Professor Pollvogt's Article in The National Law Journal Defends Children

Photograph: Susanna PollvogtWashburn University School of Law Professor Susannah Pollvogt called attention to protecting the welfare and dignity of children in an Op-Ed piece that she co-authored in the September 29 issue of The National Law Journal. The article, “Judge in Same-Sex Case Rebuffs High Court,” takes aim at U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman who deemed it permissible for states to grant benefits to some children— the children of opposite-sex couples—while denying them to others—the children of same-sex couples. The article’s co-authors call this view discriminatory as it “publicly denigrates all children who do not share a biological connection with both of their parents—including adopted children.” Feldman’s opinion was in reference to his September 3 ruling to uphold Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Louisiana has a history of discrimination against children, but has ultimately been shut down by the Supreme Court. The co-authors call out the Court’s history of protecting children from unfair discrimination. In the Levy and Weber cases, the Court sent a strong message: The universal needs of children trump a state's interest in regulating domestic relations to advance moralistic views that some families are more deserving than others.

Pollvogt and article co-author Catherine Smith, a former university peer, are aggressively broadcasting the argument to protect children, regardless of their parent’s marital status, so that it receives some public recognition and hopefully, judicial recognition.

The 5th Circuit Court will be reviewing Judge Feldman's same-sex marriage opinion on appeal. This creates an opportunity for that Court to consider the constitutionality of discriminating against children. Pollvogt and Smith will be filing an amicus brief in that case.