Tag Archives: Ruthann Robson

Jotwell: Filtering information overload (what articles to read); also shameless self promotion, and "critical praise"

I’ve posted here about Jotwell before. Five times, it seems.  But recently I posted an announcement of a new Jotwell equality section.  Kim Brooks, Dean of Dalhousie Law, and I are the section editors, and the contributors are an amazing list of equality scholars (listed below – for links and pictures, click here).  Jotwell offers one way out of the dilemma of “what to read next when there’s too much out there”, and a related dilemma of increasing niche-ification, where suddenly people who work in a very similar area to you don’t read any of the same things – and only about 3 people in the world read the things you read.  There are obviously good reasons why this happens, but when another result is that it’s difficult to have academic conversation even with people who are, broadly speaking, in your field, it’s frustrating.

With that in mind, my own Jotwell “jot” (this is what they are called), went up recently. Would you like to read it (jots aren’t per se summaries, but they do have to indicate why the editor liked the recommend piece, and they are short)?  Ruthann Robson, one of the contributing editors, then posted on my post.  See? Connections.  And one author of the piece wrote me a lovely note of thanks.

You should know that Prof. Michael Froomkin, who runs Jotwell, is serious about the “liking lots” part of Jotwell’s mission.  You have to like the piece enough to say only good things.  This may not initially seem “critical” enough.  Yet the struggle to get my mind around the notion that rather than seeking to criticize, I needed to critically examine how the piece is excellent was itself instructive about how I have trained my thinking.  Something new – critical praise.


Contributing Editors of the Jotwell Equality Section

Professor Davina Cooper University of Kent Law School

Professor Elaine Craig  Dalhousie University – Schulich School of Law

Professor Margaret Davies Flinders University School of Law

Professor Katherine Franke Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Columbia Law School

Professor Isabel Grant University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law

Professor Robert Leckey McGill University, Faculty of Law

Professor Val Napoleon University of Alberta

Professor Camile Nelson Dean and Professor of Law Suffolk University Law School

Professor Ruthann Robson Professor of Law and University Distinguished Professor City University of New York School of Law

Professor Toni Williams University of Kent Law School

New In Print: Sexuality and Law in three volumes

This post at Intlawgrrls is very thorough on Ruthann Robson’s three volume edited collection on Sexuality and Law.  Click through and find out what’s inside.  Publisher’s flyer here, and price (it is aimed at libraries, rather than for individual purchase).   Some familiar names in this one –  Susan Boyd, Kim Brooks, Ummni Khan, Debra Parkes, and Kate Sutherland x2 are, I think, the Canadians. Intlawgrrls remarks, happily:

It is very global in focus, de-emphasizing works from U.S. law journals, which tend to be readily available.

2010/11 Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice @ UBC

I sent a note to my Canadian feminist professors list serv asking for ideas for posts and Susan Boyd, the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies at UBC wrote to me about the upcoming Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice.  I’ve written about Prof. Ruthann Robson (CUNY),  before – she’ll be giving the lecture.

2010/11 Marlee Kline Lecture in Social Justice

Professor Ruthann Robson
City University of New York Law School

March 3rd, 2011
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Place: Liu Institute (6476 NW Marine Drive), Multipurpose Room

Reception to follow.

Seating is Limited,  Register here.

Amazingly, just a few hours before she wrote to me I came across this Correspondence…for Marlee Kline; Robson, Ruthann 16 Can. J. Women & L. 13 (2004) . The link is to Hein Online, or here is a pdf.

(where was I when this was published?

why do I come to things so late?

I’m afraid I am always going to be Columbus, sailing about,

lost, making imaginary discoveries –

i must hope at least not to be imperial about these things).

A few weeks ago, we read Kline and Currie in my Law/Gender/Equality class here at Osgoode.  If you don’t know her,this is from UBC’s website.

Marlee Gayle Kline became a member of the Faculty of Law in 1989. Professor Kline died in 2001 after a lengthy and determined struggle with leukemia. Her work on feminist legal theory and critical race theory, child welfare law and policy, law’s continued colonialism, and restructuring of the social welfare state is internationally acclaimed.

Equal graveyards, equal vineyards: via Constitutional Law Profs Blog

I love reading a well written account of appellate argument.  If it’s funny (Dahlia Lithwick in Slate!), that’s great, but it doesn’t have to be. I also think that CUNY’s Prof. Ruthann Robson is quite amazing. Her scholarship is extremely interesting (I spent an evening about a month ago binging on it – no hangover!) and her writing is beautiful.  Here is a link to her website, and here is a profile of her in her school magazine.

Robson is one of two editors of the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, so even if you binge, you can still find fresh thoughts from her over there.  Such as  Flores-Villar Oral Argument Analysis: Father’s Rights or Citizenship Rights? And What Remedy?. Excerpt:

The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument today in Flores Villar v. United States.  …. the statute at issue in Flores-Villar is the requirement that a citizen father must have resided in the United States for at least five years after his fourteenth birthday to confer citizenship on his child, while a citizen mother had to reside in the United States for a continuous period of only one year prior to the child’s birth to pass on citizenship.  Moreover, in the case of Flores-Villar, INS denied a petition for citizenship on the basis that because the citizen father was 16 years old at the time of the child’s birth, it was “physically impossible” for the father to have the required physical presence after the age of 14 in order to comply with the statute.

Robson writes about the debate over remedy.  It looks, in my quick read, like the old “equality with a vengeance” discussion from Schachter v. Canada, [1992] 2 S.C.R. 679.

Here’s the SCC debut of the phrase:

Perhaps in some cases s. 15 does simply require relative equality and is just as satisfied with equal graveyards as equal vineyards, as it has sometimes been put (see Caminker, at p. 1186).  Yet the nullification of benefits to single mothers does not sit well with the overall purpose of s. 15 of the Charter and for s. 15 to have such a result clearly amounts to “equality with a vengeance,” as LEAF, one of the interveners in this case, has suggested.  While s. 15 may not absolutely require that benefits be available to single mothers, surely it at least encourages such action to relieve the disadvantaged position of persons in those circumstances.  In cases of this kind, reading in allows the court to act in a manner more consistent with the basic purposes of the Charter.

The Caminker who authored the evocative phrase in the title of this post is now Dean of Michigan Law: Caminker, Evan.  “A Norm‑Based Remedial Model for Underinclusive Statutes” (1986), 95 Yale L.J. 1185.

Back to the original post, the remedy question is thus: if there is an equal protection violation, should the residency requirement for mothers be raised, or should the residency requirement of fathers be lowered? If you’re interested, do click through to Constitutional Law Profs.  Robson’s post has lots of links to previous discussions like this one, so that you will come away feeling fully informed. I’ll try to remember to post the result when the reasons come down.