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Podcast: The Supreme Court’s historic same-sex marriage arguments

April 29, 2015 by NCC Staff


The National Constitution Center’s Jeffery Rosen is joined by John Eastman and Paul M. Smith to break down the historic arguments about same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court this week.

US_Supreme_Court_Building-640On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in what could be a generational case for the nine Justices: Does the 14th Amendment include marriage rights for same-sex couples and does it also compel states to recognize same-sex marriages legally recognized in other states?

Legal scholars are trying to parse the lines of reasoning pursued by the Justices after two and half hours of arguments in court.

The case in front of Justices is called Obergefell v. Hodges, and it came from same-sex couples who were denied a right to marry after a federal court upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Same-sex marriage supporters believe the unions are permitted nationally under the Constitution’s Due Process and Equal Protection provisions.

But four states in this lawsuit – Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee – believe same-sex marriage eligibility should be determined by the states, through a political process that gives voters a role in the decision, and that the traditional definition of marriage should be respected.

Joining us to discuss the arguments and the Justices are two of the leading experts on these issues.

Paul M. Smith is Chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and Co-Chair of the Media and First Amendment, and Election Law and Redistricting Practices at Jenner and Block. Paul has argued 16 cases in the Supreme Court, and among his important victories is Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case.

John Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law, and he also served as the School's Dean from June 2007 to January 2010. John is the Founding Director of the Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute.

Jeffery Rosen moderates this wide-ranging discussion. You can listen to the full podcast in the player below or at the following link: Download this episode (right click and save)

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