Abstract: The tradition of the David C. Baum Lecture at the University of Illinois is one that extends back over nearly two decades. The Fall 1990 lecture by Prof. Martha Minow is the first of four presentations focusing on family law and the Constitution. Prof. Minow's article addresses the changing nature of family law in a time of increasing challenges to civil liberties. The author argues that the "free exercise of families," defined as a freedom to choose family forms, embodies a potential framework drawing on the larger field of civil liberties. Prof. Minow tests this framework and articulates its strengths and weaknesses, while urging freedom from state standardization of family life.