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Boston University School of Law




In her characteristically astute and engaging essay, Professor Heather Gerken offers a sensitive and sympathetic reading of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States v. Windsor.1 Her core claim is that Windsor—and the transformation of political and legal support for same-sex marriage in the United States—demonstrate how “federalism and rights work together to promote change” and, in particular, how federalism furthers the equality and liberty values of the Fourteenth Amendment.2 This is a natural line of argument for Gerken to develop with respect to Windsor, as she has produced an incredible body of scholarship dedicated to what she calls the “nationalist school of federalism”—a theory of federalism that understands “state power [as] a means to achieving a well-functioning national democracy.”3 We are fortunate that she has turned her attention to same-sex marriage, federalism, and the “many mysteries” of Windsor

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