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Marriage and Same-Sex Marriage in Constitutional Law

This lesson covers the basic constitutional issues and arguments in marriage with an emphasis on same-sex marriage litigation, including Hollingsworth v. Perry, United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges. It is best used as a supplement or review.


This lesson has been updated to reflect changes in the law through April 2018.


Learning Outcomes


On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

1. Restate the Supreme Court's analysis in Hollingsworth v. Perry, United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

2. Apply Loving v. Virginia and other Court holdings to new fact patterns.

3. Explain the legal background leading to Hollingsworth v. Perry.

4. Explain the legal events leading to United States v. Windsor.

5. Examine DOMA and the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause and the Fifth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

6. List the "four principles and traditions" that the Supreme Court cited in support of its finding in Obergefell v. Hodges.

7. Distinguish Obergefell v. Hodges from later cases.

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