The Newclear Family: The Broadening Recognition of Non-Traditional Families and Where to Draw the Line

by Ally Nicol
In the past fifty years, American politics and public opinion have shifted regarding parentage and what constitutes a family.  In the wake of cases such as Holtzman v. Knott, Johnson v. Calvert, K.M. v. E.G., Obergefell v. Hodges, and In re M.C., the rights of same-sex and other “non-traditional” parents have been clarified and expanded.  Biology and marriage have long been the most commonly used means of establishing parental rights, and now those recognitions, particularly in the wake of Obergefell, are widely available to most couples. While this recognition has been long-awaited in the LGBT community, issues remain regarding legal parent status based solely on biology and the legal status of non-traditional families. As the law expands to recognize a more diverse spectrum of parents, new issues will arise regarding when parental status should not be granted, as opposed to how parental rights should be expanded.

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The Case for Preserving Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Health Care Protections

by Bailey Metzger
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published the final rule implementing § 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Federal Register. The final rule addressed a wide variety of discrimination in the health care context, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability. Perhaps the most notable part of the rule finds that discrimination on the basis of gender identity constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex.


Proscribing Prescriptions: A Legal Analysis of State Off-Label Restrictions on Medication Abortion

by Kaiya A. Lyons
Since its decision in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy before viability and without undue burden. However, the ability of a woman to exercise that right today is as intimately connected to her economic privilege and geographic location as it was in the days preceding that landmark ruling. Under the guise of protecting women from the “harms inherent in abortion,” major conservative gains in the 2010 midterm elections resulted in hundreds of anti-abortion measures flooding a majority of state legislatures. In the aftermath of that year’s midterm elections, the bulk of state legislatures passed an unprecedented number of harsh new restrictions on when, how, and even whether women may access abortion services. Because these laws are also substantially more obstructive than their predecessors, for low-income women, the economic impact of these restrictive regulations is extremely harmful.


A Solution to Hoffman’s Choice for Unauthorized Workers: Creating New Incentives to Report Unlawful Workplace Discrimination

by Andrew J. Glasnovich
In 2012, the United States was home to 11.7 million people who did not have legal authorization to reside in the country. Of those, approximately 8 million people were active in the work force. Unauthorized workers will likely contribute $2.6 trillion over the next decade to the U.S. economy. Those unauthorized persons are some of the most vulnerable members of society.  Because of their status, some unauthorized workers fear that their choice to report employer misconduct will lead to their deportation or imprisonment. State and federal laws prohibit employers from class-based discrimination against their workers—whether these workers are authorized or unauthorized. Despite those laws, some employer misconduct is notably egregious and includes wage theft, unsafe labor conditions, race and sex discrimination, and sexual assault. However, some unauthorized workers are brave enough to risk deportation and challenge their employers’ unlawful practices.


A Substantial Interest: Why the Government is Legally Justified in Prohibiting Disparaging Trademarks

by Jessica Mikkelson and Michael Van Muelken
Imagine sitting down on a Sunday afternoon with friends and family to watch your local football team play in “the big game.” Now picture the team being cheered on by several thousand fans. It seems like an idyllic Sunday afternoon. The only problem is that this team is named after a popular slur used to identify your racial or ethnic group. This slur is broadcast over television, the Internet, and in homes all across the country. This hypothetical is a reality for Native Americans today.