International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 105–122

Michael H. v. Gerald D.

A Case Study of Political Ideology Disguised in Legal Thought

DOI: 10.1007/s11196-008-9098-9

Cite this article as:
Ellsworth, J.A. Int J Semiot Law (2009) 22: 105. doi:10.1007/s11196-008-9098-9


The author attempts to apply semiotic analysis to a question of family law. By examining the language used by the Supreme Court in the title case, Michael H. v. Gerald D., along with the case briefs, lower court opinions, other Supreme Court cases and prior legal scholarship, the author attempts to determine the requisite relationships between father–child and father–mother in order for a legal tie to exist between a father and his biological child. The author tries to not only determine the necessary circumstances but also the political ideology that distinguishes these familial ties. The author further attempts to analyze the goals of these underlying political ideologies.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dickinson School of LawPennsylvania State UniversityCarlisleUSA