NYU Law professors, alumni, and students file amicus briefs with Supreme Court supporting same-sex marriage

NYU School of Law professors, alumni, and students have filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court supporting the case for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Ryan Goodman, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor Law; Distinguished Scholar in Residence Harold Koh; and Thomas Buergenthal ’60, LLD ’80 have filed an amicus brief as part of a group of foreign and comparative law experts. Their brief explains foreign jurisdictions’ affirmation of equal marriage rights and elaborates on the need for same-sex marriage equality in guaranteeing liberty and due process. Their brief argues, “The Court’s ruling in this case will affect whether the United States continues to be seen as a global leader in the robust defense of personal autonomy and human dignity.”

The 2014-15 Executive Board of OUTLaw, an NYU Law student organization, has also co-signed an amicus brief, filed with nine other LGBTQ student organizations from undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. They argue that state laws that do not recognize same-sex marriage keep their constituents from pursuing employment opportunities throughout the United States.

Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering Scott Skinner-Thompson has also joined an amicus brief with other law professors and a political science professor. The brief argues that “empirical-sounding, pseudoscientific assertions” have historically been used to justify discriminatory policies in family law. “The passage of time has shown that these earlier justifications were constitutionally impermissible, morally unacceptable, and empirically indefensible.”

In mid-February, the Supreme Court granted cert to four same-sex marriage cases, brought by 15 same-sex couples in four states. On April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the following two questions about the Fourteenth Amendment: whether it requires a state to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and whether it requires a state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses.

Posted March 13, 2015