“They, Them and Theirs,” Harvard Law Review article by Jessica Clarke, wins the Dukeminier Awards Michael Cunningham Prize

Jan 28, 2021

Professor Jessica Clarke Law School“They, Them and Theirs” by Jessica Clarke, which was first published by the Harvard Law Review in 2019, has received a 2020 Dukeminier Prize from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Clarke’s article is one of four articles published in the 2018-19 academic year to be recognized with a prestigious Dukeminier Award and published in Volume 19 of the Dukeminier Awards Journal.

“They, Them and Theirs” is the second article by Clarke to be recognized with the Michael Cunningham Prize and published in the Dukeminier Awards Journal; her 2013 Duke Law Journal article, “Inferring Desire,” also received the prize in 2015.

In “They, Them and Theirs,” Clarke explores a current legal frontier—the treatment of individuals with nonbinary gender identities—from a practical standpoint. “People with nonbinary gender identities do not exclusively identify as men or women, but most cases addressing transgender rights involve plaintiffs seeking recognition as men or women,” she explained. “My article asks what the law would look like if it took nonbinary gender seriously.”

Nineteen states currently allow people to opt for a third gender category on their drivers’ licenses. Clarke believes civil rights concepts can be used to eliminate gender-related legal classifications where they are unnecessary.

Clarke is the FedEx Research Professor and serves as co-director of the Social Justice Program. She teaches an Antidiscrimination Seminar, Gender and the Law, Constitutional Law, and Civil Procedure.


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