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News Posted on June 20, 2012

Professor Joslin Publishes Essay on Supreme Court Family Law Decision in Jurist

Professor Courtney Joslin has published an essay on the web-based legal news publication Jurist asserting that a Supreme Court decision regarding Social Security benefits for children conceived through in vitro fertilization may have implications for same-sex marriage rights. The article appeared as the latest installment of the "institutional column" King Hall faculty have agreed to contribute to Jurist each month as a regular feature of the publication.

The article reviews the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Astrue v. Capato, in which the Court considered whether Social Security survivor benefits were due to children conceived via in vitro fertilization by a widow using her former husband's semen but born 18 months after his death.  In the case, the mother argued that despite their failure to qualify under any of the statutory definitions, the children nonetheless should be entitled to the benefits because they were the biological children of persons who had been married. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected this argument. Professor Joslin asserts that the Court's decision in Astrue may shed light on to how the Court may respond to some of the arguments currently being asserted in the cases challenging Section 3 of DOMA, which denies same-sex married couples all of the 1138 federal marital rights and protections.

Professor Joslin is a scholar in the field of family and relationship recognition, with a particular focus on same-sex and non-marital couples.