Children and Families

Children’s Autonomy Rights Online
Clare Ryan
Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law

She thanks Esther Hong, Zalman Rothschild, and Lisa Washington, as well as the participants and organizers of the University of Chicago’s 2023 Law Review Symposium on Children and the Law.

Children’s lives are increasingly shaped by their online environment, quite apart from the physical geographies of home and school. How they make choices in that space, and how those choices are shaped by law and parental authority, warrants deeper discussion than the Restatement of Children and the Law was able to provide. The complex challenges of children’s engagement with social media, both as content creators and consumers, help illuminate some of the core tensions in this Part of the Restatement—namely, the tension between children’s autonomy, parental authority, and state regulation.

Prosecutors and the Child Wellbeing Framework
Esther K. Hong
Associate Professor of Law, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law.

The importance of initial prosecutorial decisions in juvenile outcomes is well-studied, but recent developments in the law, including the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma; new laws and proposed legislation pertaining to youth being tried in juvenile or criminal court; and the forthcoming adoption of the Children's Restatement require that we reexamine their significance.

Rethinking Family-Court Prosecutors: Elected and Agency Prosecutors and Prosecutorial Discretion in Juvenile Delinquency and Child Protection Cases
Josh Gupta-Kagan
Assistant Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law

The author would like to thank Albertina Antognini, Annette Appell, Elizabeth Chambliss, Martin Guggenheim, Avni Gupta-Kagan, Clare Huntington, Cortney Lollar, Adrian Smith, Robin Walker-Sterling, and participants in a faculty workshop at the University of Kentucky College of Law and Duke Law School’s 2015 conference on civil rights, “The Present and Future of Civil Rights Movements: Race and Reform in 21st Century America,” for thoughtful comments on earlier drafts. The author would like to thank Joni Gerrity for excellent research assistance.

The law and the academy have long recognized criminal prosecutors’ immense power, especially the power to determine which cases to prosecute and which not to. Less attention has been focused on related issues in juvenile delinquency and child protection cases litigated in state family courts.
Book review
Rethinking the Connection between Developmental Science and Juvenile Justice
Emily Buss
Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law and Kanter Director of Chicago Policy Initiatives, The University of Chicago Law School

My thanks to Catherine Kiwala, for her excellent research assistance, and to participants in The University of Chicago’s Developmental Psychology Graduate Seminar for their helpful comments. The Arnold and Frieda Shure Research Fund and the Kanter Family Foundation Initiatives Fund provided support for this research.

Tradition as Justification: The Case of Opposite-Sex Marriage
Kim Forde-Mazrui
Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

I am grateful for the comments I received on earlier drafts from Richard Banks, Rebecca Brown, Janet Giele, Phoebe Haddon, Michael Helfand, Fred Schauer, and Molly Walker. I also received helpful feedback from the participants in workshops at Duke Law School, the University of Minnesota Law School, Stanford Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, and Wake Forest School of Law, as well as from attendees at my keynote speech at the Lavender Law Conference in San Francisco in September 2008, and from participants in the MidAtlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in January 2009 and the Third National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at Seton Hall University School of Law in September 2010. Student workshops at the University of Virginia and at Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, also provided useful feedback. The University of Virginia School of Law reference librarians, including Ben Doherty and Alison White, provided superb assistance. A special thanks to Jared Campbell, Evan Didier, Sarah Fritsch, Sarah Johns, Tim Lovelace, Chris Mincher, and Hadi Sedigh for their diligent research assistance and very helpful discussions. I welcome comments at

What Makes the Family Special?
Kerry Abrams
Albert Clark Tate Jr Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

Thanks to all of the participants in The University of Chicago Immigration Law and Institutional Design Symposium held at The University of Chicago Law School on June 15 and 16, 2012, for their helpful suggestions and conversation. I also thank Brandon Garrett and David Martin for their comments on the draft and Sarah Delaney and Nick Peterson for excellent research assistance.