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News Posted on January 16, 2007

Yale Professor to Talk on Pregnancy Discrimination

Legal scholar William N. Eskridge, Jr. will speak at the UC Davis School of Law on January 17, 2007. His lecture "Statutes, the Constitution, and the constitution: The Case of Pregnancy Discrimination" is part of the Edward L. Barrett, Jr. Lecture Series on Constitutional Law. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. in the Wilkins Moot Court Room at King Hall and is free and open to the public.

Eskridge, the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale, has published widely on statutory interpretation and gay rights. In 1990, Eskridge became counsel to the first gay couple to sue for marriage rights after Denmark's landmark registered partnership statute. He has participated in gay marriage litigation in Ontario (as an expert witness), Vermont and Massachusetts (as an amicus), and California (as a consultant to San Francisco). In his book, The Case for Same-Sex Marriage (Free Press, 1996), he lays out the constitutional arguments for and against same-sex marriage. In Equality Practice: Civil Unions and the Future of Gay Rights (Routledge, 2002), he tells the story of the Vermont litigation and the civil unions law that resulted in 2000.

Eskridge has co-authored the leading casebook on sexuality issues in the law, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law (Foundation, now in its second edition). His monograph Gaylaw: Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet (Harvard 1999) has been foundational in the field and had the distinction of presenting arguments and data that both the majority and dissenting opinions credited in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), where the Court invalidated consensual sodomy laws as unconstitutional. His most recent book is Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse?, with Darren Spedale. In 2008, Viking/Penguin will publish his monograph on the rise and fall of sodomy laws in America.

In addition, his casebook with Philip Frickey and Elizabeth Garrett, Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy, now in its third edition, helped re-establish Legislation as an important academic field, and his monograph Dynamic Statutory Interpretation (Harvard 1994) has been an important theoretical work in the field. He has authored several dozen law review articles on statutory interpretation. In 2007, Yale Press will publish his monograph, co-authored with Stanford political scientist John Ferejohn, Super-Statutes: The New American Constitutionalism.

Eskridge received a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude (with high honors in history), from Davidson College in 1973; a masters degree in history from Harvard University in 1974; and a juris doctor degree from Yale University in 1978. Eskridge has been in law teaching since 1982 and has taught at Yale (where he has been tenured since 1998), Georgetown, Stanford, Harvard, NYU, Columbia, Toronto, Virginia, and Vanderbilt.

William N. Eskridge, Jr Website