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Relational Dynamics between the U.S. Federal and State Constitutions: The Trajectory of Marriage Equality Cases from Baehr to Obergefell

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Title: Relational Dynamics between the U.S. Federal and State Constitutions: The Trajectory of Marriage Equality Cases from Baehr to Obergefell
Authors: Levin, Mark A.
Enoki, Toru
Keywords: Obergefell v. Hodges
Baehr v. Lewin, Baehr v. Miike
same-sex marriage
marriage equality
federalism
show 6 moreequal protection
fundamental rights
state constitutional law
Hawaii
Independent and Adequate State Grounds doctrine
federal court jurisdiction

show less
Issue Date: May 2015
Publisher: Hōritsu Jihō,日本禁煙学会雑誌
Citation: Levin, Mark and Enoki, Toru, アメリカ合衆国における連邦憲法と州憲法の関係のダイナミクス - 婚姻平等(同性婚)を例として (Relational Dynamics between the U.S. Federal and State Constitutions: The Trajectory of Marriage Equality Cases from Baehr to Obergefell) (May 1, 2015). Hōritsu Jihō, (法律時報), Vol. 87, No.5, 91-97, May 2015 .
Related To: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1864831
Abstract: The history of marriage equality cases through to the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is relatively well-known to US-based scholars, but less so in many locations abroad. This article presents that history not only for its own value, but as a window into understanding distinct aspects of the U.S. system of federalism. The paper first introduces the history of Hawai'i's constitutions, from the Kingdom of Hawai'i's several promulgations, through that of the Republic of Hawai'i, and then into statehood and the present day. Next, the article presents the jurisprudential balance between U.S. federal and state constitutions to explain how the Supreme Court of Hawai'i launched a revolution in marriage equality with the 1993 Baehr v. Lewin decision in an application of the Independent and Adequate State Grounds doctrine of federal court jurisdiction. Though Baehr was overridden by a state constitutional amendment in 1998 and vacated in 1999, the decision rapidly spawned multiple venues of legal action both supporting and opposing marriage equality rights until recognition of marriage equality as a U.S. federal constitutional right was finalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015.

This article, designed for a Japanese legal audience, aims to explain the history of Obergefell while also using the case example as a means of explaining the often-overlooked but vital role of state constitutional law in shaping the U.S. legal order. It concludes with a call for further attention to state constitutional law as well as for a careful reconsideration of marriage equality rights law in Japan. The history of marriage equality cases through to the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is relatively well-known to US-based scholars, but less so in many locations abroad. This article presents that history not only for its own value, but as a window into understanding distinct aspects of the U.S. system of federalism. The paper first introduces the history of Hawai'i's constitutions, from the Kingdom of Hawai'i's several promulgations, through that of the Republic of Hawai'i, and then into statehood and the present day. Next, the article presents the jurisprudential balance between U.S. federal and state constitutions to explain how the Supreme Court of Hawai'i launched a revolution in marriage equality with the 1993 Baehr v. Lewin decision in an application of the Independent and Adequate State Grounds doctrine of federal court jurisdiction. Though Baehr was overridden by a state constitutional amendment in 1998 and vacated in 1999, the decision rapidly spawned multiple venues of legal action both supporting and opposing marriage equality rights until recognition of marriage equality as a U.S. federal constitutional right was finalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015.

This article, designed for a Japanese legal audience, aims to explain the history of Obergefell while also using the case example as a means of explaining the often-overlooked but vital role of state constitutional law in shaping the U.S. legal order. It concludes with a call for further attention to state constitutional law as well as for a careful reconsideration of marriage equality rights law in Japan.
Pages/Duration: 7 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/46058
Appears in Collections:Levin, Mark A.



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