Beth Chayim Chadashim Humanitarian Award
Williams Institute Visiting Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law and Legal Director David Codell honored with the Beth Chayim Chadashim Rabbi Erwin and Agnes Herman Humanitarian Award
David Codell is a nationally recognized expert in civil rights law and constitutional issues. David’s advancement of groundbreaking legal theories to protect the rights of LGBT people led a renowned constitutional law professor recently to describe him as “one of the foremost legal minds of his generation.” He represented students in the first case in the country in which a court ordered a public school district to permit a gay-straight alliance to meet on campus and was lead counsel in a historic series of lawsuits upholding California’s comprehensive domestic partnership laws. David has also served as co-counsel in litigation resulting in the California Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling that California’s Constitution requires that same-sex couples be permitted to marry, following up with the litigation upholding the validity of the 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that occurred before Proposition 8 was enacted.
In the marriage cases now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, David co-authored a friend- of-the-court brief on behalf of Williams Institute scholars and leading women’s legal groups, explaining that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation frequently are impermissibly based on gender-based stereotypes about women’s and men’s roles in relationships. The brief has been described as “paradigm shifting.” David has provided the bulk of his legal assistance to the LGBT community over the last fourteen years on a pro bono basis—continually donating his skills and passion to the LGBT community both here in California and across the nation. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a Supreme Court Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, David served as a law clerk for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. Early in his legal career, David practiced constitutional law in association with Laurence H. Tribe in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
David was honored at an awards brunch on June 2, 2013 in Los Angeles.