A federal judge in California overturned the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. In response to Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that the California same-sex marriage ban violated both the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Associate Professor Nelson Tebbe said:
“Judge Walker's decision marks an important step on the road to the Supreme Court for the couples challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage. However, the decision does not highlight the legal argument that is most likely to sway the Supreme Court. In my view, the right to civil marriage for same-sex couples is best viewed as a matter of equal access to government benefits and recognition.”
Tebbe has extensively researched the legal theories and litigation strategies that define how courts should view marriage. Tebbe argues that same-sex marriage issues should be defined in terms of equal access to government support and recognition of the "fundamental interest" branch of equal protection law.
Tebbe along with Professor Deborah Widiss of Indiana University Maurer School of Law suggested a new approach to this question in a recent article that was published in The University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
Read more about Professor Tebbe.