STL Holds Discussion Panel on U.S. Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court Case
datetime:2015-10-16 11:30:59
      On October 15th students of the School of Transnational Law (STL) partook in a panel discussion debating the legal and social effects of the Obergefell v. Hodges US Supreme Court case. The discussion was organized by STL student Zhu Liusheng and guided by Professor Stephen Jaggi, Professor Christian Pangilian and Professor Chen Song.
     The Obergefell v. Hodges case legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, and therefore is a key and landmark case in US history. The case was however decided 5 to 4, representing the close split of the national views on the issue. The Court considered Amendment 14 to the US constitution, and more specifically due process and equal treatment. Due to the complexity and historical value of the case, the panel discussion was an instrument to comprehend the reasons behind the majority opinion and the counter-arguments of the dissenting judges.
     The discussion was opened by an introduction by Professor Chen Song, who summarized the case, followed by the audience and purpose of the decision then the breakdown of Amedment 14, by Professor Christian Pangilian and Professor Stephen Jaggi respectively.  The Professors explained not only their views on the case and understanding of the opinions of the judges but asked thought provoking questions from the students themselves. This in return led to a lengthy, yet lively and dynamic discussion.

     On an early vote, the majority of the STL students attending the discussion believed that the correct decision was taken by the majority, and gave their justifications. Nonetheless both sides were equally represented in the discussion whereby all students aimed to comprehend the arguments of the dissenting judges.
     The major questions discussed included: who should make the decision, the people or the Court? Is there a right of marriage within the constitution? Is this a case of gender discrimination? Should one interpret the constitution in a modern manner or according to the view of the founding fathers?
     In conclusion the panel answered most of the questions and agreed that the 14th Amendment must be read carefully, and although due process and equal treatment are important, they apply to “all persons born…in the United States”.
     The event further portrays the initiative and willingness of STL students to constantly seek out knowledge and understand the ever-changing moral and legal situation around them.
     A big thank you to Zhu Liushang for organizing, the guiding professors, and all of those whom attended.
Reported by Martin Kiss