Litigation as Lobbying: Reproductive Hazards and Interest Aggregation

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Ohio State University Press, 2003 - Law - 189 pages
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This book is a case study that shows how interest groups use the litigation process to further their policy agendas. The case detailed here revolves around issues of reproductive health. It is a good illustration of the commonly held view among judicial scholars that the judicial process is essentially the same as the political process, that in both cases there is room for influence from a variety of sources.

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I like this book because it is candid and reflects a very original view of research. As someone who is quoted in this text, I am overall very satisfied that my comments were reflected correctly and that the point of my work was highlighted, especially my personal quest to have the court look at issues that cannot be easily solved by branding those issues as discrimination or victim-blaming mothers who choose to work, but really asking for solid scientific risk assessment. Such an approach is a perversion of the meaning of discrimination law because health disparities literature teaches us that disease, illness and disability oftentimes fall along the same lines of ethnicity nationality gender and sex as are lined by red flags for discrimination. Thus, discrimination law cannot answer these problems and Gonen is the first one I have seen to acknowledge this problem in print.
The validity of Gonen's work is however, that she has clearly painted a very realistic portrait of the underlying political subtext which most commenters don't care about or otherwise refuse to see. Her work is careful and accurate and should set the path for additional studies of this topic, specifically no one has asked how it happened that fetal protection policies could exist in the USA for over twenty years without violating the law and more importantly the questions of womens health and workplace health about reproductive health hazards that impact the next generation and thus posterity remain unresolved.
Gonen has done a great job of highlighting this problem and the next step is for researchers to return to me and other opinion leaders to seek strategies that can resolve these issues. Too bad, however, nobody care. These issues have languished for decades and will probably continue to do so Nobody cares.


Women in the Workforce and the Labor Movement
Challenging Fetal Protection Policies in Court
Friends of the Court and Friends of the Plaintiffs
Friends of the Status Quo
Litigating for Political Change

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About the author (2003)

Julianna S. Gonen is an associate with the law firm Epstein, Becker & Green, Washington, D.C.

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