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Household Regulation Prof Weblog

Monday, December 19, 2022

Cahn & Carbone: “The Blue Household Structure”

Naomi Cahn (UVA) & June Carbone (Minnesota) have just lately posted to SSRN their article The Blue Household Structure (Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Forthcoming). Right here is the summary:

On the time Roe v. Wade was determined in 1973, it joined a collection of selections about contraception, the “legitimacy” of nonmarital youngsters, single companions’ parental standing, and spousal equality that laid the inspiration for a brand new type of household group, geared to satisfy the wants of the knowledge age. This new mannequin, which we now have labelled “blue,” rewards funding in youngsters’s future incomes capability, and manages relationships based mostly on reciprocity and belief reasonably than gendered and hierarchical household roles.

A half century later, it’s clear that the brand new household mannequin defines the phrases of entry to the higher center class. The ages of marriage and childbearing have risen considerably, particularly for faculty graduates. Revenue inequality has grown considerably, nevertheless, and household formation aggravates the inequality, because the well-off more and more marry one another, however the advantages of the brand new household mannequin are past the attain of a big a part of the inhabitants. The Supreme Court docket has retreated from its tentative help for the situations essential for this new “blue household system.” In so retreating, the Supreme Court docket reinforces the boundaries that block entry for a big a part of the inhabitants to a secure household life. The choice in Dobbs, in trying to freeze the Structure within the nineteenth (if not the eighteenth century,) units again judicial help for the brand new household mannequin and threatens to extend the gulf between the thriving households of the higher center class and everybody else.

This text compares the choices of the early sixties and seventies with more moderen Supreme Court docket resolution by way of their sensible influence on household life. The primary part units out how the Supreme Court docket has approached the blue household mannequin. The second part explores how, even because the Court docket steadily accepted the brand new system, it refused to guard the pathways into the system, reifying a twin system of household formation based mostly on class. The ultimate part discusses the influence of Dobbs, exhibiting the way it entrenches purple household opposition and class-based household lives.

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