Amicus Brief of Family and Child Welfare Law Professors on the Merits of United States v. Windsor

58 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013 Last revised: 2 May 2013

See all articles by Courtney G. Joslin

Courtney G. Joslin

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Joan Heifetz Hollinger

University of California, Berkeley Law School

Katharine Baird Silbaugh

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: March 26, 2013

Abstract

This amicus brief - filed on behalf of over 40 Family and Child Welfare Law Professors - seeks to provide the U.S. Supreme Court with a more complete and accurate understanding of the multiple purposes of marriage, and its relationship to procreation and parentage. The right to marry, the Professors explain, has never been conditioned on an ability or willingness to procreate. Amici also show that there is no legal basis for any assertion that federal law favors biological parentage over the decisions of many married couples - both opposite-sex and same-sex - to adopt children or conceive children through assisted reproduction.

The brief also demonstrates that the purported justifications for DOMA lack any basis in federal law or policy and that DOMA undermines state and federal laws and policies regarding families and child welfare. As the brief explains: “DOMA does not change the legal status of any opposite-sex couples or their children, expand their federal protections, or offer any additional inducements to heterosexuals to engage in ‘responsible’ procreation or childrearing. DOMA’s sole effect is to harm married same-sex couples and their children.”

Keywords: marriage, right to marry, lesbian, gay, equal protection, rational basis, procreation, children, biology, Defense of Marriage Act, family, children, irrational, animus

Suggested Citation

Joslin, Courtney G. and Hollinger, Joan Heifetz and Baird Silbaugh, Katharine, Amicus Brief of Family and Child Welfare Law Professors on the Merits of United States v. Windsor (March 26, 2013). UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 329; Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-12; UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2239880. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239880 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2239880

Courtney G. Joslin (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA CA 95616
United States
(530) 752-8325 (Phone)

Joan Heifetz Hollinger

University of California, Berkeley Law School ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Katharine Baird Silbaugh

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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