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New Paper on SSRN- Zoned Out: How Zoning Law Undermines Family Law's Functional Turn

 (Source: New York Times August 31, 1975)

(Source: New York Times August 31, 1975)

Very happy to announce that my first paper is now up on SSRN. Link here (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3109969_), abstract below:

A fundamental contradiction in the legal definition of family lurks at the intersection of family law and zoning law. One set of doctrines has increasingly recognized the claims of “functional families,” the other has come to rely on the definition of “formal family”- those related by blood, marriage or adoption. As a result, the “functional turn” in family law is undermined or unstable in at least 32 states. Using original legal analysis and historical research, this paper illuminates that contradiction, explains how it came about, and argues that it must be resolved in favor of functional families. After a brief introduction (Part I), Part II surveys the "functional turn" in state family law, while Part III offers a novel history of the definition of family in zoning law, which I call the "formal turn." Part IV offers normative and practical reasons why the definition of family should be loosened, offering recommendations for legislative and judicial solutions.

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Law and Political Economy

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Law and Political Economy Blog: Our blog begins from the observation that democratic political processes have lost control over fundamental decisions about how resources are allocated in our society. Legal doctrines enable champions of capital to subordinate democracy to “the free market.” We seek to develop a response by mapping how legal rules concentrate economic and political power amongst dominant social groups, and simultaneously build and expand modes of legal thinking which embed the economy in social life.

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On Obama's LGBT Legacy

Some thoughts up at Jacobin on President Obama's LGBT legacy. I was grateful for the opportunity to reflect, given the amount of attention that our movements have garnered over the past eight years. Of course a blurb about the President says little about the grassroots efforts that shaped his horizon of possibility. In the age of Trump, I hope to revisit the argument I made several years ago about the danger of entrusting civil rights progress to the executive branch. Something is certainly better than nothing, and hard fought at that, but we should work harder to lock our legal protections - inadequate as they may be - into firmer ground.

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