Then Comes Marriage

Then Comes Marriage Roberta Kaplan S Gripping Story Of Her Defeat Of The Defense Of Marriage Act DOMA Before The Supreme CourtRenowned Litigator Roberta Kaplan Knew From The Beginning That It Was The Perfect Case To Bring Down The So Called Defense Of Marriage Act DOMA Edie Windsor And Thea Spyer Had Been Together As A Couple, In Sickness And In Health, For Than Forty Years Enduring Society S Homophobia As Well As Spyer S Near Total Paralysis From Multiple Sclerosis Although The Couple Was Finally Able To Marry, When Spyer Died The Federal Government Refused To Recognize Their Marriage, Forcing Windsor To Pay A Huge Estate Tax BillIn This Gripping, Definitive Account Of One Of Our Nation S Most Significant Civil Rights Victories, Kaplan Describes Meeting Windsor And Their Journey Together To Defeat DOMA She Shares The Behind The Scenes Highs And Lows, The Excitement And The Worries, And Provides Intriguing Insights Into Her Historic Argument Before The Supreme Court A Critical And Previously Untold Part Of The Narrative Is Kaplan S Own Personal Story, Including Her Struggle For Self Acceptance In Order To Create A Loving Family Of Her OwnThen Comes Marriage Tells This Quintessentially American Story With Honesty, Humor, And Heart It Is The Momentous Yet Intimate Account Of A Thrilling Victory For Equality Under The Law For All Americans, Gay Or Straight Then Comes Marriage ended up falling into my lap at the perfect time I had just finished working on my final research paper for one of my political science classes and had selected US v Windsor as my SCOTUS case, so I had good base knowledge going in as well as the desire to keep learning I love reading about the Supreme Court and I love reading about the people behind the cases, so this was an absolutely perfect read for me.The story of Edith Windsor is absolutely breathtaking and it turned out to be way interesting than I had originally anticipated I loved the stories that Kaplan shared and the way that the book just made everything feel so human and real Even though everyone knows the ending, it s the stuff in the middle that is really worth sticking around for.I particularly appreciated that this book was evenly divided between the politics and the occasional dryness of legal work, and the totally not dry realities of real life for Kaplan and her colleagues It never felt like the book fell too heavily on one or the other.Really my only complaint is that the writing itself isn t all that spectacular It s an easy read and it breaks down a lot of the complex behind the scenes stuff really well, but the writing is relatively simple and can often just feel dry But the obvious heart and passion I ll admit, I teared up a few times behind Marriage makes it worth reading until the end. Originally published at Reading RealityThis book, like yesterday s review book, Grant Park, is about a day when the universe changed.That book centered around the election of Barack Obama This one concerns events that took place after Obama was elected, events that probably would have taken a lot longer under a different administration.On March 27, 2013, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the case of United States V Windsor, the case that struck down DOMA, the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, as unconstitutional Windsor became the precedent that enabled courts across the U.S to strike down state statutes that attempted to restrict marriage This past summer, in the case of Obergefell v Hodges, marriage equality became the law of the land.Then Comes Marriage is the third book that I have read about this case and its aftermath Last year s Forcing the Spring Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality is an account of the other marriage equality case that came before the Supreme Court in 2013, the case against California s Prop 8 In some ways, Then Comes Marriage feels like the other side of that story, as the reporter who wrote Forcing the Spring was embedded in the other legal team And though she interviewed the principals in Windsor after the fact, her coverage of the Windsor case is naturally not as complete as it is for the case that she was personally involved with.Speak Now Marriage Equality on Trial also covers the Prop 8 case, but from the perspective of a married gay lawyer who was not professionally involved in the case but would be impacted by the result.I found it interesting that both the Yoshino book and this one take their titles from ages old references to marriage and being married The other title is a play on the part of the marriage ceremony where the officiant addresses the audience regarding whether anyone can show just cause to stop the impending marriage with the phrase speak now or forever hold your peace.Then Comes Marriage is part of a childhood taunting rhyme, First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes someone with a baby carriage Because after the recent rulings that someone could be a man and woman, two women, or two men Love is love and marriage is finally marriage.But this book, as written by the lawyer who argued the Windsor case, starts at the very beginning And in this beginning are Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer, two women who pledged their love to each other in 1967, at a time before the Stonewall Riots when they secretly hoped but never expected that the marriage that Thea proposed to Edie could ever be celebrated in the U.S Although they were not able to marry in the U.S., Edie and a terminally ill Thea flew to Toronto in 2007 to get married.The U.S recognizes marriages conducted in Canada, but DOMA prevented the U.S from recognizing Edie s marriage to Thea So when Thea died in 2009, the Federal government and New York State presented her with a whopping 600,000 bill for inheritance taxes Taxes that Edie would not have had to pay if Thea had been Theo or Edie had been Eddie But not, at that time, both.Edie chose to fight This was her case But she won for everyone.Reality Rating A It s pretty clear to anyone who has read my reviews of Speak Now and Forcing the Spring that I am for marriage equality So I was predisposed to like this book from the outset.As a narrative of the case, it reads differently from Forcing the Spring That was a legal thriller to rival anything by Grisham It s also different because the stars in the Prop 8 case were the two lawyers who argued the case.In Then Comes Marriage, Edie Windsor is the center of the story Unlike a lot of civil rights legislation, no one went shopping for a perfect set of plaintiffs to represent the spectrum of the case Edie had a very specific grievance, and she wanted things to be set right While the money was important, the real issue was that the government said her marriage did not exist, that her 40 years of living with, loving, and supporting Thea did not count, that they were legally strangers to each other.When the story of Edie s life with Thea is portrayed, it is crystal clear to the reader just how wrong that was Also the legal case was very clear and relatively simple The marriage was legally conducted in Canada The U.S recognizes Canadian marriages as valid What was the rational basis for treating Edie and Thea s marriage differently And the court came to the conclusion that there wasn t one.While the story of Edie s life felt relevant, the book begins with a section on the lawyer s life, and how and why she ended up arguing this case While it seemed fitting that the author s motives, thoughts and feelings were interjected into the story of the progress of the case at frequent intervals, I wasn t sure that she was the place to start The back to back biographical sections made the beginning of the book drag just a bit.But once the case starts proceeding through the courts, the narrative tension mounts at a gripping pace Even though we know how the story ends, the process of getting there still had me opening the book in unlikely places, just to see how things were going I felt like the protagonists did while waiting to read the rulings, peeking at any interval just to get in a few words.The author s description of the aftermath of the case reads like a victory lap And so it should Edie Windsor, and the author, made the universe change. The attorney who argued before the Supreme Court for the plaintiff in this landmark case gives the story behind the headlines Kaplan integrates personal narrative with legal strategy throughout, combining her own struggles with a fascinating look at the brave and unconventional life led by her client This is a heartwarming and inspiring account of one widow s pursuit of justice and dignity Darren Nelson, Sno Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA In Then Comes Marriage, Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney in the 2013 US v Windsor Supreme Court case, details the story behind the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act Kaplan manages to artfully weave her own biography the shame of growing up gay in a conservative time against the backdrop of an American landscape bedeviled by the Defense of Marriage Act, and the destructive impact that the legislation had on committed same sex couples specifically that of Edie Windsor for whom the SCOTUS case is named and her late wife, Thea Spyer Unlike Jo Becker, who tries and fails to maintain a sense of journalistic objectivity in her book, Forcing the Spring detailing the behind the scenes story of Hollingsworth v Perry argued before the Supreme Court the day prior to Windsor , Kaplan can, and does, embrace her role as an activist She tells the story from the perspective of not only a client advocate, but also of someone who is actively affected by the outcome of the case She does away with all objective pretense and here that s okay, because Kaplan is an advocate, and her own story is uniquely intertwined with the case she is arguing And, while Kaplan s eagerness to regale the reader with her own life story alongside that of Windsor something readers interested only in the history of the case may find irritating slows the narrative from really gathering momentum, it does eventually play well As the reader learns, Kaplan has unique experience with Spyer many years prior to even meeting Edie Windsor that, if not necessary to the story, is certainly endearing While Then Comes Marriage has a slow start, it finished powerfully It shines in a number of areas First, for readers unfamiliar with the judicial process, this book offers a basic primer that is easy to understand and goes beyond, with Kaplan skillfully injecting a sense of urgency and drama to some relatively mundane legal processes There is no heavy handedness in Kaplan s education of the reader Further, for readers of Forcing the Spring, or those otherwise familiar with the two cases covered in these two books, it is clear that Kaplan chose a different legal strategy than did the lawyers seeking to overturn California s Prop 8 While the challengers of Prop 8 chose to pursue a 50 state solution wholesale legalization of same sex marriage, Kaplan was skeptical that the Court would be receptive and, instead, deliberately chose to focus on the merits of the Windsor case only In the end, this pragmatic approach led to a larger victory than did the 50 state approach Those arguing to overturn Prop 8 won their case on a technicality the Court found that supporters of Prop 8 did not have standing to sue As a result, the lower court ruling, overturning Prop 8 and reinstating same sex marriage in California, went into effect This was a limited ruling certainly not a 50 state solution In Windsor, however, the Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, wholesale, was unconstitutional, delivering a 50 state solution to Kaplan and her team And, Kaplan does lyrical justice to the storytelling In the end, Then Comes Marriage is a lovely book It is carefully rendered quilt a personal journey of self acceptance, a civil rights courtroom drama, and, at its heart, a love story While the story is slow to take flight, it ultimately soars. Excellent synopsis of the makings of United States v Windsor, exploring the life of not only the book s author and attorney for the plaintiff in this case, Edie Windsor , but also of Ms Windsor herself This is partly about the painstaking process of creating the victory in Windsor naturally leading to Obergefell v Hodges two years later , and partly about Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor, their coming out processes, and the lives they ve lived and the women they ve loved.The legalese is broken down enough that a non lawyer can understand it, but not so broken down the a lawyer would be bored reading it anecdotally, of course, I certainly wasn t bored reading it Kaplan includes sections of transcripts from oral arguments as well as quotations from briefs Intertwined with what is arguably one of the most important cases in recent SCOTUS history is the day to day living of Kaplan and Windsor as they navigated this path together Kaplan is remarkably honest about her feelings and reservations about arguing her first case in front of SCOTUS The Supreme Court bar is largely made up of the same repeat players, and Kaplan was a newbie coming in to argue what was easily the most watched case of our time She allows the reader to experience that nervousness, reservation, and second guessing with her, and even recounts a particularly ugly moment when it boiled over during a practice moot Kaplan is remarkably honest in telling this story, and doesn t try to sanitize it for the reader s benefit Kaplan also recounts this story with humor, and pulls no punches in describing some of the amici briefs that came in from marriage equality opponents The Paul Weiss team for the Windsor case was clearly made up of a cast of characters as many of the back and forth moments between them make for some laugh worthy moments in the midst of a significant legal and civil rights moment in our nation s history.Truly excellent read. This work from the attorney who argued the case for Edie Windsor is touching and poignant I was in tears several times during the reading Of course, we already know who won, but the build up to the legal parts is intriguing, as well Once again, I was reminded of the fallibility and questionable reasoning of some of the Supreme Court justices I will always be a Bader Ginsberg fan, and I will never be a Scalia fan Some things always remain the same. Roberta Kaplan s book is part memoir, part narrative legal case history, insightful, humorous, intimate and educational about the Defense of Marriage Act and it s defeat There are heart wrenching stories which bring the degree of the civil rights injustices to light It shows how some laws, become completely untenable as our society develops and evolves. This engaging story about the recent Supreme Court that strict down rules against same sex marriage is a good read for anyone who likes to see how lawyers work While the first quarter of the book seems a but amateurish, once the law case gets rolling, we see how lawyers especially young ones operate This is a book about strategy and tactics in the court room. A fascinating look into the justice system framed against the backdrop of this high profile marriage equality case Highly recommended for those interested in civil rights and social justice. What a wonderful read The story of a Supreme Court case, might be dry and uninteresting particularly to someone with zero law background like myself However, Kaplan does such a lovely job of intertwining her own personal story, as well as that of Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the famous case, with the background, historical context and narrative of the case itself and how it came to the Supreme Court This case was personal to me, certainly My wife and I had been married for 16 years and our son was 8 We had recently emerged victorious from a 18 month hateful, lying, anti marriage campaign here in Minnesota And the momentum of the mean thing backfiring as my son called it, had propelled us to actually achieve marriage equality at the state level Then Windsor happened and we found we had federal marriage equality as well Yet, I only knew the little bit about Edie Windsor I had read in news articles at the time And I didn t know anything Robbie Kaplan, the author and lawyer who argued the case It was a deep pleasure to learn about them both and have this behind the scenes tour of the case that directly effected myself and my family It is a true American tale The best of what we are and what always hope to be.

[Reading] ➶ Then Comes Marriage  ➽ Roberta Kaplan –
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Then Comes Marriage
  • Roberta Kaplan
  • 26 June 2019
  • 9780393248678