Reva B. Siegel
The History of History and Tradition: The Roots of Dobbs's Method (and Originalism) in the Defense of Segregation
In Dobbs, the Court reversed Roe, interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment by counting states that banned abortion in 1868, an interpretive method popularized in the defense of segregation. This Essay traces the method’s spread, evolution, and justifications through decades of debate about originalism,…
Women’s claim to vote advanced a broader effort to democratize the family. This Essay recovers debates over the family connecting the Reconstruction Amendments and the Nineteenth Amendment, and considers how this lost history might guide the Constitution’s interpretation in courts and politics today…
We are about to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut,1 a 1965 case in which the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that criminalized the use of contraception, in the process giving birth to the modern right to privacy. From Griswold’s understanding of “libert…
Equality’s Frontiers: How Congress’s Section 5 Power Can Secure Transformative Equality (as Justice Ginsburg Illustrates in Coleman)
120 Yale L.J. 2028 (2011).
Today, many Americans blame polarizing conflict over abortion on the Supreme Court. If only the Court had stayed its hand or decided Roe v. Wade on narrower grounds, they argue, the nation would have reached a political settlement and avoided backlash. We question this c…
120 Yale L.J. 1278 (2011).
For decades, the Supreme Court has sharply divided in equal protection race discrimination cases. As commonly described, the Justices disagree about whether the Equal Protection Clause is properly interpreted through a colorblind anticlassification principle concerned wi…
118 Yale L.J. 1312 (2009).
117 Yale L.J. 1694 (2008).
This essay on the law and politics of abortion analyzes the constitutional principles governing new challenges to Roe. The essay situates the Court’s recent decision in Gonzales v. Carhart in debates of the antiabortion movement over the reach and rationale of statutes de…
Legislative Constitutionalism and Section Five Power: Policentric Interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act
112 Yale L.J. 1943 (2003)
The Court is now striking down a variety of federal civil rights statutes as beyond Congress's power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. In imposing limits on federal authority to enact civil rights laws, the Court has invoked a particular understanding of separatio…
110 Yale L.J. 441 (2000)
Last Term, the Supreme Court sent ominous signals about the future of federal antidiscrimination law. The Court twice ruled that Congress lacked power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to enact laws prohibiting discrimination. In Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents, …