Newsletter

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.

MAKERS Moment

A New York Plan

A New York Plan

More From Roberta

In this video

In this MAKERS interview, Robbie Kaplan, the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, talks about the plan she made at a very young age that would lead her to New York City.

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.

Related Videos

Angela Ahrendts
Angela Ahrendts
Senior Vice President of Retail, Apple

Angela Ahrendts is a businesswoman who is currently Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores. Prior to her joining Apple, Ahrendts served as CEO of Burberry, l...

Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch
Actor

Born and raised in Dolton, Illinois, Jane Lynch is a multi-talented, lifelong performer. The singer, actor and comedian received her BA in theater from Illinois State University an...

Tavi Gevinson
Tavi Gevinson
Fashion Blogger & Feminist

At age 11, Tavi Gevinson shocked the fashion world when her blog, Style Rookie, became one of the most popular online style guides. A mere four years later, she is a notable and st...

Guo Jianmei
Guo Jianmei
China's First Public Interest Lawyer

Guo Jianmei is a human rights activist, lawyer and founder of the Women’s Legal Research and Services Center. Born into a family of peasants in 1960, Jianmei witnessed severe...