City Council Speaker and Forum guest Christine Quinn today praised Edith Windsor, defendant in United States v. Windsor, in which the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. Edith Windsor is a New York resident who was denied inheriting her deceased spouse’s estate after they were wed in Canada. Quinn stressed her hometown pride for Windsor: “That bravery–this teeny, tiny New Yorker brought down DOMA.” The New York City mayoral candidate joined the Forum in February (shortly before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Windsor) for A Conversation on Same-Sex Marriage. Below is a video excerpt of the event.[via Politicker] 2.4.13 A Conversation: Same-Sex Marriage from Forum on Law, Culture & Society on Vimeo.
by Stephen Dixon A major theme both here at the Forum and in American justice theory is the question of the victim’s role in securing moral justice through the courts. While the legal system may enforce its own brand of justice in the form of monetary damages or prison sentences, this does not always align with the victim’s goals. For example, if a mother’s child is murdered and she is not satisfied with the judge’s sentence, has justice then truly been achieved? Surely a justice system centered purely around a victim’s goal has its critiques, but the juxtaposition is nonetheless useful to illustrate the often vast divide between legal and moral justice. If the courts cannot achieve these ends, then what other avenues can governments pursue to satisfy families of victims? One interesting approach in the transitional justice process of post-Agreement Northern Ireland has been the Historical Enquiries Team, a