Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Historians and the Obergefell Decision - updated

Both the majority opinion and the dissents in Obergefell v. Hodges, the recent Supreme Court same-sex marriage case, are notable for their references to history. Research by legal historians Hendrik Hartog (Princeton University), Nancy Cott (Harvard University), and Stephanie Coontz (Evergreen State College), among others, made it into the decision. Historians have also weighed in on the decision's significance. Here's a roundup of coverage from around the web.

  • From Process, the blog of the Organization of American Historians: Dirk Hartog tells us how it feels to be cited by the Supreme Court ("Cool. Very Cool.") and offers "four suggestions about why the brief mattered and, more importantly, how it succeeded."
  • Over at Balkinization, Jack Balkin (Yale Law School) has posted on the Justices' competing uses of the concept of tradition
  • My personal favorite: Corey Robin (Brooklyn College/CUNY Graduate Center) digs into Justice Thomas's biography to shed light on the dignity references in his dissent. (Hat tip: Ariela Gross)
  • Writing for the web magazine Nomocracy in Politics, Bruce Frohnen (Ohio Northern University) responds to critiques of another historically grounded amicus brief--filed by originalist scholars in support of "traditional marriage." (Hat tip: Robert Waters)
Are there more articles we should note? Leave your comments and we'll continue updating the post.

1 comment:

Sara Mayeux said...

Hi Karen! There were also two thoughtful responses at the S-USIH blog:
- Andrew Seal (who discusses, in particular, how Kennedy's opinion differs from the historians brief and whether Kennedy's "soft denigration of the non-married life" makes Obergefell less expansive, in a way, than Loving):
- Claire Potter: