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73 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1333 (1997-1998)


Mary Ann Glendon is an accomplished legal scholar whose books and essays in the field of marriage and family law have received universal acclaim among her peers in the legal academy. More recently, and particularly in the last decade, she has emerged as a notable public intellectual. In this capacity, she has focused her careful reflections on topics such as abortion, religious liberty, social welfare legislation, the changing nature of the legal profession, and the condition of political discourse in America. One of the things that makes her recent work, as well as her earlier publications on family law, so relevant politically and so insightful intellectually is the international and comparative perspective that she brings to it. By comparing American legal trends with those of other countries, she offers her readers a clarifying lens through which to obtain a better understanding of these developments and, of equal importance, their relationship to the creation of a vibrant democracy and a caring civil society.

I'd like to begin with a brief overview of Professor Glendon's publications on family law because they constitute the best example of her general approach to the analysis of law and its impact on society. After commenting on what she considers to be the constitutional implications of this work, I move on to publications in which she addresses constitutional issues more directly. In this brief and selective account, I can only hope that I have properly understood her concerns and communicated a sense of the subtlety and complexity of her constitutionalism.


Reprinted with permission of the Notre Dame Law Review.



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