Friend-of-the-Court Briefs Submitted by Williams Institute Scholars to U.S. Supreme Court in Marriage Cases

March 5, 2015

Williams Institute scholars filed two amici briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in four cases concerning the constitutionality of state bans on marriage for same-sex couples. The Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on April 28, 2015 and its decision is expected in June 2015.

First, Williams Institute legal scholars, along with the National Women’s Law Center and other leading women’s legal organizations, filed an amici brief arguing that, like laws that discriminate based on sex, laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation warrant heightened judicial scrutiny because they are based on impermissible gender stereotypes. Under this standard of review, the brief concludes, state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

Click here for the gender stereotyping brief.

Second, Williams Institute Research Director and Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar Gary Gates filed an amicus brief shedding light on the demographic and economic characteristics of same-sex couples and their children throughout the United States and in the specific states at issue in the cases before the Supreme Court (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee).

Click here for the demographics brief.