Schrödinger's Constitution

5 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2014

Date Written: June 27, 2014


In the famous thought experiment known as Schrödinger’s Cat, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger illustrated the startling implication of the quantum physics theory that a subatomic particle can exist simultaneously in two states until it is measured. A similar problem arises from what will eventually be the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex marriage. Following the Tenth Circuit's decision in Kitchen v. Herbert, county officials in Boulder, Colorado disregarded its stay and began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Some assert this violates the rule of law, but the author argues that unlike a decaying subatomic particle, the constitutionality of state same-sex marriage bans is not so indeterminate that we cannot act until hearing from the Supreme Court.

Keywords: Schrödinger's Cat, same-sex marriage, Windsor v. Perry, Kitchen v. Herbert, Einstein, quantum mechanics, equal protection, due process

Suggested Citation

Metzler, Theodore, Schrödinger's Constitution (June 27, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

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