Cary Franklin

McDonald/Wright Chair of Law
Faculty Director of the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy
Faculty Director of the Williams Institute

  • B.A. Yale University
  • D.Phil. University of Oxford
  • J.D. Yale Law School

Cary Franklin is a Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, where she writes and teaches in the areas of constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, and legal history. Her work focuses on the historical development of conceptions of equality in American law and how this history influences the shape of contemporary legal protections in the contexts of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and race.  She is currently the Faculty Director of the Williams Institute, a research institute at UCLA focused on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, and the Faculty Director of the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy, an innovative new center engaging with community organizations, scholars, lawmakers, practitioners, and advocates on reproductive health, law and policy. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, she was the W.H. Francis, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Texas. She was also the Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the NYU Law Review, the Supreme Court Review, the Virginia Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. Her article, The Anti-Stereotyping Principle in Constitutional Sex Discrimination Law, 85 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 83 (2010), was awarded the Kathryn T. Preyer Prize by the American Society for Legal History.

Professor Franklin received a B.A. in English and History, summa cum laude, from Yale University and a D.Phil. in English from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. After completing her doctorate, she received a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as an Articles Editor on the Yale Law Journal. She clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Before joining the UT Faculty, Professor Franklin was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a Ribicoff Fellow at Yale Law School.


  • Articles And Chapters
    • History and Tradition’s Equality Problem, 133 Yale L.J. Forum 946. Full Text
    • Living Textualism, Supreme Court Review (forthcoming 2021). Full Text
    • The ERA, the Military, and the Making of Constitutional Meaning, 43 New York University Review of Law & Social Change 115 (2019).
    • The Story of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and What It Means to Protect Women, in Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories, (edited by Melissa Murray, Kate Shaw & Reva Siegel, Foundation Press, 2019). Full Text
    • The New Class Blindness, 128 Yale Law Journal 2 (2018). Full Text
    • Biological Warfare: Constitutional Conflict over “Inherent Differences” Between the Sexes, 2017 Supreme Court Review 169 (2018). Full Text
    • Roe as We Know It, 114 Michigan Law Review 867 (2016). Full Text
    • Discriminatory Animus, in A Nation of Widening Opportunities? The Civil Rights Act At 50 , (edited by Ellen D. Katz and Samuel R. Bagenstos, Michigan Publishing, 2015). Full Text
    • Griswold and the Public Dimension of the Right to Privacy, 124 Yale Law Journal Forum 332 (2015).
    • A More Perfect Union: Sex, Race, and the VMI Case, in The Legacy Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (edited by Scott Dodson, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015).
    • Marrying Liberty and Equality: The New Jurisprudence of Gay Rights, 100 Virginia Law Review 817 (2014).
    • Separate Spheres, 123 Yale Law Journal 2878 (2014).
    • Inventing the “Traditional Concept” of Sex Discrimination, 125 Harvard Law Review 1307 (2012). Full Text
    • The Anti-Stereotyping Principle in Constitutional Sex Discrimination Law, 85 NYU Law Review 83 (2010). Full Text
  • Other Publications
    • Acts of Exclusion, JOTWELL (Nov. 21, 2018). Reviewing Gabriel J. Chin & John Ormonde, The War Against Chinese Restaurants, 67 DUKE L.J. 681 (2018). Full Text
    • The Paranoid “Fringe” in American Politics, JOTWELL (Dec. 6, 2017). Reviewing Rick Perlstein, I Thought I Understood The American Right, Trump Proved Me Wrong, N.Y. Times Magazine (April 11, 2017). Full Text
    • What We Do with Substantive Due Process, JOTWELL (Feb. 11, 2016). Reviewing Jamal Greene, The Meming of Substantive Due Process, 31 Const. Commentary 241 (2016). Full Text
    • Groundbreaking Female Justices on the Supreme Court, Washington Post (Aug. 28, 2015). Review of Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World, by Linda Hirshman.
    • The Fight over Gay Marriage Isn’t Just About Marriage, Huffington Post (April 11, 2014).
    • Justice Ginsburg’s Advocacy and the Future of Equal Protection, 122 Yale Law Journal Online 227 (2013). Full Text
    • Marketing Edwardian Feminism, 11(4) Women’s History Review 631 (2002). Full Text