Title

Critical Legal Studies: Challenging Traditional Legal Thought

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The Critical Legal Studies (CLS) Movement emerged approximately thirty-five years ago in tandem with the Civil Rights Movement and the second wave of feminism. Generally, CLS aims to reveal the underlying subordinating aspects of legal doctrine that tend to legitimize and sustain social hierarchies based on historically and culturally instilled stereotypes. CLS has proved especially useful in the areas of gender and race discrimination with the rise of feminist legal theory and critical race theory through thinkers like Patricia Williams, Catharine MacKinnon, and Mari Matsuda. This project will first examine feminist legal theory and critical race theory to explicate how CLS has influenced legal thought thus far. Then, the project will explore new ways in which CLS may be useful, particularly in the area of sexual orientation. In order to accomplish this it will look to ways in which CLS has already been applied to issues of sexual orientation, such as the relatively new development of Queer Theory. Finally, the project will suggest how these applications of CLS can be helpful to contemporary cases, specifically to issues raised by the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

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Apr 12th, 3:40 PM Apr 12th, 4:00 PM

Critical Legal Studies: Challenging Traditional Legal Thought

UC 332

The Critical Legal Studies (CLS) Movement emerged approximately thirty-five years ago in tandem with the Civil Rights Movement and the second wave of feminism. Generally, CLS aims to reveal the underlying subordinating aspects of legal doctrine that tend to legitimize and sustain social hierarchies based on historically and culturally instilled stereotypes. CLS has proved especially useful in the areas of gender and race discrimination with the rise of feminist legal theory and critical race theory through thinkers like Patricia Williams, Catharine MacKinnon, and Mari Matsuda. This project will first examine feminist legal theory and critical race theory to explicate how CLS has influenced legal thought thus far. Then, the project will explore new ways in which CLS may be useful, particularly in the area of sexual orientation. In order to accomplish this it will look to ways in which CLS has already been applied to issues of sexual orientation, such as the relatively new development of Queer Theory. Finally, the project will suggest how these applications of CLS can be helpful to contemporary cases, specifically to issues raised by the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.