Herma Hill Kay

Herma Hill Kay, Stephen Sugarman, and Mary Louise Frampton Influence CA Law

San Francisco Chronicle, February 26, 2012 by Mary Louise Frampton

Our scholarship has led to state and national social reforms. Herma Hill Kay, a former dean and professor, co-authored California’s no-fault divorce law, calling it a “movement whose time had come.”

Professors John Coons and Stephen Sugarman argued successfully for K-12 financial reform based on the Constitution’s “equal protection” clause. Lawmakers “embraced the idea of education equity,” says Sugarman.

Our public education lens today is focused on “restorative justice.” Considered unconventional by some educators, that’s a disciplinary tactic that encourages accountability and relationship building instead of harsh punishment. Results from our first-ever empirical study are dramatic: In one West Oakland middle school, suspensions dropped by 87 percent, and expulsions dropped to zero.

Herma Hill Kay Recounts Liu’s Clerkship With Justice Ginsburg

San Francisco Chronicle Politics Blog, August 31, 2011 by Bob Egelko

Before Liu joined the Berkeley faculty in 2003, Kay said, she called an old friend, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for whom Liu had clerked in 2000. Kay said Ginsburg told her that “his work on her dissent in Bush v. Gore had been ‘exemplary.’”… “She said he was one of the best law clerks she ever had,” Kay said. “She didn’t know if she could have managed to get through the struggle within the court over that case if he hadn’t been there to help lend a steady hand.”

Melissa Murray, Herma Hill Kay Explain Anti-Bigamy Lawsuit

The Christian Science Monitor, July 13, 2011 by Daniel B. Wood

“This is not about the Browns’ attempt to get Utah to recognize polygamous marriage, but rather to ask the federal courts to tell them they cannot punish intimate conduct,” says Melissa Murray, assistant professor of law.

Adds Herma Hill Kay, a UC Berkeley law professor: “They are not seeking to have their relationship validated as a marriage. They’re just trying to avoid criminal prosecution.”

Herma Hill Kay Notes Significance of Prop. 8 Ruling

-The Christian Science Monitor, August 4, 2010 by Daniel B. Wood

“This is quite historic because it has been felt that the proponents of gay marriage had been avoiding federal courts under the premise that a ruling there would be more final than in state court,” says Herma Hill Kay…. Professor Kay says Judge Walker’s opinion is “particularly strong” and his analysis of the US Constitution’s equal protection clause is “quite compelling.”

-KPFA-FM Free Speech Radio News, August 5, 2010 Host Dorian Merina

“I think that this is a very important milestone in our approach to marriage. The ideas of what marriage consists of have changed significantly over the past couple years, including the changes that Judge Walker cited that have stressed equality between the partners to marriage. His opinion focuses on marriage, not same-sex marriage, and holds that it is a fundamental right, which is a great advance in this context.”

Herma Hill Kay and Richard Buxbaum Recall Kay’s 50 Years at Berkeley Law

The Recorder, December 29, 2009 by Petra Pasternak

Kay’s career reflects the evolution of attitudes about, and expectations of, women…. Kay herself co-authored the state’s no-fault divorce law, which fellow Berkeley law professor Richard Buxbaum recalls as bellwether legislation. “She caught the temper of the times and led it.”

Kay said it wasn’t feminism so much as the civil rights movement that brought more women to law school. “The first women who came in were motivated by problems of race discrimination, not by sex discrimination,” Kay said.

Jesse Choper, Goodwin Liu, and Herma Hill Kay Affirm Legality of State’s Same-Sex Marriages

-Legal Pad Blog, May 26, 2009 by Petra Pasternak

“There is absolutely no distinction in the law’s eyes between those gay married couples and heterosexual married couples,” constitutional law scholar Jesse Choper said. “They have exactly the same rights,” he said, at least under California law.

It’s probably a bittersweet outcome for those lucky 36,000 people, says Goodwin Liu, a constitutional and civil rights professor. “The upholding of Prop 8 means they are viewed as an exception rather than the rule, and that’s often an uncomfortable position to be in.”

Those who didn’t marry in that window continue to have the same legal rights and obligations they’ve always had under the domestic partnership laws, said Herma Hill Kay, who teaches family law. Those include rights to property, inheritance, and all “the tangible aspects of married life.”

Herma Hill Kay Explains Legal Ramification of Gay Marriage Ruling

KQED Special Broadcast, May 15, by Judy Campbell

“I think it’s absolutely historic. I think it does go beyond gay marriage, because the court took the opportunity to decide that the sexual orientation is a suspect classification under the California State Constitution, just like gender and race and religion. They’ve never done that until today, and so that means that the gay and lesbian activists now can look to apply this new strict scrutiny standard to other areas where they’re being discriminated against.”