Laws reflect the values of any society. The political institution and its legal foundation provide the critical lens through which all gender relations are viewed. In the United States, the “equal justice for all” principle around which the law functions is embraced. This gap between principle and practice, however, is a large one. Cultural definitions related to gender, race, social class, religion, age, and sexual orientation often determine how justice will be served. Power is a basic element in the social fabric, and people possess it in varying degrees according to the social categories they occupy. Max Weber (1864-1920), one of the founders of sociology, defined power as the likelihood a person may achieve personal ends despite resistance from others. Because this definition views power as potentially coercive, Weber also considered ways in which power can be achieved through justice. Authority, he contended, is power that people determine to be legitimate rather than coercive. When power becomes encoded into law, it is legitimized and translated to the formal structure of society. In Weber’s terms, this is known as rational-legal authority (Weber, 1946). Women as a group are at a distinct legal disadvantage when both power and authority are considered.