HLS faculty weigh in on Supreme Court rulings

The Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week on several major cases including United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry in regard to same-sex marriage, Fisher v. University of Texas on Affirmative Action, and Shelby County v. Holder, which concerned the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A number of HLS faculty shared their opinions of the rulings on the radio, television, on the web and in print.

How same-sex marriage came to be

Professor Michael Klarman

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases involving same-sex marriage. Harvard Law School Professor Michael Klarman has written a legal history of gay marriage, “From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash and the Struggle for Same Sex Marriage.” In the March-April 2013 issue of Harvard Magazine, which appears below, Klarman published an article on “How Same-Sex Marriage Came to Be.” His scholarship was also profiled in the Fall 2012 issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin in an article titled “The Courts and Public Opinion.”

Tribe offers predictions on gay marriage rulings

Two cases regarding gay marriage, Hollingsworth v. Perry (challenging California’s Proposition 8) and United States v. Windsor (challenging the Defense of Marriage Act), were argued this term in front of the Supreme Court. The Justices are expected to reach a ruling by July 2013. In light of these arguments, The Harvard Law Bulletin asked Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe ’66 to offer some predictions for how the two cases might be decided.

‘Defending unpopular positions is what lawyers do’ says Paul Clement ’92


There are two things former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement ’92 won’t do: Tell you where he stands on same-sex marriage, and grouse about the controversy that enveloped him last spring when he resigned from his law firm in order to continue defending U.S. House of Representatives Republicans in litigation over the Defense of Marriage Act.

GLAD’s Bonauto assesses litigation of the Defense of Marriage Act

At “Challenging and Litigating DOMA’s Constitutionality”— an event that was co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School American Constitution Society, Lambda, and the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Journal—Mary Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), spoke about litigating the Defense of Marriage Act in federal courts in the wake of the Department of Justice’s recent decision to stop defending the law.

Spain said ‘yes’ to gay marriage. Two American law students went there to see what we can learn from it.


In 2007, when Erika Rickard was a 2L at Harvard Law, same-sex marriage had been legal in Massachusetts for more than three years. By that time, some of the clients she was assisting through the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Law Clinic were seeking to dissolve their unions. The law was so new, she found […]

An op-ed by Professor Charles Fried: The people, not courts, should rule on same-sex marriage

Charles Fried Preferred Faculty Photo, as of 2/28/14

The following op-ed was published in the Boston Globe on January 5, 2007: Deval Patrick is off to a bad start. If the amendment to prohibit gay marriage ever reaches the people, I shall vote against it. I regret that the Supreme Judicial Court, in its closely divided 2003 decision in the Goodridge case, proclaimed that the state Constitution requires same-sex marriage.