In the News

Joan Hollinger in the news:

Nurses take Michigan gay marriage case to high court

Joan Hollinger quoted in Detroit Free Press, November 17, 2014

“Is Michigan going to be the polestar for some other major pronouncement on human rights or individual rights? Who knows?”

Surrogacy is a mess

Joan Heifetz Hollinger quoted in Slate, August 6, 2014

“There are issues across the board with regard to health care of the surrogate and whether the surrogate can or should be required to undergo tests, including fetal diagnostic test or an amnio.” If a surrogate decides to keep a baby against the commissioning parents’ wishes, are they responsible for that baby? If the surrogate raises the child, can she sue the biological father for child support?

The Baby Veronica adoption case is heartbreaking, but Alito’s ruling was probably right

Joan Heifetz Hollinger quoted in Slate Magazine, June 25, 2013

“The law shouldn’t be read as giving hyped up protections to birth parents,” Hollinger told me. “Those protections are for parents who had a life with their child. In that sense, Alito’s decision is the correct reading of statute and it saves the core of ICWA—as it should.”

Supreme Court rules for adoptive family in dispute

Joan Heifetz Hollinger quoted by National Public Radio, June 25, 2013

“This is a case that dealt with a situation where a biological father, who knows about the pregnancy and a birth … sits on the sidelines,” Heifetz Hollinger says. “This is a message to mothers and fathers that simply using the biological trump card is not a way to establish or sustain a family relationship.”

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

Joan Hollinger quoted in Family In Law, April 11, 2013

“I am most concerned about the disruptive consequences for women and children involved in private adoptive placements if the Court were to uphold the South Carolina ruling. I’ve already put in a pitch for expeditious child-centered resolutions of contested cases and more open adoptions that would not eviscerate children’s ties to their original families.”

Prop 8 in the Supreme Court

Joan Hollinger interviewed by KPFA-FM, Up Front, March 27, 2013

“The media overwhelmingly predicted that the healthcare act would be declared unconstitutional. That turned out, of course, to be incorrect primarily because Chief Justice Roberts, who acted during the oral argument as if he had no use for the healthcare act, ended up being the most significant vote on the court for maintaining the constitutionality of core provisions of the act. So, with that warning in mind about reading or misreading the clues from an oral argument, I would say that yesterday was somewhat baffling.”

Gay marriage at a crossroads in California

Joan Hollinger quoted in The Desert Sun, March 24, 2013

But the Supreme Court could overturn the 9th Circuit’s opinion for a variety of reasons, including if Kennedy disagrees with the court’s “very explicit effort to apply Romer to Proposition 8,” Hollinger said. “Kennedy may feel, well, Proposition 8 is a sort of specific target,” Hollinger said. “It isn’t a total rejection of gay people from participation in California society.”

Unintended effects in Prop. 8 appeal?

Joan Hollinger quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, February 12, 2013

“I’m not convinced that federal rules would permit that generous construction of Walker’s injunction,” Hollinger said.

Invoking tribal ties isn’t justified in this case

Joan Hollinger writes for The New York Times, Room for Debate, January 24, 2013

Is it inconsistent with the … Indian Child Welfare Act to allow an Indian biological father who has forfeited any parental rights he might have had under state law to block a non-Indian mother’s voluntary adoptive placement of her newborn child with prospective parents selected by her? Yes. The invocation of the federal law in such circumstances conflicts with its underlying goals and is an unwarranted interference with the child’s liberty interests in remaining with her adoptive family, as well as with her mother’s right to serve her child’s best interests by relinquishing her for adoption.

The toll of Russian vodka on American families

Joan Hollinger quoted in Latitude News, September 27, 2012

Hollinger points out that Russia and the U.S. recently signed a bilateral agreement on adoption, though its protocols have yet to be implemented.  Even when they are, she’s not necessarily optimistic that it will succeed in regulating what is essentially a “wild west” environment of shady operators…. “Even though the biggest players are still in business and doing a lot of it, a great many of these smaller agencies are done with because they’ve failed to be honest and up front with parents.”

Joan Heifetz Hollinger Analyzes Prop 8 Legal Strategy

Talking Points Memo, TPMMuckraker, February 8, 2012 by Jillian Rayfield

“I think it will depend on their guess and their estimate of what will happen if they appeal to the Supreme Court,” Hollinger said, and “if they do that, the U.S. Supreme Court does not have to agree to hear this case, because the way in which the panel crafted it is narrowly focused on California, and on the consequences of Proposition 8 for California.”

Joan Hollinger Explains “Standing” Issue in Prop 8 Appeal

-The Bay Citizen, December 3, 2010 by Aaron Glantz

“It’s a critical issue,” [Hollinger] said. “It’s about whether we have a live court case or just a controversy.”

-KPCC-FM, December 6, 2010 Host Madeleine Brand

“The court will have to decide whether the proponents or advocates who are maintaining Proposition 8 are able to bring this appeal in the federal courts. The reason that’s an issue is that the public officials—the governor and the attorney general—have agreed with the decision of the trial court…. that Proposition 8 violates the federal Constitution.”

Joan Hollinger Examines State’s Legal Response to Prop. 8 Ruling

The Christian Science Monitor, September 9, 2010 by Daniel B. Wood

“Both the Governor and the Attorney General were convinced by the merits of Judge Walker’s comprehensive factual findings and legal conclusions,” says Joan Hollinger, professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Law. “And,” she adds, “as is their prerogative under our state law, they have decided not to appeal his ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. They are both discharging their obligations under California law and do not want to waste public resources on defending a proposition they and their lawyers believe has been appropriately found to violate the federal Constitution.”

Joan Hollinger and Jesse Choper Discuss Prop. 8 ‘Standing’ Issue

-Reuters, August 16, 2010 by Peter Henderson

“It is obvious that they think there is a genuine issue of whether Prop 8 backers have the legal right to appeal,” said Jesse Choper, a Constitutional law professor at Berkeley.

“They punt,” said University of California, Berkeley, family law professor Joan Hollinger, who said the ruling was practical since it left in place the status quo but sped up the appeal.

-The Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 2010 by Daniel B. Wood

“The practical effect of imposing the stay until at least December is to give the 9th Circuit an opportunity to review more carefully whether the proponents have standing to bring an appeal,” adds UC Berkeley School of Law professor Joan Hollinger.

-Reuters, August 17, 2010 by Peter Henderson and Dan Levine

Jesse Choper, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said the appeals court seemed to see standing as a “genuine issue.” Legal analysts are uncertain how the court might rule.

Joan Hollinger Comments on Prop. 8 Decision

-Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2010 by Maura Dolan and Carol J. Williams,0,1544119.story

Joan Heifetz Hollinger, a UC Berkeley law school lecturer and coauthor of a friend-of-the-court brief supporting gay marriage rights, observed that Walker was “adamant” in his ruling that “Proposition 8 should be gone. But, on other side, he’s already been sort of slapped on the wrist by having his desire to broadcast the proceedings overruled,” she said.

-SF Weekly blog, The Snitch, August 12, 2010 by Joe Eskenzai

Finally, if two circuit court judges agree with Walker and decide against issuing a stay, Joan Hollinger of U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law predicts that an appeal for a stay may be made directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. This would be an early test of how swing Justice Anthony Kennedy feels on the matter.

-Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2010 by Maura Dolan and Lee Romney

UC Berkeley law professor Joan Hollinger said the standing dispute leaves opponents of same-sex marriage in a “really tough spot.” She said the decision last week by Schwarzenegger and Brown not to challenge Walker’s order put the question of standing on “the front burner.” “This has suddenly come to center stage,” she said.

-KPFA-FM, The Morning Show, August 13, 2010 Host Amy Allison

“For the proponents of Proposition 8, the key issue now is whether they have standing in the Federal Courts. That means under the federal constitution, do they have a live case and controversy? In order for that to be the case, they have to demonstrate that they have an actual injury in fact. Not simply an ideological or theoretical or moral injury. They have to show, just as the plaintiffs showed at the trial level, that they are hurt by what happens by Proposition 8.”

Joan Hollinger Notes New Regs That Require Adoption Agency Disclosure

The New York Times, April 27, 2010 by Pam Belluck

Those regulations were developing as the Harshaws’ adoption was proceeding, and at most agencies, “the atmosphere was definitely an emphasis in getting what could be obtained and making sure that they disclose that,” said Joan H. Hollinger, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is serving as an expert witness for the Harshaws. Agencies were also focused on “preparation of adoptive families for what they might encounter,” Professor Hollinger said.

Joan Hollinger Supports Father in “Baby Emma” Case

Good Morning America, April 16, 2010 by Sarah Netter

“Utah adoption statutes are especially harsh with respect to biological fathers who wish to assert rights in an adoption proceeding,” said Joan Hollinger, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Joan Hollinger Criticizes Harsh Utah Ruling in Baby Emma Case

The Washington Post, April 14, 2010 by Jerry Markon

Joan Hollinger, a University of California at Berkeley professor and a leading authority on adoption law, called Utah’s decisions in the Baby Emma case “outrageous” because Wyatt filed for custody in Virginia just eight days after Emma’s birth. Utah laws and court decisions, she said, “make it virtually impossible for an out-of-state father to prevent the adoption of an out-of-wedlock child when the mother is determined to go forward.”

Joan Hollinger Reviews Prop 8 Legal Battle

Edge San Francisco, February 25, 2010 by Roger Brigham

“We are just at the very beginning,” Hollinger said. “I remain very uncertain about what will happen at the appellate level. The country is not in a good mood. These issues are almost the last gasp of the ability of cultural minorities to strike back at other minorities by putting together a kind of majority that can operate on ignorance. But we shall see,” Hollinger added. “What we did see was some brilliant lawyering.”

Joan Hollinger Comments on Constitutionality of Prop 8

-Bay Area Reporter, January 21, 2010 by Matthew S. Bajko

“Under federal law there is no precedent for finding sexual orientation deserves any special protection,” said University of California at Berkeley Law School Professor Joan Hollinger, who specializes in family law and has been following the Prop 8 trial in court.

-Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2010 by Maura Dolan

“I have never seen this level of quality in direct and redirect…” said Hollinger, a family law expert who has attended much of the trial. “But that doesn’t necessarily translate into a legal and constitutional victory by any means.”

-San Francisco Chronicle, January 29, 2010 by Bob Egelko

But Hollinger said Thursday that opposition to interracial marriage had faded outside the South by 1967, after a large-scale federal commitment to civil rights. By contrast, she said, same-sex marriage still faces “opposition all over the place.” “I’m not optimistic about the Supreme Court on this,” she said.

-SF Weekly, January 29, 2010 by Joe Eskenazi

“If the issue is framed as whether, under the federal Constitution, there is a fundamental right to marry, [then] any exclusion from enjoying this fundamental right is subject to at least a higher level of scrutiny,” says Hollinger. “The state has to have substantial reason to justify the exclusion. If that’s the way it’s framed, the plaintiffs, it seems to me, are going to prevail. Easily.”