Linda C. McClain

Linda C. McClain

Robert Kent Professor of Law

Affiliated Faculty, Kilachand Honors College and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, Boston University College of Arts & Sciences

AB, with high honors in Religion, Oberlin College
MA, University of Chicago Divinity School
JD, cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center
LLM, New York University School of Law


Biography

Linda C. McClain is known for her work in family law, gender and law, and feminist legal theory. Her most recent book, Who’s the Bigot? Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2020), argues that, although denouncing and preventing bigotry is a shared political value with a long history, people disagree over who is a bigot and what makes a belief, attitude, or action bigoted. This is evident from the rejoinder that calling out bigotry is intolerant political correctness, even bigotry itself. The book addresses puzzles about bigotry by tracing the rhetoric of bigotry and conscience across a range of debates relating to marriage and antidiscrimination law. In the words of one reviewer, “this is required reading for anyone who wants to understand our polarized society and how we got here.” Professor McClain is the author of several other books (described below) and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Her scholarship addresses the respective roles of families, other institutions of civil society, and of government in fostering citizens’ capacities for democratic and personal self-government. She has engaged with prominent communitarian, civic republican and feminist critiques of liberal legal and political theory and offered a reconstructive liberal feminist approach to such matters as privacy, family and marriage, reproductive issues and welfare law. Her work also addresses sex equality as a legal and constitutional commitment and public value, the responsibility of government to promote equality, and societal tensions over equality and its relationship to other values.

Professor McClain is a former Laurence S. Rockefeller Fellow at Princeton University’s University Center for Human Values and a former faculty fellow at the Harvard University Center for Ethics and the Professions (now the Safra Center). A member of the American Law Institute, she serves on the Executive Committee for the AALS Sections on Family and Juvenile Law and on Women in Legal Education. She is a member of the Council on Contemporary Families, the American Political Science Association, and the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. Professor McClain has been a visiting professor of law at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia. Before joining the faculty of Boston University School of Law in fall 2007, Professor McClain was the Rivkin Radler Distinguished Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she was also co-director of the Institute for the Study of Gender, Law, and Policy. Prior to entering the legal academy, she practiced litigation at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She enjoys playing classical piano.

McClain has organized interdisciplinary conferences at BU Law, published as symposia in Boston University Law Review, including: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at 50: Past, Present, and Future, and Evaluating Claims about ‘the End of Men’: Legal and Other Perspectives. She frequently speaks to the press on issues concerning family law and marriage.

About Professor McClain’s Books

Who's the Bigot?Who’s the Bigot? Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2020) traces the rhetoric of bigotry and conscience in controversies over marriage – interfaith, interracial and same-sex—and civil rights laws– both the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and modern state laws protecting LGBTQ persons against discrimination. Read an excerpt here. The book shows recurring patterns of arguments in these social, political, and constitutional battles and suggests lessons learned from such study about bigotry’s puzzles. For example:

denouncing and preventing bigotry in all its forms is a shared political value with a long history, but people disagree over who is a bigot and what makes a belief, attitude, or action bigoted. A frequent rejoinder to calling out bigotry is that the charge reflects intolerant political correctness, even bigotry itself. People also disagree over what it means to be “on the wrong side of history” and how present forms of discrimination resemble or differ from past forms.  McClain argues that understandings of bigotry have both a backward- and forward-looking dimension: people make new judgments about forms of “bigotry” based on consensus on past forms and reason from the past to come to new understandings of injustice and justice.

“Can We Talk About Racism” Book Discussion

Advance praise and other reviews

In the Media

    Book symposia on Who’s the Bigot?

    • Balkinization, June 2020, with commentary by Professors Aziza Ahmed, Dale Carpenter, Imer Flores, Cathleen Kaveny, Randall Kennedy, and Andrew Koppelman, and a response by Professor McClain
    • Boston University Law Review, December 2019, with commentary by Professors John Corvino, Melissa Murray, Sonu Bedi, Douglas NeJaime, James E. Fleming, and Imer Flores, and a response by Professor McClain

    Contemporary Family Law (West Academic, 5th ed. 2019), with Douglas E. Abrams, Naomi R. Cahn, and Catherine J. Ross, is a popular casebook used in family law courses. It engages students with significant changes in the American family and the corresponding evolution of family law and policy. It introduces the myriad issues central to contemporary family law practice and to a lawyer’s ethical and professional responsibilities.

    Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues (Harvard University Press, 2013), co-authored with James E. Fleming, develops and defends a civic and constitutional liberalism that takes responsibilities and virtues—as well as rights—seriously. It offers a conception of “ordered liberty” that appreciates the value of diversity in our morally pluralistic constitutional democracy and answers various charges that the US constitutional system, in recent years, exalts individual rights over responsibilities, virtues, and the common good. The book uses the battle over same-sex marriage as a primary illustration and argues that a conception of “ordered liberty” supports marriage equality. Other examples include clashes between First Amendment freedoms (of association and religion) and antidiscrimination law, the education of children, and reproductive freedom. In a December 2013 New Books in Public Policy podcast and a March 2013 Concurring Opinions online symposium, Fleming and McClain discussed Ordered Liberty and how its framework addresses various criticisms of liberalism and liberal rights.

    McClain’s first book, The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibility(Harvard University Press, 2006) offers a liberal and feminist perspective on the relationship between family life and the polity and on a number of contested issues of family law and policy, including governmental promotion of marriage, the denial of marriage to same-sex couples, welfare policy, and constitutional rights to reproductive freedom. The Place of Families has been described as “the most careful and comprehensive defense to date of the progressive liberal feminist position on the civic role of families” and “a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the future of American families and family law.”

    Professor McClain’s interdisciplinary volume, What Is Parenthood?: Contemporary Debates about the Family (NYU Press, 2013), written with Daniel Cere, examines the extraordinary changes in patterns of family life—and family law—that have dramatically altered the boundaries of parenthood and opened up numerous questions about debates. How should society define, regulate, and support parenthood? The book brings legal scholars into conversation with scholars from anthropology, globalization and immigration studies, medicine, psychology, religious ethics, and sociology to consider several questions about parenthood, including questions about institutions, rights, attachment, gender equality and difference, and transnational parenting. Reviewers describe the book as “a much needed model for how to bring civility and reason into the culture wars” and “an invaluable resource for anyone who wishes to think critically about modern parenthood and what the government can and should do to improve families.”

    Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women’s Equal Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback, 2012), co-edited with Joanna Grossman, examines the problem of the continuing gap between formal commitments to gender equality and the equal citizenship of women and men and the persistence of gender inequality, and it develops strategies for closing that gap. The book has been called “essential reading for those concerned with gender equality and citizenship across myriad disciplines” and “an outstanding collection” that “both illuminates and complicates a range of gender justice problems in intimate and public arenas within and across national boundaries.”

    Publications

    Scroll left to right to view all publications

    • Linda C. McClain & Douglas NeJamie, The ALI Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution: Addressing Inequality Through Functional Regulation, in The ALI at 100: Essays on Its Centennial (Andrew S. Gold & Robert W. Gordon,2023)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Obergefell, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Fulton, and Public-Private Partnerships: Unleashing v. Harnessing 'Armies of Compassion' 2.0? 60 Family Court Review (2021)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & Naomi Cahn, Gendered Complications of Covid-19: Towards a Feminist Recovery Plan 22 Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law (2021)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Civic Education in Circumstances of Constitutional Rot 101 Boston University Law Review (2021)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Experimental Meets Intersectional: Visionary Black Feminist Pragmatism and Practicing Constitutional Democracy 69 Drake Law Review (2021)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Palmore v. Sidoti: The Troubling Effects of "Private Biases", in Painting Constitutional Law: Xavier Cortada’s Images of Constitutional Rights (2021)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Bigotry, Civility, and Reinvigorating Civic Education: Government's Formative Task Amidst Polarization, in The Impact of the Law: On Character Formation, Ethical Education, and the Communication of Values in Late Modern Pluralistic Societies (Michael Welker and John Witte,2021)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, What Becomes a Legendary Constitutional Campaign Most? Marking the Nineteenth Amendment at One Hundred 100 Boston University Law Review (2020)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, A “Woman’s Best Right”—To a Husband or the Ballot?: Political and Household Governance in Anthony Trollope’s Palliser Novels 100 Boston University Law Review (2020)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Who's the Bigot?: Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law (2020)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Brief of Amici Curiae Legal Scholars in Support of Equality in Support of Respondents, Fulton v. City of Philadelpha
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Response to Commentaries on Who’s the Bigot? 99 Boston University Law Review (2019)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, '‘Male Chauvinism’ Is Under Attack from All Sides at Present': Roberts v. United States Jaycees, Sex Discrimination, and the First Amendment 87 Fordham Law Review (2019)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Douglas E. Abrams, Naomi R. Cahn, Catherine J. Ross & Linda C. McClain, Contemporary Family Law, 5th ed. (2019)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Prejudice, Constitutional Moral Progress, and Being "On the Right Side of History": Reflections on Loving v. Virginia at Fifty 86 Fordham Law Review (2018)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Rhetoric of Bigotry and Conscience in Battles Over "Religious Liberty v. LGBT Rights" 18-05 Boston University School of Law Public Law Research Paper (2018)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Formative Projects, Formative Influences: Of Martha Albertson Fineman and Feminist, Liberal, and Vulnerable Subjects 67 Emory Law Journal (2018)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, POV: SCOTUS Should Not Permit “Boycott of Same-Sex Marriage” BU Today (2017)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Will Focusing on Men's Moral Calculus Make Abortion Less "about" Gender? (2017)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Reading DeBoer and Obergefell through the "Moral Readings Versus Originalisms" Debate: From Constitutional "Empty Cupboards" to Evolving Understandings 31 Constitutional Commentary (2016)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Conscience Protection and Discrimination in the Republican Party Platform and Mississippi's H.B. 1523, Religious Freedom Institute Cornerstone (2016)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming, Linda C. McClain, Stephen Macedo & Sotirios A. Barber, Gay Rights and the Constitution (2016)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Family, the State, and American Political Development as a Big Tent: Asking Basic Questions about Basic Institutions 48 Polity (2016)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Civil Marriage for Same-Sex Couples, "Moral Disapproval," and Tensions between Religious Liberty and Equality, in Religious Freedom and Gay Rights: Emerging Conflicts in the United States and Europe (Timothy Shah, Thomas Farr, & Jack Friedman,2016)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, FROM OUTLAW TO OUTCAST TO IN-LAW? CONTESTING THE PERILS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY, 96 Boston University Law Review (2016)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Intersection of Civil and Religious Family Law in the U.S. Constitutional Order: A Mild Legal Pluralism, in Religion, Secularism, and Constitutional Democracy (Jean L. Cohen and Cécile Laborde,2015)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Dworkin's Perfectionism, in No. 15-45 Boston University School of Law, Public Law Research Paper (2015)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 'Legislating Morality': On Conscience, Prejudice, and Whether 'Stateways' Can Change 'Folkways' 95 Boston University Law Review (2015)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Corporate Conscience and the Contraceptive Mandate: A Dworkinian Reading No. 14-17 Boston University School of Law, Public Law Research Paper Series (2015)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Is There a Way Forward in the 'War over the Family'? 93 Texas Law Review (2015) (book review)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Douglas E. Abrams, Naomi R. Cahn, Catherine J. Ross, David D. Meyer & Linda C. McClain, Contemporary Family Law, 4th ed. (2015)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Family and Medical Leave Act, Work/Family Policy, and Family Values in the Clinton and Obama Administrations: A Story of Progress and Unfinished Business, in Woman Up 2: A Transatlantic Gender Dialogue (Maari Pölm & Judit Tánczos,2015)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, Liberty, in No. 14-62 Boston University School of Law, Public Law Research Paper (2014)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Can Religion Without God Lead to Religious Liberty Without Conflict? 94 Boston University Law Review (2014)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Ordered Gun Liberty: Rights with Responsibilities and Regulation 94 Boston University Law Review (2014)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, The Myth of Strict Scrutiny for Fundamental Rights 12 Dartmouth Law Journal (2014)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Ken I. Kersch & Linda C. McClain, Preface 49 Tulsa Law Review (2014)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Common and Uncommon Families in the American Constitutional Order 67 Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc (2014) (book review)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, Ordered Liberty: Response to Michael Dorf 93 Boston University Law Review (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Against Agnosticism: Why the Liberal State Isn't Just One (Authority) Among the Many 93 Boston University Law Review (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Other Marriage Equality Problem 93 Boston University Law Review (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, From Romer v. Evans to United States v. Windsor: Law as a Vehicle for Moral Disapproval in Amendment 2 and the Defense of Marriage Act 20 Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, A Diversity Approach to Parenthood in Family Life and Family Law, in What is Parenthood?: Contemporary Debates about the Family (Linda C. McClain & Daniel Cere,2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & Margaret F. Brining, Revisiting Mary Ann Glendon: Abortion, Divorce, Dependency, and Rights Talk in Western Law, in Les Solidarités Entre Générations/Solidarity Between Generations (Hugues Fulchiron,2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Federal Family Policy and Family Values From Clinton to Obama, 1992-2012 and Beyond 2013 Michigan State Law Review (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & Daniel Cere, What Is Parenthood?: Contemporary Debates about the Family Introduction, in What Is Parenthood?: Contemporary Debates about the Family (Linda C. McClain and Daniel Cere,2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, Ordered Liberty: Response to Michael Dorf 93 Boston University Law Review (2013)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Marriage Pluralism, Family Law Jurisdiction, and Sex Equality in the United States, in Gender, Religion, and Family Law : Theorizing Conflicts Between Women's Rights and Cultural Traditions (Lisa Fishbayn Joffe & Sylvia Neil,2012)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Nature, Culture, and Social Engineering: Reflections on Evolution and Equality, in NOMOS: Evolution and Morality (James E. Fleming and Sanford Levinson,2012)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Constitutional and Religious Redemption: Assessing Jack Balkin's Call for a 'Constitutional Project’ 92 Boston University Law Review (2012)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Involuntary Servitude, Public Accommodations Laws, and the Legacy of Heart of Atlanta Hotel, Inc. v. United States 71 University of Maryland Law Review (2011)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Respecting Freedom and Cultivating Virtues in Justifying Constitutional Rights 91 Boston University Law Review (2011)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Religious and Political Virtues and Values in Congruence or Conflict?: On Smith, Bob Jones University, and Christian Legal Society 32 Cardozo Law Review (2011)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Involuntary Servitude, Public Accommodations Laws, and the Legacy of Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States 71 University of Maryland Law Review (2011)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, What's So Hard About Sex Equality?: Nature, Culture, and Social Engineering, in Transcending the Boundaries of Law: Generations of Feminism and Legal Theory (2010)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Marriage Pluralism in the United States: On Civil and Religious Jurisdiction and the Demands of Equal Citizenship, in No. 10-14 Boston University School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series (2010)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Justice and Elegance for Hedgehogs - In Life, Law, and Literature 90 Boston University Law Review (2010)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Supreme Court Justices, Empathy, and Social Change: A Comment on Lani Guinier's Demosprudence Through Dissent 89 Boston University Law Review (2009)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & Joanna L. Grossman, Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship (2009)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Family Life, the Politics of the Family, and Social Transformation 17 The Good Society (2008)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Unleashing or Harnessing 'Armies of Compassion'?: Reflections on the Faith-Based Initiative 39 Loyola University Chicago Law Journal (2008)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Red Versus Blue (and Purple) States in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate: From Values Polarization to Common Ground? 77 University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review (2008)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage: Revisiting the Channelling Function of Family Law 28 Cardozo Law Review (2007)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The 'Male Problematic' and the Problems of Family Law: A Response to Don Browning's 'Critical Familism' 56 Emory Law Journal (2007)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Role of the 'Natural Family' in Religious Opposition to Human Rights Instruments, in Family Law: Balancing Interests and Pursuing Priorities (2007)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, What Place for Marriage (E)quality in Marriage Promotion? Marriage Proposals: Questioning A Legal Status (2006)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Evolution - or End - of Marriage?: Reflections on the Impasse over Same-Sex Marriage 44 Family Court Review (2006)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, 'God's Created Order', Gender Complementarity, and the Federal Marriage Amendment 20 BYU Journal of Public Law (2006)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Some ABCs of Feminist Sex Education (in Light of the Sexuality Critique of Legal Feminism) 15 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law (2006)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibility (2006)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Family Constitutions and the (New) Constitution of the Family 75 Fordham Law Review (2006)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Deterring 'Irresponsible' Reproduction Through Welfare Reform, in (2005)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Privacies: Philosophical Evaluations 3 Perspectives on Politics (2005)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Domain of Civic Virtue in a Good Society: Families, Schools, and Sex Equality 69 Fordham Law Review (2005)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, 'Bend it Like Beckham' and 'Real Women Have Curves': Constructing Identity in Multicultural Coming-of-Age Stories 54 DePaul Law Review (2005)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Constitutionalism, Judicial Review, and Progressive Change 84 Texas Law Review (2005)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Domain of Civic Virtue in a Good Society: Families, Schools, and Sex Equality, in Varieties of Feminist Liberalism (2004)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Negotiating Gender and (Free and Equal) Citizenship: The Place of Associations 72 Fordham Law Review (2004)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Intimate Affiliation and Democracy: Beyond Marriage? 32 Hofstra Law Review (2003)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Place of Marriage in Democracy's Formative Project 11 The Good Society (2002) (book review)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Citizenship Begins at Home: The New Social Contract and Working Families, in Progressive Politics in the Global Age (Henry Tam,2001)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Care as a Public Value: Linking Responsibility, Resources, and Republicanism 76 Chicago-Kent Law Review (2001)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Some Questions for Civil Society-Revivalists 75 Chicago-Kent Law Review (2000)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Foreword: Legal and Constitutional Implications of the Calls to Revive Civil Society, 75 Chicago-Kent Law Review (2000)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain & James E. Fleming, Forword: Legal and Constitutional Implications of the Calls to Revive Civil Society 75 Chicago-Kent Law Review (2000)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Liberal Future of Relational Feminism: Robin West's Caring for Justice 24 Law & Social Inquiry (1999)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, The Right to Privacy in Sandel's Procedural Republic, in The Right to Privacy in Sandel's Procedural Republic (Anita L. Allen & Milton C. Regan,1999)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, The Right to Privacy in Sandel's Procedural Republic, in Debating Democracy's Discontent: Essays on American Politics, Law, and Public Philosophy (Anita L. Allen & Milton C. Regan,1999)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Reconstructive Tasks for a Liberal Feminist Conception of Privacy 40 William & Mary Law Review (1999)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Toward a Formative Project of Securing Freedom and Equality 85 Cornell Law Review (1999)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Deliberative Democracy, Overlapping Consensus, and Same-Sex Marriage 66 Fordham Law Review (1998)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Toleration, Autonomy, and Governmental Promotion of Good Lives: Beyond 'Empty' Toleration to Toleration as Respect 59 Ohio State Law Journal (1998)
      Scholarly Commons
    • James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, In Search of a Substantive Republic 76 Texas Law Review (1997) (book review)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, 'Irresponsible' Reproduction 47 Hastings Law Journal (1996)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Inviolability and Privacy: The Castle, The Sanctuary, and The Body 7 Yale Journal of Law & The Humanities (1995)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Rights and Irresponsibility 43 Duke Law Journal (1994)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, Equality, Oppression, and Abortion: Women Who Oppose Abortion Rights in the Name of Feminism, in Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds (1994)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, 'Atomistic Man' Revisited: Liberalism, Connection, and Feminist Jurisprudence 65 Southern California Law Review (1992)
      Scholarly Commons
    • Linda C. McClain, The Poverty of Privacy? 3 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law (1992)
      Scholarly Commons

    In the Media

    Scroll left to right to view all in the media posts

    • Reuters December 6, 2022

      Supreme Court Leans Toward Web Designer in Gay Rights Case

      Linda McClain provides insight.
      read more

    • BU Today December 5, 2022

      Can a Website Designer Turn Away Same-Sex Couples? The Supreme Court Will Decide

      Linda McClain is quoted.
      read more

    • Newsweek November 12, 2022

      Timelapse Shows What Happens During Pregnancy in the First 9 Weeks

      Linda McClain is quoted.
      read more

    • The Conversation November 9, 2022

      In First Nationwide Election Since Roe was Overturned, Voters Opt to Protect Abortion Access

      A piece authored by Linda C. McClain and Nicole Huberfeld.
      read more

    • Law and Liberty September 19, 2022

      A Common Good Constitutionalist Feminism?

      Linda McClain’s talk is referenced.
      read more

    • Fast Company July 1, 2022

      A Legal Expert Dives Into Roe v. Wade and What Could Take Its Place to Protect Women

      A piece authored by Linda C. McClain.
      read more

    • The Conversation June 25, 2022

      Roe vs Wade Overturned: What You Need to Know About The Supreme Court Abortion Decision

      A piece authored by Linda C. McClain and Nicole Huberfeld.
      read more

    • CBC News

      Roe v. Wade Overturned

      Linda C. McClain is interviewed.
      read more

    • BU Today June 24, 2022

      Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Ending 50 Years of Abortion Rights

      Linda C. McClain and Nicole Huberfeld are interviewed.
      read more

    • Insider

      Justice Samuel Alito, The Architect of Overturning Roe v. Wade, Told Senators He Viewed The Abortion Rights Landmark as ‘Important Precedent.’ Now He Says ‘Stare Decisis’ Doesn’t Protect It.

      Linda C. McClain is quoted.
      read more

    • Arizona Daily Sun

      What Would It Mean to Codify Roe into Law – and Is There Any Chance of That Happening?

      A piece authored by Linda C. McClain.
      read more

    • Business Insider

      Justice Samuel Alito, The Architect of Overturning Roe v. Wade, Told Senators He Viewed The Abortion Rights Landmark as ‘Important Precedent.’ Now He Says ‘Stare Decisis’ Doesn’t Protect It.

      Linda C. McClain is quoted.
      read more

    • The Hill May 15, 2022

      Losing Casey Would Be A Critical Blow to Gender Equality

      Linda C. McClain co-authored an opinion.
      read more

    • The Globe and Mail May 9, 2022

      The Call for Congress to Codify Roe v. Wade May Be More Rallying Cry Than Legal Reality

      Linda McClain is quoted.
      read more

    • CBS News May 7, 2022

      Legal Implications If Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade Discussed by Law Professor

      Linda McClain discusses the legal implications on an interview.
      read more

    • View All Articles

    Stories from The Record

    View All Stories

    Courses

    Family Law: LAW JD 814

    4 credits

    This course offers a survey of family law, including case law, statutory law, and the role of constitutional rights in limiting governmental regulation of the family. This course will introduce students to family law as a dynamic field of law concerning a basic social institution: the family. Family law is a foundational course relevant to many areas of law practice. Students will gain knowledge about how family law intersects with many other fields of law, such as contracts, constitutional law, conflicts of laws, criminal law, property, tax, torts, and trusts and estates, as well as how social science informs family law. This course will also consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and areas of family law doctrine and practice. The course will focus on marriage (including the recognition of same-sex marriage), nonmarital families, divorce, pathways to becoming a parent, and the parent-child relationship. Topics include defining and regulating marriage; formal marriage; common law marriage; nonmarital couples, cohabitation, and alternatives to marriage (such as domestic partnerships); common law incidents of marriage and transformation of the common law; domestic violence; traditional and "no fault" divorce; property division; spousal support; child support; child custody; and regulating parenthood. Students will be introduced to the role of negotiation, mediation, and other forms of dispute resolution in the practice of family law. There will be a final examination. The teaching method is a combination of lecture and class discussion, along with in-class small group problem-solving exercises.

    FALL 2022: LAW JD 814 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2022
    Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
    Tue,Thu 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 4 Linda C. McClain LAW 101

    Gender, Law and Policy (S): LAW JD 966

    3 credits

    This seminar provides students a chance to study contemporary issues of gender, law, and policy through the format of a series of presentations of works-in-progress by legal scholars actively engaged in new and important research on such issues. Many legal and social problems implicate gender and gender equality. Gender remains a significant category of analysis in numerous substantive areas of law. Gender equality is also a commitment of domestic law and international human rights law, but gender inequality persists. Gender scholars highlight the need for an intersectional approach to gender, even as some scholars question the continuing use of gender and other identity categories in law and policy. In alternating weeks, when there is no outside speaker, the instructor and students will discuss the paper that to be delivered the following week, as well as relevant background reading. Topics vary from year to year, depending on the speakers, but have included: anti-discrimination law, criminal law, elder law, employment law (including sexual harassment law), First Amendment (speech and religion), gender identity issues (including transgender rights), health law, international human rights, the intersection of race and gender, law and sexuality, masculinity studies, privacy law, regulation of family, marriage, and parenthood, reproductive justice and reproductive rights, and gender-based violence. Confirmed speakers (so far) for Fall 2022 are: Professors Aziza Ahmed (BU Law), Courtney Joslin (UC Davis), Seema Mohapatra (SMU Dedman School of Law), Julie Suk (Fordham), I. India Thusi (Indiana University), and Kyle Velte (University of Kansas). Students will write a short reflection paper on each scholarly paper and one longer paper (10-12 pages) about one of the seven works. Interested faculty are invited to attend sessions when speakers present their work. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

    FALL 2022: LAW JD 966 A1 , Sep 12th to Dec 5th 2022
    Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
    Mon 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Linda C. McClain LAW 410

    Marriage, Families & Gender: Contemporary Legal and Social Controversies: KHC LW 102

    4 credits

    BU Hub Learn More
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking

    This seminar will critically examine the family, marriage, and gender by asking several basic questions: What is family? What is marriage? Why do family and marriage matter to individuals and to society? What role does or should law have in supporting and regulating families and marriage? In defining parenthood? How do new technologies that provide new pathways to parenthood (assisted reproductive technology, or "ART") and new forms of control over reproduction (such as genetic testing and screening) pose ethical and legal challenges and how should law address those challenges? Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking.

    SPRG 2023: KHC LW 102 A1 , Jan 19th to May 2nd 2023
    Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
    Tue,Thu 11:00 am 12:15 pm 4 Linda C. McClain IEC B07