MAKERS Profile

Roberta Kaplan

Attorney, United States V. Windsor

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 (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 amazon.com.

More From Roberta

A New York Plan
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.

President Clinton's Op-Ed
In this MAKERS interview, Robbie Kaplan, the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, talks about why President Bill Clinton's Op-Ed on overturning the Defense of Marriage Act he had signed 17 years earler was crucial to her case.

Praying for the President
In this MAKERS interview, attorney Robbie Kaplan talks about getting a call from the federal government asking for an extension in their time to respond to the Windsor case and shares what her response was.

75-Person Seder
Attorney Robbie Kaplan talks about the 75-person Passover Seder her team held the week of the United States V. Windsor case, and the similarities between of the story of Passover and gay rights.

Didn't Screw Up
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.

After the Decision
Robbie Kaplan, the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, talks about what it felt like after winning the case.

The Genius of Our Constitution
Robbie Kaplan, the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, talks about Justice Ruth Bader's Ginsburg's remarks on the case.

I Love to Talk
Robbie Kaplan, the attorney who successfully argued the United States V. Windsor case, talks about, well, how she likes to talk a lot.

Competing Demands
Attorney Robbie Kaplan talks about the challenges of being a working mother and says that her solution is to "dive into it".

Old Fashioned
In this MAKERS interview, attorney Robbie Kaplan talks about her young son's refreshing perspective on gay rights.