This casebook offers law professors and students a doctrinally comprehensive, theoretically ambitious, and up-to-date exploration of the treatment of sexuality and gender in American public law. The Fourth Edition extends the historically grounded first chapter from the Third Edition – establishing the three primary doctrinal strands of liberty, equality, and expression – through the end of the twentieth century. The second chapter focuses on the turning points that now define the field:

  • The post-Roe “undue burden” standard as it has evolved from Planned Parenthood v. Casey to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt;
  • The elimination of criminal laws against sexual conduct based on morality in Lawrence v. Texas and queries as to the reach of that principle; and
  • The legalization of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Discrimination against women and against trans- and non-binary persons is highlighted throughout the book, from the historical chapter through the most contemporary disputes in workplace and family law. The book’s distinctive chapter on the theoretical debates that underlay the field contains more coverage of intersectional and trans-influenced thinking, and a new chapter focuses on the conflict between equality and religious liberty claims, which increasingly dominate in both LGBT and reproductive rights cases. With Professor Courtney Joslin of UC-Davis Law School joining as a new co-author, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law continues to provide both the most comprehensive and deepest coverage of this dynamic field.


Imprint: Foundation Press
Series: University Casebook Series
Publication Date: 12/15/2017
Related Subject(s): Feminist Legal Theory, Gender Law

William N. Eskridge Jr., Yale University Law School

Nan D. Hunter, Georgetown University Law Center

Courtney G. Joslin, University of CA-Davis School of Law

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The scope of the first chapter, with its grounding in key doctrinal concepts, has been extended through the end of the twentieth century, and the chapter focusing on watershed decisions has been thoroughly revised both as to reproductive rights cases (to include Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt) and on LGBT equal liberty claims (most prominently marriage, in Obergefell v. Hodges). A new Chapter 3, on the conflict between equality and religious liberty claims, provides in-depth coverage of contraceptive rights and the debates over exemptions from a legal obligation to serve same-sex couples. There is extensive new material on regulation of non-marital family forms and alternative reproduction, family responsibility discrimination at work, and the scope of the term “discrimination because of sex.” With Professor Courtney Joslin of UC-Davis Law School joining as a new co-author, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law continues to provide both the most comprehensive and deepest coverage of this dynamic field.

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