June 12, 2017 — On June 12, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Sessions v. Morales-Santana, a case in which Hughes Hubbard prepared and filed an amicus brief on behalf of Equality Now, Human Rights Watch and eight other international human rights groups.
The case presents an equal protection challenge to U.S. immigration law that imposes different residency requirements on unwed citizen mothers than unwed citizen fathers when conferring citizenship on children born abroad out of wedlock.
Hughes Hubbard worked with lawyers at Equality Now and Professor Martha Davis of Northeastern University School of Law to argue that the government's rationales for the law did not support the gender-based differences and the weight of international and foreign law supports gender equality in citizenship laws.
The Court's opinion, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, challenges "untenable" gender stereotypes that in the 1950s "pervaded our Nation’s citizenship laws and underpinned judicial and administrative rulings." The Court held that "the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the requirement that the Government accord to all persons 'the equal protection of the laws.'"
Scott Christensen, Bill Stein, Steve Hammond, Alyssa Johnson and Win Jordan helped prepare the amicus brief.