What We May Learn From A Productive Scholar and Award-Winning Teacher, And Co-Director of Stanford's
Supreme Court Litigation Clinic



Pam Karlan Interview Part 1 (audio)



Pam Karlan Interview Part 2 (audio)



Link To An Article on Pam Karlan's Appearance at Palo Alto High School on October 9, 2012



Since the days of the Nixon administration, Pam Karlan, then a law clerk with Justice Harry Blackmun, began making her mark studying legal issues around civil rights.  She is now one of the nation's experts on the Supreme Court and its inner workings, with an emphasis on voting rights and fairness in the political process.  Professor Karlan has repeatedly come across the street to Palo Alto High to engage 11th grade high school students on major points that relate the things they are reading about in their history books to what they may be reading in the headlines.

Importantly, Professor Karlan is an expert on the the issue of voter fraud.  Her explanation of the two prevailing worldviews of this issue is illuminating, to say the least.

When news networks scramble to understand legal rulings, Karlan's phone continuously rings.  Our interview took place at Paly on October 9, 2012. An audio recording is available at the top of this page.  Karlan came to Paly the same day she filed a brief on behalf of a client, Edith Windsor, before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. The case involved Windsor's search for the same kind of constitutional protections as many other victims of discrimination, challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. Within a week, the justices in an historic 2-1 ruling, agreed with Karlan's argument and ruled in favor of Karlan's client, Edith Windsor, and other gay couples who are denied the ability to consider each other spouses for the purposes of the Federal Government recognizing their marriage as a tax status.  This case became a watershed moment in gay rights history and civil rights history.  Ultimately, Ms. Windsor prevailed and the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  In some ways, Karlan is a modern day Thurgood Marshall.





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