Miller Center

Privacy and Citizenship in the American Constitutional Order, 1960-1980

Speaker: Gretchen Ritter
Date: February 20, 2004
Time: 12:00 PM

Gretchen Ritter is Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. An excerpt from her introduction provides the jist of her talk: "This paper proceeds as follows. Section II reviews the development of women’s citizenship through the doctrine of equality. Equal protection against sex classifications was never recognized as demanding the same
level of judicial scrutiny as racial classifications did, and there were several ways in which the concept of equality articulated through the 1970s cases was problematic. Section III discusses the extension of personal rights to women under the doctrine of privacy. Privacy doctrine expressed the judiciary’s ambivalence over how to classify women—as public, rational
citizens, or as domestic, dependent women. The fourth section brings the findings of Sections II and III together in a discussion of women’s citizenship and the problem of personhood. Outlined therein is a preliminary argument for a public citizenship that is substantial and embodied."

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