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

Diane English
Diane English
Creator of "Murphy Brown"

Diane English is an Emmy-winning film and television producer, director, and screenwriter. She is best known for creating the show "Murphy Brown," which ran on CBS from 1...

Cathy Guisewite
Cathy Guisewite
Creator of "Cathy" Comic

Cathy Guisewite is the creator and cartoonist behind the long-running nationally syndicated comic strip "Cathy," one of the first mainstream comics created by a woman. Ap...

Jenette Kahn
Jenette Kahn
First Female Comic Book Executive

Kahn served as publisher and then president of DC Comics, where she helped the company grow from 35 people (with three women, including herself) to 250 people with women representi...

Carol Gilligan
Carol Gilligan
Groundbreaking Psychologist

Carol Gilligan is a revolutionary psychologist and writer. She has authored many books and papers including her landmark work, In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women&...