoirs v. Massachusetts 1966  [optional, covered in PolS 354]
Miller v. California 1973  [all, also covered in PolS 354]
Barnes v. Glen Theatre 1991   [optional, covered in PolS 354]
Barker vs Dworkin [required]  
REPEAT: Beyonce-based Course at UIC [added 2/10/15]  [optional]
EXTRA CREDIT:  “Should Pornography Be Protected by the First Amendment?”  Judge Sarah Evans Barker and Andrea Dworkin   
Extra Credit:  Kelly Cronin (former student, 2008).  “Responsible Pornography: Respecting Women’s Interests and Rights in the Industry.” DePaul Journal of Women, Gender, and the the Law. Vol 2 

Privacy, Sexual Orientation, Gender, Race, and Marriage
Extra Credit: Barbie Land
Bowers v. Hardwick 1986 
Romer v. Evans 1996 
Lawrence v. Texas 2003 
Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston (515 U.S. 557, 1995) [optional]
Boy Scouts v. Dale 2000 
Extra Credit:  The Loving Story [optional] 
Black Feminism and Self-Possession


Gender and Family Law.  This section has been revised to correspond with the 4th edition of the textbook (2019).
Legal History of Marriage
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1776), “Effect of Marriage on Status” and “The Husband’s Authority” Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, chapter 51 (1837)
The Traditional Family and the Wife as Husband’s Property: Tinker v. Colwell 1904
A Married Woman’s Surname: Rago and Palermo Cases
Asymmetrical Reciprocity:  McGuire v. McGuire (1953) and Borelli v. Brousseau (1993)
United States v. Yazell 1966
Loving v. Virginia 1967 (see also PolS 358)
What is Marriage?
Lyles: marriage v. wedding?
Gay Rights and Marriage
The United States Supreme Court Changes the Definition of Marriage
same-sex marriage 
Sullivan and Wilson
maps on same-sex marriage [outdated]
United States v. Windsor 2013  [optional 2023]
Hollingsworth v. Perry 2013   [optional 2023]
Obergefell v. Hodges 2015
The Future Family?
Revisit: Stanton v. Stanton 1975
Revisit: Orr v. Orr 1979
[optional extra-credit] The constitutionality of bans on conversion practices and saving transgender lives.   A book review in the Harvard Law Review of a recent publication on LGBT rights
Bostock v Clayton County 2020 and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment

WARNING: the readings below include descriptions of rape and sexual assault and could impact the well-being and academic performance of some students. These readings and “state cases” are REQUIRED for the final exam but will be discussed only briefly during class.  pp. 1099-1135.

Title IX
Riddle me this! [Title IX]
UIC Invites Daughters to Work for a Day 
Title IX: Leveling the Playing Field
Harassment Prompt.  This is part of your FINAL Exam. Reply before the class TODAY. Before 9:30 a.m. on April 11.
[optional extra-credit] Killing Us Softly

Baer and Goldstein, “Rape”  Camille Paglia and Susan Estrich,  pp.1099-1104
Emily Doe, Victim Impact Statement in People of the State of Cal. v. Brock Turner, p. 1102-1104
Force and Consent: Randy J. Goldberg v. State of Maryland  pp. 1104-1112
Resistance: State v. Rusk (1981)  pp. 1112-1120
Resistance (revised): In the Interest of M.T.S. (1992) pp. 1120-1133
Schulhofer, Unwanted Sex: The Culture of Intimidation and Failure of Law, pp. 1132-1133
Marital Rape Lisa Eskow and Kelly Connerton  pp. 1133-1135
Statutory Rape: Michael M. v. Sup Court of Sonoma 1981  
Patrick Kennedy v. Louisiana 2008  [optional]
EXTRA CREDIT:  Frances Olsen, “Statutory Rape: A Feminist Critique of Rights Analysis [optional]
United States v. Morrison 2000   skim
Justice Souter’s dissent in Morrison 
Breyer’s dissent in Morrison
Girls & Sex’ And the Importance of Talking to Young Women About Pleasure [optional]

Lyles, The Gatekeepers: ch. 9, “Does Gender Make a Difference?” 

ASSIGNMENT: Icebreaker cartoon (meme). Comment before class today.  You have been here before, and I want you to “reply” to your own original comment from the start of the semester, is there anything you want to add, or retract after 15 weeks of 356?


The Trouble Teaching Rape Law
U.S. Rape Culture is Sidelining and Silencing Future Female Leaders
[optional]  It Was Easier to Give In Than to Keep Running

[optional]  Why Did Police Departments Throw Out Rape Kits? 
Legalized rape is a constitutional thing…
Violence Against Women–TED video
Black Women’s Resistance to Sexual Violence

“Girls,” Season 6, Episode 3, “American Bitch” First aired February 26, 2017  
Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson 1986 
The Mechelle Vinson case by Augustus B. Cochran, Sexual Harassment and the Law, 2004
Harris v. Forklift 1993 
Burlington v. Ellerth 1998 
EEOC Sexual Harassment Guidelines 
UIC: Prohibiting Sexual Harassment 
Workplace-Related Intimate Relationships at UIC
Oncale v. Sundowner 1997 
Franklin v. Gwinnett 1992
Gebser v. Lago Vista 1998 
Jones v. Clinton 1998 [optional, covered in PolS 353]
Davis v. Monroe 1999 
Sexual assault does not disqualify one from being the leader of the free world?  
[optional] More Black Women Run for Office, but Prospects Fade the Higher They Go
The Laws That Sex Workers Really Want
This is part of your Final Exam  Critical Race Feminism Essay Reviews

Rape laws, rape culture, and intersectionality
 Introduction to Jury Trials [lecture notes from PowerPoint Slides]
Strauder v. West Virginia 1880 [optional, covered in 358] 
Swain v. Alabama 1965
Hoyt v. Florida 1967 
Billy Taylor v. Louisiana 1975 [optional]
Batson v. Kentucky 1986 [optional]
J. E. B. v. Alabama 1994 
EXTRA CREDIT: Data on Gender, Rape, and Sexual Violence, in the United States  
Social Media and Teenage Girls 
Sexual Assault Accusers Can Be Sued for Defamation
This is part of your FINAL Exam.  FINAL EXAM take-home assignment


[optional] EXTRA CREDIT:  bell hooks, Feminists Theory: From Margin to Center, chapter one, “Black Women Shaping Feminist Theory.” [optional]
***Privacy and Poverty***
Latinas Have Struggled to Build Savings
Shapiro v. Thompson 1969 
Saenz v. Roe and Doe 1999
Goldberg v. Kelly 1970
Wyman v. James 1971 
San Antonio v. Rodriguez 1973 
Plyler v. Doe 1982    
National Women’s Law Center: Women and Poverty [skim]
Wealth and Women of Color in America  [skim]

Baer and Goldstein, Chapter 8, “Conclusions,” pp. 1199-1203 
Lyles summaries before and after the midterm.  This is an optional reading that you might find helpful in condensing some of the material.
[optional] Women of Color and the Neoliberal University: An Interview with Lorgia Garcia
Pena Pt. 1
The reading might be of special interest to women of color (and their allies) considering graduate school.

Thursday April 25
Last Day of class