It is understood by the student whose Student Number is entered below that this examination is given and the student's response is made and submitted pursuant to the conditions and provisions of the Honor Code.

Student Exam No. ______________

 
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY
SCHOOL OF LAW

WOMEN AND THE LAW Fall 1996
Professor Levit

 
FINAL
(2 hours)

Instructions

1. Read each question carefully and pay close attention to what the question is asking you to do. Discuss all issues presented by a question. Do not engage in a discussion of issues not raised.

2. Nothing is intentionally ambiguous. If anything about a question appears to be ambiguous, decide what you think is meant, tell me what you think is meant, and answer the question accordingly. No reasonable resolution of an ambiguity will be penalized.

3. Write on only one side of the page. Please write legibly, because I can only give credit if I understand what you write. I can also only give credit for answers that are written in the bluebook.

4. Think before you write. Organize your answer. You get extra points for clarity and succinctness. You are penalized for an answer which is disorganized and confusing.

5. This is a closed book examination.

6. PUT YOUR ANSWER TO EACH QUESTION IN A SEPARATE BLUE BOOK. WRITE THE NUMBER OF THE QUESTION, AS WELL AS YOUR EXAMINATION NUMBER, ON THE COVER OF EACH BLUE BOOK.

7. TURN IN THIS EXAMINATION WITH YOUR BLUE BOOKS. Good luck!
Question 1
(60%)

Al Irkowitz is a professor of Constitutional Law, a required course at Progressive State University School of Law. Prof. Irkowitz prides himself on his ability to provoke animated classroom discussions, and often assigns controversial cases on such sensitive issues as pornography, abortion, and affirmative action. The building housing the School of Law is also used by Progressive University as an art exhibition space, and the classroom in which Prof. Irkowitz teaches Constitutional Law is showcasing a painting by a well-known artist right behind the professor's lectern. The painting depicts a woman with full frontal nudity tied to a chair.

Several female students in Prof. Irkowitz's class complained to him that they felt uncomfortable participating in discussions on sensitive subjects with that painting, which they perceived to be demeaning to women, hanging in the room. Prof. Irkowitz replied that he thought it would implicate first amendment interests of the artist and the University for him or anyone else to censor the art work in the classroom, and that they needed to set aside their emotional response to the painting and concentrate on the case discussions.

Progressive State University has a university code that contains the following provision: "Speech or other expression constitutes harassment when it is intended or has the effect of insulting or stigmatizing any individual or group on the basis of their sex, race, color, handicap, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic or national origin."

The students have filed a complaint about the situation in Prof. Irkowitz's class with you, in your capacity as Dean of the Law School.

A. How do you evaluate the legal strength of the students claims under all applicable laws?

B. Given your answer in part A, and keeping in mind your objectives of avoiding lawsuits for the school and placating all constituencies, how would you proceed as a practical matter?

 
Question 2
(40%)

A representative in the Progressive State Legislature has introduced a bill that attempts to rectify some of the inequities suffered by women upon divorce. In particular, it would reinstate alimony for a minimum of one year upon divorce, unless a divorcing husband can show that his wife currently receives a greater income than he does.

The representative who introduced the bill has offered the following reasons in support of this modification: first, that divorced women in the State of Progress typically experience a decline in the standard of living to roughly 40% below their standard while married; second, that mens standard of living on divorce typically rises to 30% above their standard during the marriage; third, that women often work to put their husbands through school, only to be divorced upon the completion of the husbands education.

You are a legislative assistant to another state representative who must decide how to vote on the proposed legislation. She asks you to write a position paper examining the bill in light of prominent feminist theories and constitutional implications. Please advise your representative.

END OF EXAM