by Suzanne B. Goldberg, Executive Vice President for University Life, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School
*This post is part of ACSblog’s symposium on the consolidated marriage equality cases before the Supreme Court.
It was cold but clear yesterday morning just after dawn outside the Supreme Court. If you have seen any of the photos circulating in social media, you can feel the optimistic mood of nearly everyone there – from the cheery, dark-suited lawyers on the Supreme Court bar line to those on the line designated for the general public, some of whom had traveled across the country and slept out for several nights, with rainbow flags aloft, waiting for this morning to arrive.
Both lines wound from in front of the sunrise-reflected courthouse to a point well around the corner, hundreds of people in all. Also in the mix were loads of media – more than at any previous gay rights argument that I can remember, with reporters standing tall so they could be filmed with the Court as backdrop as they explained to the nation what is at issue in the marriage cases about to be argued.
It was hugs aplenty among old friends who have worked together for so many years on LGBT rights cases. If totaled, the collective experience of movement lawyers, academics and law firm cooperating attorneys might have included as many years as the millennia some of the justices later invoked inside the courtroom when they talked about the lengthy history of “traditional” marriage.