MENU

Equal Protection Clause

How could the Supreme Court affect marriage?

Short video debating the possible consequences of Obergefell v. Hodges.
Kyle Duncan, Ilya Somin June 25, 2015

Kyle Duncan of Duncan PLLC, an attorney in private practice who serves as Special Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana, and Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, discuss potential consequences of a ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. This case considers whether or not the 14th Amendment requires that states allow same sex couples to marry, as well as whether or not the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same sex marriages performed lawfully in other states.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Must the states recognize same sex marriages?

Short video explaining Obergefell v. Hodges
Kyle Duncan, Ilya Somin June 25, 2015

Kyle Duncan of Duncan PLLC, an attorney in private practice who serves as Special Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana, and Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, discuss Obergefell v. Hodges. This case considers whether or not the 14th Amendment requires that states allow same sex couples to marry, as well as whether or not the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same sex marriages performed lawfully in other states.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Gay Marriage in the Supreme Court - Podcast

Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
Gerard V. Bradley, Ilya Shapiro January 28, 2015

On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court granted cert in four same-sex marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit (one case from each of four states of the circuit, -- Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky). The Court called for Reply Briefs by April 17, with oral argument and decision expected this term. Cert was granted on two questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. The questions are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction.

The relationship between the two questions is asymmetrical. An affirmative answer to the first settles the second likewise, where the Court could coherently, hold that states must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, but not necessarily license them.

  • Prof. Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute

Is the Akaka Bill Back? - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Hans A. von Spakovsky December 17, 2014

The Akaka Bill, originally proposed by former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, was designed to establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to that of some Native American tribes. Based on this status, members can then receive preferential treatment. Critics argue that such treatment would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Supporters argue that such preferences would be authorized because they would be on the political relationship that existed between the U.S. government and its native peoples, and based on the pre-existing sovereignty of those native peoples. Will the Akaka Bill, or some version of it, resurface? If so, is it good law? Good policy?

  • Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Challenging Racial Preferences in Government Contracts - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
David F. Barton, Roger B. Clegg October 17, 2014

While the Supreme Court in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989) and Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena (1995) handed down landmark decisions against the use of racial preferences in government contracting, the practice continues. One of the largest such federal programs is run by the Small Business Administration, but Rothe Development Co. has now challenged it, in a case where the federal district court will hear oral argument later this month. The lawyer in that case -- who also represented Rothe in its successful challenge to a similar U.S. Department of Defense program -- is David Barton, and he discussed the case in this Teleforum. Also participating in the discussion was Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

  • David F. Barton, Partner, The Gardner Law Firm
  • Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel, Center for Equal Opportunity