University of Georgia experts available to speak on Supreme Court same-sex marriage rulings

June 26, 2013

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Athens, Ga. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and sent Proposition 8 case back to California for lack of jurisdiction.

"Together, the Supreme Court's decisions in the same-sex marriage cases represent important but incremental movement toward full marriage equality," said Hillel Levin, an associate professor in the University of Georgia School of Law. "The court ultimately left the biggest questions open for another day, much as most commentators expected."

Anthony Michael Kreis, a doctoral candidate in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, agreed. "Today, with striking DOMA and return of same-sex marriages to California, the Supreme Court has signaled a watershed moment for the rights of same-sex couples," he said. "The dual decisions today are landmark ones that will profoundly impact equal protection jurisprudence in the years to come."

For media assistance finding a UGA expert in this or another area, contact the UGA News Service at 706-542-8083 or see the UGA faculty experts database at http://news.uga.edu/experts/.


For a University of Georgia expert's view on the decisions, contact:

Hillel Levin
Associate professor, UGA School of Law
678-641-7452 (between the hours of 10:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. on June 26), hlevin@uga.edu

Levin specializes in education law and policy, statutory interpretation, church/state issues, constitutional law and the judicial process. This past academic year, he authored articles on same-sex marriage legal issues and taught a semester-long seminar about the current cases. Previously, he served as a judicial clerk for Judge Thomas J. Meskill of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and for Judge Robert N. Chatigny of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. His law degree is from Yale University.

Anthony Michael Kreis
Doctoral candidate, School of Public and International Affairs
908-268-1340, kreis@uga.edu

While earning his law degree at Washington and Lee University, Kreis served as a research assistant to Rodney A. Smolla, a nationally recognized First Amendment scholar, and Robin Fretwell Wilson, a leading expert on marriage equality and religious liberty. With a nationwide cohort of legal academics, Kreis assisted in legislation drafting efforts for marriage equality initiatives in various states, including the 2011 New York Marriage Equality Act.

Kreis's focus lies at the crossroads of law, politics and public policy with a specialization in issues confronting sexual and racial minorities and civil liberties. During his tenure at UGA, he continues his lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocacy while pursuing academic interests in critical legal theory, American political philosophy, the politics of equal protection law and the influence of the judiciary in social movements.

Alex Reed
Assistant professor, Legal Studies Program, Terry College of Business
706-542-9772, areed@uga.edu

Reed is an expert on employment equality and has published scholarship on LGBT issues. His research interests also include federal income tax, employment law and securities regulation. He previously worked for Alston and Bird LLP in securities litigation.

Sonja West
Associate professor, UGA School of Law
310-804-5190, srwest@uga.edu

A former U.S. Supreme Court judicial clerk, West specializes in constitutional law, media law and the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to clerking for Justice John Paul Stevens, she also clerked for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Her other professional experience includes several years as an associate attorney for the Los Angeles law firms Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and Davis Wright Tremaine, where she represented media clients on a variety of First Amendment and intellectual property issues at the trial and appellate levels.

 

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