Dec 5, 2017

Windsor lawyer weighs in on same-sex wedding cake case

Roberta Kaplan (left) alongside Edith Windsor in front of the Supreme Court in Washington in 2013. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who represented Edie Windsor in the landmark SCOTUS case that toppled the Defense of Marriage Act, told Axios that she doesn't think the case currently before the court about a Christian baker refusing service to a same-sex couple will bring a sweeping ruling for either side.

Rather, she feels that reconciling the freedoms of religion with the rights of LGBT people will be an issue that the courts will continue to grapple with. "It's an issue that is going to keep rearing its ugly head," she said.

More from Axios' interview with Kaplan:

  • What's at stake: "I think on basic principles, all of [the justices] agree, including the judges not likely to be in the majority. No one wants to go back to the days of Jim Crow for gay people or anyone else, but this is also a country that was founded to respect the diverse religious beliefs of Americans ... This country has had to compromise between those two ideas and that's what this case presents."
  • Parallels to the Windsor case: Justice Kennedy made it very clear [in his ruling in 2013] that not only would the law no longer subject gay people to lesser freedoms, but that that kind of belief was inconsistent with the Constitution."
  • Her concern: "Looking back on the Jim Crow laws, people used freedom of religion to defend segregations. Over time religion didn't include those ideas anymore. Hopefully the same shift will happen with the LGBT community too. We will get to the right place eventually, but it will be painful to get there. "

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people for the second day in a row, and it's infected over 432,000 others, per Johns Hopkins data.

Where it stands: More than 14,800 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — including over 4,500 in New York. The state's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in New York in 24 hours. N.Y. has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,484,811 — Total deaths: 88,538 — Total recoveries: 329,876Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 432,132 — Total deaths: 14,817 — Total recoveries: 23,906Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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