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This textbook uses cases in family law to illustrate both traditional philosophical problems in the law as well as problems that are unique to family law. In the beginning chapters family law cases are employed to introduce the reader to philosophical debates about the relationship between law and morals, about how one ought to interpret the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, about the conditions under which individual liberty is justifiably limited by law, about the justification of punishment, and about the justification of remedies and standards of care in determining negligence in tort cases. Later chapters are devoted to contemporary issues unique to family law, including justifiable limits of access to marriage, alternatives to marriage, the rights of children, child custody disputes involving surrogate births, quasi-property disputes involving custody of frozen embryos, and the justifiable limits of the right not to procreate. The book reflects current movements, contemporary debates, and recent research on the philosophical problems in family law.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction.
Part I. Law, morals and the U.S. constitution
Chapter 2. Natural law theory.
Chapter 3. Legal positivism.
Chapter 4. Theories of constitutional interpretation.
Part II. State intervention.
Chapter 5. The limits of state intervention in the family.
Chapter 6. Child neglect and abuse.
Chapter 7. Family crimes.
Chapter 8. Family torts and remedies.
Part III. Marriage, parents and children.
Chapter 9. Marriage: access and alternatives.
Chapter 10. Children, parents and the stage.
Part IV. Family planning and the law.
Chapter 11. Custody and surrogate parenthood.
Chapter 12. Abortion and disposal of frozen embryos bibliography.