Volume 4, Fall 2006, Issue 1

  • Derek C. Araujo

    May 17, 2004 was an odd day in American politics. Many will remember that Monday as the first date in United States history that the government of one state recognized the union of same-sex couples in marriage, initiating a nationwide proliferation of legal challenges to same-sex marriage restrictions in several other states. This in itself is quite remarkable, but it is not the noteworthy event I have in mind. Rather, May 17, 2004 stands out for a significant non-event: it is the first date of Congress’s continuing failure to enact any legislation addressing the perceived cultural crisis instigated by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s (“SJC”) recognition of gay marriage. View More

     

  • M. V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D. R. Bradley Sears, J.D. Deborah Ho, J.D.

    Perhaps no issue is more closely associated with religious, moral, and emotional concerns than extending marriage to same-sex couples. As the discussion has broadened and deepened over the last fifteen years, though, the public debate has evolved to include considerations of the social and economic consequences of marriage equality. Economic consequences, in particular, have assumed an increasing role in the debate about marriage. Policymakers have wondered and worried about the impact of same-sex marriage on economic development and on state budgets. View More

     

  • Susan L. DeJarnatt

    What do the debate about the rising number of bankruptcy filings and the debate about public school reforms have to do with each other? Quite a lot according to Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi, mother and daughter co-authors of THE TWO- INCOME TRAP: WHY MIDDLE-CLASS MOTHERS & FATHERS ARE GOING BROKE. They conclude that middle-class families are driving themselves into debt and risking bankruptcy because of their desperation to buy houses in safe neighborhoods with good schools. They further conclude that switching the structure of public education to a voucher system will reduce this financial pressure by separating access to good schools from its current dependency on place of residence. View More

     

  • Rhonda Gay Hartman

    Few voices regarding scientific research are as eminent as the National Academies.1 When the Academies speak, Congress and the White House not only listen but also act. As federal legislation and executive orders exemplify, the Academies’ reports about challenges at the biomedical science-society interface inform public policies and influence laws. Foremost at this interface are the challenges of human subject experimentation that have not atrophied over time. These challenges are rooted in society’s deep conflict between advancing knowledge by using persons for bio-scientific research while preserving human rights and dignity. Although ‘therapeutic’ biomedical research (i.e., research conducted with a prospect of direct benefit to the participants) continues to merit scrutiny, ‘non-therapeutic’ research (i.e., research conducted for knowledge acquisition without the prospect of direct benefit) compels it, particularly when the participants constitute a vulnerable cohort with diminished decisional capacity for research involvement such as children, the elderly, and the mentally infirm. View More