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Family Law

V.L. v. E.L. - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-30-16 featuring Robin Fretwell Wilson
Robin Fretwell Wilson March 31, 2016

On March 7, 2016, the Supreme Court decided V.L. v. E.L., a case involving an interstate dispute over custody of a child raised by a same-sex couple. A Georgia court entered a final judgment of adoption making petitioner V. L. a legal parent of the children that she and respondent E. L., her same-sex partner, had raised together from birth. V. L. and E. L. later separated while living in Alabama. V. L. asked the Alabama courts to enforce the Georgia judgment and grant her custody or visitation rights. The Alabama Supreme Court refused, holding that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution did not require the Alabama courts to respect the Georgia judgment.

By a vote of 8-0 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Alabama Supreme Court and remanded the case, holding in a per curiam opinion that the Alabama Supreme Court erred in refusing to grant the Georgia adoption judgment full faith and credit.

To discuss the case, we have Robin Fretwell Wilson, who is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Family Law and Policy at University of Illinois College of Law.

The Family - Event Audio/Video

2016 National Student Symposium
Mary Anne Case, Kay S. Hymowitz, W. Bradford Wilcox, Robert L. Woodson, A. Raymond Randolph, Robert Smith, Dan McBride March 04, 2016

It is oddly controversial to identify the breakdown of the family unit as a central cause of poverty. The empirical evidence confirming a strong correlation is overwhelming: higher divorce rates, increasing out-of-wedlock births, lower percentages of married couples, and higher rates of abortion are all associated with poverty. How has the law impacted these trends, and what can be done to reverse them?

This panel was presented at the 2016 National Student Symposium on Saturday, February 27, 2016, at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Panel II: The Family
Caplin Auditorium

  • Prof. Mary Anne Case, Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Ms. Kay Hymowitz, Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute
  • Prof. W. Bradford Wilcox, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia
  • Mr. Robert Woodson, Founder and President, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
  • Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Robert Smith, 1L Committee Co-Chair, University of Virginia School of Law Student Chapter
  • Welcome: Mr. Dan McBride, President, University of Virginia School of Law Student Chapter

University of Virginia School of Law
Charlottesville, VA

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.

Child Abuse and the Confrontation Clause: Ohio v. Clark - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
John C. Richter March 12, 2015

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Ohio v. Clark on March 2, 2015. Two questions are presented to the Court: (1) Whether an individual's obligation to report suspected child abuse makes that individual an agent of law enforcement for purposes of the Confrontation Clause; and (2) whether a child's out-of-court statements to a teacher in response to the teacher's concerns about potential child abuse qualify as “testimonial” statements subject to the Confrontation Clause. On March 17, 2010, a Cleveland preschool teacher noticed injuries to a three-year-old student. When asked, the child indicated that her mother’s boyfriend, Darius Clark, had caused the injuries. Clark was arrested and convicted of child abuse after the teacher relayed her concerns to a child-abuse hotline, as required by state law. On appeal Clark claimed that the admission of the child’s out-of-court statements to the teacher violated his Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him. The Supreme Court of Ohio agreed, holding that because state law required the teacher to report suspected incidences of child abuse, the teacher was acting as an agent for law enforcement when inquiring about the child’s injuries. Therefore, the child’s out-of-court statements could only be admitted if the primary purpose of the teacher’s questioning was to address an ongoing emergency. Because the child was not in immediate danger of further injury, the out-of-court statement could not be admitted.

  • John C. Richter, Partner, King & Spalding