Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2008

Center/Program

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Center/Program

Center for Contract and Economic Organization

Abstract

This article examines the difficulties associated with identity-based arguments in litigation. In particular, the article considers the ways in which anti-essentialist and social constructionist framings of identity clash with judicial preferences for fixed identity categories. I review cases in which courts have addressed anti-essentialist and social constructionist arguments (both positively and negatively) and offer preliminary hypotheses to explain the limits on courts' willingness to accept these types of arguments

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