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Windsor, Animus, and the Future of Marriage Equality

Susannah William Pollvogt

Washburn University School of Law

November 20, 2013

113 Columbia L. Rev. Sidebar 204 (2013)
U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-27

Before Windsor, there were three unanswered questions about the doctrine of unconstitutional animus: (1) how the Court defined animus; (2) what the Court accepted as evidence of animus; and (3) how the Court understood the relationship between animus and rational basis review. After Windsor, these three questions remain unanswered. Indeed, these precise questions were the object of heated --- and ultimately unresolved --- debate between the majority and dissenting opinions in the case. Thus, with Windsor, the Court declared that animus remains a relevant concept in the Court’s equal protection jurisprudence and confirmed that proving the presence of animus is a viable strategy for winning a marriage equality challenge. And yet the Court failed to clarify the contours of the concept, leaving advocates, as well as lower federal and state courts, without guidance on how to articulate and apply the doctrine.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: same-sex marriage, marriage equality, Hollingsworth v. Perry, United States v. Windsor, equal protection, animus, unconstitutional animus

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Date posted: February 22, 2013 ; Last revised: December 14, 2013

Suggested Citation

Pollvogt, Susannah William, Windsor, Animus, and the Future of Marriage Equality (November 20, 2013). 113 Columbia L. Rev. Sidebar 204 (2013); U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-27. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2221999 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2221999

Contact Information

Susannah William Pollvogt (Contact Author)
Washburn University School of Law ( email )
1700 College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
United States
785-670-1665 (Phone)
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