2022 Henry M. Phillips Prize

Catharine MacKinnon receiving the Phillips Prize Certificate
Catharine MacKinnon (right) receiving the Phillips Prize from APS President Linda Greenhouse

The recipient of the American Philosophical Society’s 2022 Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence is Catharine A. MacKinnon “in recognition of her intellectual and political leadership in international law, constitutional law, political and legal theory, and jurisprudence, and in particular her pioneering work on gender equality, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation, including sexual harassment, rape, prostitution, sex trafficking, and pornography, and her effective framing of such harms as civil rights violations in the United States, in other countries, and in international law, bringing recognition and transformation in theory and in practice.” She is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and the long-term James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Her pioneering book, Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination (1979), created the legal claim for sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other prohibitions of sex-discrimination with enduring consequences for workplaces. She framed sexual harassment as sex discrimination in education under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which transformed practices and procedures in schools, colleges, and universities.  She also worked to change legal treatment of pornography; crafted litigation and legislative strategies to treat legal claims of rape as genocidal acts, and brought the perspective of sex inequality and sexual violence to prostitution and sex trafficking. Her thorough attention to power relationships draws on and contributes to epistemology, political theory, legal theory, and political and legal practices, with significant influences on laws, institutions, and the lives of many. 

The members of the selection committee are Linda Greenhouse, (chair), President of the American Philosophical Society and Clinical Lecturer in Law and Senior Research Scholar in Law, Yale Law School; Jane C. Ginsburg, Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law, Columbia Law School; Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard Law School; Robert C. Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago Law School; and David S. Tatel, Senior United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.