‘The Will of Lawyers and the Grace of Judges’

Kathleen M. Sullivan

Clearly, the former dean of Stanford Law School hasn’t watched enough TV, or perhaps it’s simply that she has an uncommonly droll sense of humor.

After all, her Facebook bio calls her an “openly lesbian preeminent constitutional law scholar.”

The former dean, Kathleen M. Sullivan, recently recalled that she had once asked a friend what had changed between 1986, when the Supreme Court upheld a state law criminalizing “homosexual sodomy,” and 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled that states could not ban private consensual sexual relations between adults, regardless of their gender. 

Sullivan, a potential future nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, was reminiscing during a recent panel discussion at the Radcliffe Institute, at Harvard University, where she attended law school.  So what had changed between 1986 and 2003?

Sullivan’s friend explained to her that what had changed was Will & Grace, which debuted in 1998, Harvard Magazine reports in its current issue.

Will & Grace?  The friend must be referring to the “will of lawyers and the grace of judges,” Sullivan said deadpan.

Not exactly, Dean Sullivan.  Perhaps Vice President Biden will explain it to you, or you can just click here.

And to watch the entire Radcliffe Institute panel discussion, “From Front Lines to High Courts: The Law and Social Change,” click here.  (Sullivan’s Will & Grace remarks are about 47 minutes in.)

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This entry was posted in Controversy, History, Politics, Sex and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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