Analysis and Commentary on Family Law
He Who Hesitated Lost: Unwed Father in Utah Forfeits Parental Rights

Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent Utah case where an unwed father forfeited his rights to contest the adoption of his child by not filing a paternity action. Grossman points out that this result is the product of balancing interests of unwed fathers against those of the child, mothers seeking to place children for adoption, and adoptive parents.

Is Three Still a Crowd? Polygamy and the Law After Obergefell v. Hodges

Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman and Stanford University law professor Lawrence Friedman comment on a recent legal challenge—based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges—to state anti-polygamy laws.

From Zero to Fifty in Eleven Years: The Supreme Court Declares the Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry in Obergefell v. Hodges

Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman comments on today’s landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that the federal Constitution does not allow any state to prohibit the celebration or recognition of marriages by same-sex couples.

Last Gasps: Texas Tries to Stop Court From Granting Same-Sex Divorce

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision looming, Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Texas holding that state officials do not have the right to intervene in a same-sex divorce case in that state.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Parentage Rules for Married, Same-Sex Couples

Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman describes how, despite the many changes in marriage recognition laws across the country, we are seeing a return to marital status as the primary consideration in parentage laws.

Interstate Marriage Recognition: When History Meets the Supreme Court

Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses one aspect the same-sex marriage case that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing today, Obergefell v. Hodges. Specifically, Grossman considers whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize out-of-state marriages in the context of the history of interstate marriage recognition laws.

Misnomers: The Law and Practice of Child Naming

Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a case in which the Nebraska Supreme Court held a five-year-old boy should keep his original surname despite petitions by each of his unmarried parents to change it. Grossman describes how the case reflects the many tensions over child naming aggravated by unwed parenting, divorce, and remarriage.

Is It Arbitrary to Distinguish Incest From Homosexuality?

Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb differentiates state bans on incestuous marriages from bans on same-sex marriages by looking at the governmental interests the bans purportedly serve and the harm done to their targets. Colb argues that the U.S. Supreme Court can, if it wishes, use this distinction to strike down bans on same-sex marriages without also having to rule on bans on incestuous marriages.

Two New Rulings Unmask the Weakness of the Case Against Marriage Equality

Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf comments on two recent rulings on state bans on same-sex marriage—one by the U.S. District Court for the District of Louisiana upholding that state’s ban and the other by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit striking down bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. Dorf explains how a comparison of these two rulings reveals weaknesses in the case against marriage equality.

Meet our Columnists
Vikram David Amar
Vikram David Amar

Vikram David Amar is the Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Illinois... more

Neil H. Buchanan
Neil H. Buchanan

Neil H. Buchanan, an economist and legal scholar, holds the James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar... more

Sherry F. Colb
Sherry F. Colb

Sherry F. Colb is the C.S. Wong Professor of Law at Cornell University. Colb teaches courses in... more

John Dean
John Dean

John Dean served as Counsel to the President of the United States from July 1970 to April 1973.... more

Michael C. Dorf
Michael C. Dorf

Michael C. Dorf is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School. He... more

Samuel Estreicher
Samuel Estreicher

Samuel Estreicher is the Dwight D. Opperman Professor, Director, Center for Labor and Employment... more

Leslie C. Griffin
Leslie C. Griffin

Dr. Leslie C. Griffin is the William S. Boyd Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las... more

Joanna L. Grossman
Joanna L. Grossman

Joanna L. Grossman is the Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and Law at SMU Dedman School... more

Marci A. Hamilton
Marci A. Hamilton

MARCI A. HAMILTON is the Fels Institute of Government Professor of Practice, and Fox Family... more

Joseph Margulies
Joseph Margulies

Mr. Margulies is a Professor of Law and Government at Cornell University. He was Counsel of... more

Austin Sarat
Austin Sarat

Austin Sarat is Associate Provost, Associate Dean of the Faculty and William Nelson Cromwell... more

Lesley Wexler
Lesley Wexler

Lesley Wexler is a Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Immediately... more