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 Profile

Roberta Kaplan

United States V. Windsor Attorney

More From Roberta

In this video

In this MAKERS interview, attorney Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan talks about why she chose to take on the landmark Edie Windsor case, what made the case personal, and the Supreme Court's landmark decision ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

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

Val Demings
Val Demings
First Female Chief of Police, Orlando, FL

Val Demings’ parents—her mother a maid and her father a janitor—never graduated from high school, but they instilled in their daughter the message that Demings co...

Susan Brownmiller
Susan Brownmiller
Author, "Against Our Will"

Susan Brownmiller is an author and feminist activist, best known for her groundbreaking book Against Her Will: Men, Women, and Rape, which helped modernize attitudes towards the ra...

Sheryl WuDunn
Sheryl WuDunn
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Sheryl WuDunn is a business executive, best-selling author, journalist, and international women’s rights advocate. In 1989, she became the first Asian American to win a Pulit...

Angela Salinas
Angela Salinas
Major General, US Marine Corps (Ret)

Angela Salinas is a retired Major General of the US Marine Corps and a role model for women in the armed forces. Raised by two Mexican immigrants, Salinas was the first in her fam...