Professors discuss upcoming United States Supreme Court gay rights cases

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013

On Thursday, March 21, 2013, Professors Lydia Lavelle, Susan Hauser, Cheryl Amana and Wendy Scott were on a panel sponsored by Outlaw Alliance, Phi Alpha Delta and the Women’s Law Caucus, discussing the upcoming Supreme Court cases dealing with Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The cases will be heard by the Court on March 26 and March 27. Professor Lavelle opened the panel by first discussing the history of marriage between same-sex couples in the United States, and setting the stage for the two cases. Professor Hauser concentrated her discussion around the constitutional issues in U.S. v. Windsor, the New York case which is challenging DOMA. She also referenced other federal cases dealing with the issue of DOMA. Professor Amana talked intimately about Hollingsworth v. Perry, where the issue is the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which ended same-sex marriage in California. She spoke about her experience witnessing firsthand the California federal district court trial, and the effect of the court’s ruling in the area of family law. Professor Scott closed out the formal presentations with a talk centered around the issue of standing in both cases, noting that in each, the executives had declined to defend the district court result during the appellate process. Afterward, the panel took a variety of questions from the audience.