Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.


Didn't Screw Up

Didn't Screw Up

More From Roberta

In this video

Robbie Kaplan talks about her thoughts proceeding her argument in the United States V. Windsor case and why she felt like so much rested on her shoulders.

Roberta's Biography

Born and Raised:Born in 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio, "in the heart of the Midwest."
Grandmother's Influence:"She really believed that you do and say what you believe is right, no matter what, and that's what we are all put on this earth to do."
Judaism:"That was very much part of our identity, and certainly my grandmother's identity."
Sandra Day O'Connor's Supreme Court Appointment:"I was a sophomore in high school at the time, and I remember thinking...maybe, you never know, one day, that could be me."

Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan is the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law.
A partner in the Litigation Department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Robbie's Supreme Court argument on behalf of Edie Windsor may be the most significant civil rights decision of our time. In its majority opinion in Windsor, the Supreme Court held that the status of being a married gay person is "a far-reaching legal acknowledgment of the intimate relationship between two people, a relationship deemed … worthy of dignity in the community equal with all other marriages."
The consequences of the Windsor decision have been both rapid and profound. At least 13 Lower courts throughout the United States, including in New Jersey, Ohio, New Mexico, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Utah, have since held, relying explicitly on Windsor, that gay couples in those jurisdictions should be accorded equal rights.
Check out her author's page on

Related Videos

Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely
Founder, Spanx

“My life was laying the groundwork for Spanx,” Sara Blakely says. After attending Florida State University, she planned on becoming an attorney. But she failed the LSAT...

Marlen Esparza
Marlen Esparza

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Marlen Esparza knew she wanted to be in the boxing ring. With the support of her father and coach - along with her hard work - Esparza has managed to ...

Charlotte Bunch
Charlotte Bunch
International Women's Rights Activist

Women worldwide, “are routinely subject to torture, starvation, terrorism, humiliation, mutilation, and even murder simply because they are female,” wrote Charlotte Bun...

Majora Carter
Majora Carter
Community Developer

Majora Carter became passionate about community development while completing her MFA at New York University, advocating for the development of Hunts Point Riverside Park, the South...