HOW MARRIAGE BECAME OPTIONAL:
COHABITATION, GENDER, AND THE EMERGING FUNCTIONAL NORMS
By: J. Herbie DiFonzo
8 Rutgers J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 521 (Spring 2011)
In 1953, sociologist Ray E. Baber confidently asserted that the “opportunity which marriage affords for constant and complete companionship with the person most loved, with the full sanction of society, is its greatest single attraction.” Another mid-20th century text, Paul H. Landis’ “Making the Most of Marriage”, referred to the “long-accepted idea that marriage is the natural state for adults.” Landis noted that marriage “has a more prominent place in both our aspirations and realizations than ever before in American history.” His sociology text equated marriage with the drive to establish family life. Several headings in his chapter on “Needs Fulfilled by Marriage” reflected the era’s rock-solid perception that true love and family life always commence at the altar: “Marriage Meets the Need for Love and Emotional Security”; “Marriage Meets the Need for Status and Appreciation for Personal Worth”; “Marriage Answers the Need for Companionship”; and “Marriage Meets the Physiosexual Need for Response.” .... [read more]
ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF A “LOSER PAYS” RULE ON THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM:
AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS AND PROPOSAL FOR REFORM
By: Marie Gryphon
8 Rutgers J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 567 (Spring 2011)
Although the American justice system is derided as expensive, capricious, and prone to abuse, Americans go to court more often—and more expensively—than any other people in the world. The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of reducing the incidence of what I will call “abusive litigation” in the United States by replacing the so-called “American rule” requiring each party to a lawsuit to pay her own attorneys, win or lose, with a “loser pays rule,” according to which the losing party to a civil suit must pay the winner’s reasonably incurred legal fees. Loser pays is the default rule for payment of attorney’s fees in the vast majority of foreign legal systems. ... [read more]
WELFARE, INCOME DETECTION, AND THE SHADOW ECONOMY
By: Drew A. Swank
8 Rutgers J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 614 (Spring 2011)
In the spring of 2009 a humorous parody of the MasterCard Credit Card Company advertising campaign circulated on the Internet, showing an actual photograph of the first lady, Michelle Obama, volunteering at a soup kitchen, having her picture taken by a man waiting in line with his cell phone. The caption on photograph states:
Cost of a bowl of soup at homeless shelter:
$0.00 . .
Michelle Obama [serving] you your soup:
$0.00 . .
Snapping a picture of a homeless person who is receiving a government funded meal while taking a picture of the first lady using his $500 Black Berry [sic] cell phone and $100.00 per month cellular service: Priceless.
In reality the first lady was volunteering at a private shelter, not a government-funded one, and there is no proof that the individual receiving the meal and taking the first lady’s picture was either homeless or that his cellular telephone cost $500. The sentiment that is portrayed by the photograph and its humorous caption nevertheless captures a common perception that there are people getting publicly-funded welfare benefits who, for a variety of reasons, should not be. ... [read more]
THE CENTRAL REGISTRY STATUTE FOR ABUSE AND NEGLECT MATTERS IS CONSTITUTIONALLY FLAWED
By: W. Todd Miller
8 Rutgers J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 651 (Spring 2011)
This discussion identifies two perceived flaws with the Central Registry (Registry) maintained by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). I contend that the Registry statute 1) must allow proof of rehabilitation; and 2) intentionally or unintentionally deems parents perpetually unfit to care for children without the necessary proofs to reach such a destructive determination.
The focus of this article is on parents against whom administrative allegations of child abuse or neglect have been substantiated but who have not been criminally convicted, who would seek relief from a permanent placement on the Registry. In plain terms, this discussion concerns ordinary parents who make a one-time mistake, or exercise poor judgment while caring for their own children, and find themselves on the Registry for the balance of their lifetime. ... [read more]