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Constitutional Law

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2014

Same-sex marriage

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Same-Sex Marriage, Federalism, And Judicial Supremacy, Robert F. Nagel Jan 2014

Same-Sex Marriage, Federalism, And Judicial Supremacy, Robert F. Nagel

Publications

Justice Kennedy's opinion in United States v. Windsor is characterized by a number of strained and wavering constitutional claims. Prominent among these is the argument that the principle of federalism calls into question the congressional decision to adopt the traditional definition of marriage, which the state of New York rejected. An examination of earlier federalism cases demonstrates that Kennedy's appreciation for federalism is in fact severely limited and suggests and that his lax use of legal authority is directly if perversely related to this limited appreciation.

Federalism cases prior to Windsor show that Justice Kennedy supports state authority only when …