The Role of State Courts in Adoption and Same-Sex Marriage Litigation
33 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010
The paper will discuss the effect of judicial policymaking on marriage equality and adoption by gay parents in the United States over the past two decades. It will focus on the importance of the court's perception of its role as a subordinate or coordinate policymaker in accomplishing the litigants' goals. My research shows that the litigation proved less successful when, as in the marriage cases, the courts were more likely to act as subordinate policymakers and allow decisions made in other policymaking arenas to stand. It was more successful when, as in the adoption cases, the courts were more likely to adopt a coordinate policymaking role, showing less inclination to defer to the legislative design.
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