Forword to Issue 1 - Sex in Law Doriane Lambelet Coleman & Kimberly D. Krawiec Special Editors

This symposium continues the discussion we began in Volume 80 (2017), on sex in different institutional settings.1 Like sport, which was the first in the series, law is particularly concerned with sex in this period. Both its definition and proper uses are the subject of a global, high-stakes, highly polarized debate.2 In the American context, this debate is being had in all three branches of the federal government and in state legislatures and executive offices across the country. Since 2016, the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the federal government have been actively engaged with the questions whether “sex” continues to mean biological or reproductive sex, or whether it should instead mean gender, gender identity, sex stereotype, or the set of sex-linked physical traits we know as primary and secondary sex characteristics; and, whether and on what terms society’s remaining sex classifications—however sex is defined— are viable. Lawmaking activity has accelerated since 2019 when the House of Representatives first passed the Equality Act,3 the Supreme Court decided Bostock v. Clayton County,4 and the Biden Administration replaced the Trump Administration’s administrative guidance on these questions with his own.5 For the President in particular, doing so was a “Day One” commitment: he signed his related executive order following the inaugural on January 20, 2021.6 Resistance has been strong across the political spectrum to the various moves on the questions presented, to the point where they have become national election issues for both parties.7

Doriane Lambelet Coleman & Kimberly D. Krawiec, Forword: Sex in Law, 85 Law and Contemporary Problems, 1–8 (2022).