“Jane Crow” Laws and Contemporary Sexual Harassment

For much of our history men and women frequently occupied separate spaces. Political arenas, courts, and places of public amusement typically were off limits for women. Some of these customs began to break down during the nineteenth century as women commenced speaking publicly to “promiscuous” audiences, claimed rights of participation in economic activities, and sought access to legal and political forums. But certain places—especially political and legal forums, drinking establishments, and some accommodations on public means of transportation—stubbornly remained male <Read More>


Redux: Gender, Stamina, and Politics

Last September Hillary Clinton left a memorial observance for 9/11 in New York City and stumbled as she approached her car. She had pneumonia and spent the next few days recuperating. Not longer after, Donald Trump responded publicly with a mocking, tawdry response to her stumble. “She’s supposed to fight all these different things,” he said. “And she can’t even make it fifteen feet to her car. Give me a break. Give me a break.” After Trump enacted a fake stagger away <Read More>


The Anti-Rebellion Graffiti Heritage of 5Pointz

Graffiti has become much more than spray-painted tags and quickly disappearing pieces on train cars and underpasses. In some quarters it is now high art. The artists use their publicly visible, spray painted works to develop artistic credibility, publicity, designer contracts, and sales potential for works made on more traditional surfaces or for installations in large spaces. In some neighborhoods commercial establishments, businesses, and warehouse owners encourage artists to paint large, complex pieces on their walls to attract artists to <Read More>


President Trump and Respect for Law

As this semester began I taught materials in both Civil Procedure and Property related to the authority and power of courts to enforce their judgments. In Civil Procedure, the focus was on the law of contempt. We read the famous case of Walker v. Birmingham, 388 U.S. 307 (1967). A state court judge issued an ex parte injunction in 1963 ordering Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others to stop organizing demonstrations in downtown Birmingham demanding desegregation of facilities and <Read More>


Performance Rights in Pre-1972 Sound Recordings: Confounding Result in New York Court of Appeals

The New York Court of Appeals has left the world of pre-1972 sound recording performance rights at sea. In the spring of 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit certified the following question to the state court; “Is there a right of public performance for creators of sound recordings under New York law and, if so, what is the nature and scope of that right?”[1] Though the question was answered in the negative, the three opinions <Read More>


Property Ownership: Right or Duty?

In 2003, with ten other adult men, I became a b’nai mitzvah, a son of the commandments, at the age of 60 at Adas Israel in Washington, DC, where we lived until 2008. Both during and since that day, I have been trying to figure out the deeper meanings of the bar mitzvah ritual I undertook as an elder. If I had trouble with that you can imagine how hard it must be for a thirteen year old with a <Read More>


Gender, Stamina, and Politics

Hillary Clinton stumbled while departing early from a New York City ceremony marking the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. She was in the midst of fighting off what turned out to be a mild case of pneumonia. Trump responded during a speech a short time later with a mocking display of physical ineptitude and a cry that “We need stamina.” Health, of course, has been a common topic of discussion during the ongoing campaign, not only after the 9/11 incident, but <Read More>


Remembering 9/11

September 12—fifteen years ago today—was the most difficult teaching experience of my forty-nine years behind a podium. Georgetown University Law Center, whose faculty I then served, elected not to cancel classes the day after the events of September 11, 2001. Though the city was still disrupted because of the events at the Pentagon the day before, the school decided it was better to go forward together than allow all of us to wallow in our thoughts alone. I was scheduled <Read More>


Obergefell, Parenthood, and Property

On August 30, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals joined a growing list of state courts that have allowed unmarried, same-sex partners who agreed with their companions to create and rear a child to later seek custody and visitation when the couple separates. In the Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A.C.C., 26 N.Y.3d 1113, 46 N.E.3d (2016). The result was particularly interesting because the party seeking access to the child was the not the genetic parent; her partner was. <Read More>


Property, Politics, and Immigration

The ongoing political season has witnessed a plethora of anti-immigration rhetoric. The most notorious are Donald Trump’s statements about Mexicans: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” And, of course, he has promised to bar the immigration of Muslims <Read More>