by Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School
*This piece was originally posted on Stanford Law School Blog
Edie Windsor had a signature set of pearls and a signature set of advice: “Don’t postpone joy” and “Keep it hot.” In the five years I knew her, no one followed that advice more resolutely.
I began working on Edie’s challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on July 4, 2012, when Robbie Kaplan, who was representing her, sent me an email asking if I was interested in helping out. We often say about the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic (which I co-direct with Jeff Fisher) that we serve as local counsel, only our locale is the U.S. Supreme Court. Robbie brought me in to help with a petition for cert. before judgment; Edie was 83 years old and there was then no telling how long proceedings in the Second Circuit might take. (As it turned out, the Second Circuit issued a ruling in our favor with unusual dispatch.)