Citizen Spouse

Citizen Spouse

In this essay, I offer an alternative view of marriage as citizenship. The notion may be romantic, but when enshrined in law, it also has important distributional consequences that, I argue, should be of concern. Until quite recently, a woman’s citizenship was determined not just metaphorically but legally by her marriage. At the level of state citizenship, a married woman’s citizenship followed her husband’s under rule of “derivative domicile”; at the national level, her citizenship could be bestowed or taken away depending on the citizenship status of her husband. In this essay, I examine the history of the derivative domicile and national citizenship rules to explore the ways in which marriage can-and does-function as citizenship and to offer a critique of the ways in which citizenship talk still infuses our understanding of marriage today. Marriage, I argue, can be understood as an identity-producing legal status, akin to state or national citizenship, and the ways in which this understanding of marriage can lead to its dwarfing or trumping other identity statuses.



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Law and Local Activism: Uncovering the Civil Rights History of Chambers v. Mississippi

Countless academics have examined and discussed the importance of Chambers v. Mississippi in a multitude of areas including compulsory due process, admission of hearsay, third party guilt evidence, false confessions, racial evaluations of hearsay and witnesses, and morally reasonable verdicts. In contrast, this article attempts to excavate the account of a rural Mississippi community’s struggle […]

From Independence to Politics in Financial Regulation

Independent agencies have long dominated the institutional structure of financial regulation. But after the 2007-08 crisis, this Article argues, the independent agency paradigm is under attack. To monitor financial institutions more thoroughly and address future failures more effectively, the U.S. and other industrialized nations redesigned the framework of financial regulation. Post-2008 laws allocate new powers […]

Property’s Constitution

Long-standing disagreements over the meaning of property as a matter of legal theory present a special problem in constitutional law.  The Due Process and Takings Clauses set forth individual rights that can only be asserted if “property” is at stake.  Yet the leading cases interpreting constitutional property doctrines have never managed to articulate a coherent […]