The Supreme Court Confronts DOMA and Same-Sex Marriage: A Discussion with Roy Englert, Neil Siegel, Ernie Young, Erin C. Blondel, and Dan Boettcher

March 28, 2013Duke Law News

Panel discussion, followed by a wine and cheese reception. Sponsored by the Program in Public Law. For more information, contact Dana Norvell at

On March 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, which presents two questions: whether the petitioners have standing, and if so, whether the Equal Protection Clause prohibits California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The following day, the Court heard argument in U.S. v. Windsor, which presents three questions: whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the court below that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional deprives the Court of jurisdiction; whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives has Article III standing; and whether Section 3 of DOMA violates equal protection principles as applied to same-sex couples who are legally married under the laws of their state.

Duke Law School Professors Chris Schroeder, Neil Siegel, and Ernie Young discuss the oral arguments in these cases. Roy T. Englert Jr., an appellate litigator and partner at Robbins Russell in Washington, DC., Erin Blondel, an associate at Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP, and Dan Boettcher, a composer and entrepreneur, round out the panel. Mr. Englert and Professor Young filed an amicus brief for federalism professors in Windsor.  The panelists recount the arguments, read the tea leaves, and make—or refuse to make—bold predictions, followed by questions from the audience.