, Visiting Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law and Legal Director, The Williams Institute
Click here to RSVP or call (310) 267-4382.
About: David Codell is
a nationally recognized expert in civil rights law and constitutional
issues. David’s advancement of groundbreaking legal theories to protect
the rights of LGBT people recently led a renowned constitutional law
professor to describe him as “one of the foremost legal minds of his
generation.” He represented students in the first case in the country in
which a court ordered a public school district to permit a gay-straight
alliance to meet on campus and was lead counsel in a historic series of
lawsuits upholding California’s comprehensive domestic partnership
laws. David has also served as co-counsel in litigation resulting in the
California Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling that California’s Constitution
requires that same-sex couples be permitted to marry, following up with
the litigation upholding the validity of the 18,000 marriages of
same-sex couples that occurred before Proposition 8 was enacted.
In the marriage cases now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, David co-authored a friend- of-the-court brief
on behalf of Williams Institute scholars and leading women’s legal
groups, explaining that laws that discriminate based on sexual
orientation frequently are impermissibly based on gender-based
stereotypes about women’s and men’s roles in relationships. The brief
has been described as “paradigm shifting.” David has provided the bulk
of his legal assistance to the LGBT community over the last fourteen
years on a pro bono basis—continually donating his skills and passion to
the LGBT community both here in California and across the nation. He is
a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a
Supreme Court Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law
school, David served as a law clerk for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and as a law clerk for Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. Early in
his legal career, David practiced constitutional law in association
with Laurence H. Tribe in Cambridge, Massachusetts.