Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality Cites Whittier Law Visiting Professors

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Catherine Smith
Catherine Smith

The recent landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges guarantees marriage equality for same-sex couples. One of the amicus curiae briefs cited by the United States Supreme Court in this case was co-authored by Whittier Law School’s Visiting Summer Professors Catherine Smith and Tanya Washington, along with Denver Law Clinical Fellow Lauren Fontana and Professor Susannah Pollvogt of Washburn University School.

Tanya Washington
Tanya Washington

The brief, cited on page 15 of the majority opinion as a “Brief for Scholars of the Constitutional Rights of Children as Amici Curiae 22–27,” argues that “states cannot justify marriage bans as good for children and then exclude children of same-sex couples based on moral disapproval of their same-sex parents’ relationships or to incentivize opposite-sex couples to ‘procreate’ within the bounds of marriage. To do so, severs the connection between legal burdens and individual responsibility and creates a permanent class or caste distinction.”

Professor Smith is a Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She taught in Whittier Law School’s Study Abroad Program in Barcelona, Spain in 2014. Professor Tanya Washington is a Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law. She previously taught in Whittier Law School’s Study Abroad Program in Nanjing, China in 2013, and will return to teach in 2015.

Whittier Law School’s Journal of Child and Family Advocacy will publish the brief in its entirety, along with an introduction authored by Professor Washington, in its upcoming issue.

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