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United States

2014

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Federalism As A Way Station: Windsor As Exemplar Of Doctrine In Motion, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2014

Federalism As A Way Station: Windsor As Exemplar Of Doctrine In Motion, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

This Article asks what the Supreme Court’s opinion in United States v. Windsor stands for. It first shows that the opinion leans in the direction of marriage equality but ultimately resists any dispositive “equality” or “federalism” interpretation. The Article next examines why the opinion seems intended to preserve for itself a Delphic obscurity. The Article reads Windsor as an exemplar of what judicial opinions may look like in transition periods, when a Bickelian Court seeks to invite, not end, a national conversation, and to nudge it in a certain direction. In such times, federalism rhetoric—like manipulating the tiers ...