From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...
Obergefell v. Hodges
United States Supreme Court
135 S. Ct. 1039, 576 U.S. 644 (2015)
In response to some states legalizing same-sex marriage, various states enacted laws and constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman. When James Obergefell’s (plaintiff) partner, John Arthur, became terminally ill, the pair decided to marry. The couple wed in Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. After Arthur died, however, the couple’s home state of Ohio refused to list Obergefell as Arthur’s surviving spouse on the death certificate. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse (plaintiffs), a same-sex couple living in Michigan, adopted three children. Because of a state ban on adoptions by same-sex couples, DeBoer and Rowse could not both be legal parents to their children. Ipje DeKoe and Thomas Kostura (plaintiffs) got married in New York before DeKoe was deployed to Afghanistan with the army reserve. They later moved to Tennessee, which refuses to recognize the union. These and similarly situated plaintiffs separately sued state officials (defendants) charged with enforcing state marriage laws in federal courts in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, alleging violations of their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The district courts found for the plaintiffs in each instance, but the state officials appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The court of appeals consolidated the cases and reversed, holding that states were under no constitutional duty to license or recognize same-sex marriages. The plaintiffs petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari, which was granted.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
Dissent (Roberts, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 602,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.