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Experts Predict A Domino Effect

Publication Date: 
June 27, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Carolyn Lochhead

Professor Jane Schacter spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead about the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage rullings and the long-term effects they will have on cases going forward. 

The Supreme Court's powerful language striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act paves the way to topple same-sex marriage bans in more than three dozen states, from Texas to Mississippi to Pennsylvania, lawyers involved in the court's landmark gay rights rulings said Wednesday.

The two decisions, including one that promises to lift California's ban on same-sex marriage under Proposition 8, will lead to further state challenges, experts said.


United States vs. Windsor "will become citation one, two and three in future briefs for marriage equality," said Jane Schacter, a constitutional law professor at Stanford University.


States' rights DOMA's Section 2, which permits states to deny same-sex marriages from other states, was not challenged in Windsor and remains intact. The Kennedy opinion also includes language on state's rights and federalism that could limit its reach, Schacter said, while the Prop. 8 opinion did not address whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.