March 2013

Experts Available for Same-sex Cases Before the Supreme Court:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 21, 2013—On March 26 and March 27 the Supreme Court will hear challenges to California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages, Prop. 8, and to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that forbids the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex marriage.

Experts from the Santa Clara University School of Law are available to discuss both cases: 

1. Margaret Russell, professor of constitutional law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has been following the legal odyssey of Prop. 8 closely for years, and attended some of the federal trial.  She also has been studying the near-record-high number of amicus briefs in the case.

“What’s interesting to me is how many people and organizations have submitted briefs encouraging the court not to address the merits of the Prop. 8 case, and instead find that the anti-Prop. 8 people should never have been granted standing,” said Russell. “However, I feel this is such an important issue for the Supreme Court – on par with the milestone case Loving v. Virginia -- that it would be disappointing for the court to refuse to address the central issues.”

Like the other professors, Russell predicts that DOMA will be ruled unconstitutional because it deprives rights to a select group. She is reachable by e-mail,

2. Patricia Cain, professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, specializes in sexuality and the law as well as tax law. She is extremely well-versed in both cases, and can discuss the various outcomes that are possible in the Prop. 8 case, ranging from a ruling that would only apply in California to a broad opinion that there is a fundamental right to marriage for same-sex couples in all states.  She can be reached at (408) 554-4612, or Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations ( or 408-768-6898 CELL) can help reach her on deadline.

3. Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram (pr. Goo La SAY Ka Rum) is an expert on constitutional law, and has been closely following the Prop. 8 case and its many legal nuances. He can discuss many state and federal laws and rights for same-sex couples. He can be reached at, (408) 554-4188 (work). NOTE: Prof. Gulasekaram will be unavailable for comment from March 28 to April 6.

4. Jean Love, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, is teaching the two cases in her Constitutional Law course this semester. She can discuss the equal-protection and right-to-marry issues at stake, and has analyzed all the significant amicus briefs filed in the cases. She can be reached at work at (408) 554-4535, by e-mail at or via Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations ( or 408-768-6898 CELL).

On April 10, a panel of Santa Clara University law professors – including Jean Love, Pat Cain and Margaret Russell -- will convene at the law school to discuss both cases and comment on the Supreme Court hearings. Media interested in attending should contact Deborah Lohse for details.

Deborah Lohse  | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121 (O) | (408) 768-6898 (C)

School of Law,Supreme Court,DOMA