После того, как в 1994 Энн Ричардс, популярный демократический губернатор Техаса, проиграла на выборах Джорджу Бушу-младшему, ни одному демократу не удавалось победить на выборах в Техасе на любую должность, которая требовала голосование всего штата. Техас стал неизлечимо "красным" штатом.
Избирательная кампания Буша, под руководством Карла Роува, велась грязно, по всем правилам республиканской политтехнологии. В частности исподтишка использовалась апелляция к гомофобии.
Richards: It was huge. I had no idea it was going on. They started a below-the-radar whisper campaign that there were people who worked for me in the governor’s office who weren’t married, and because they weren’t married, they were probably gay, and then the next step was, well, maybe if they were gay, maybe I was too. I saw the piece of material they were putting on windshields of automobiles in parking lots of right-wing churches that showed a black man and a white man kissing each other, with the message “This is what Ann Richards wants to teach your children in the public schools.” It was a key part of their campaign, and I was just flabbergasted by it. My God, I’d been married thirty years! I had four children!
Ричардс прославилась на национальной арене зажигательным выступлением на съезде демократов в июле 1988.
"I'm a grandmother now. And I have one nearly perfect granddaughter named Lily. And when I hold that grandbaby, I feel the continuity of life that unites us, that binds generation to generation, that ties us with each other. <...>
And as I sit there, I wonder if she'll every grasp the changes I've seen in my life — if she'll ever believe that there was a time when blacks could not drink from public water fountains, when Hispanic children were punished for speaking Spanish in the public schools and women couldn't vote.
I think of all the political fights I've fought and all the compromises I've had to accept as part payment. And I think of all the small victories that have added up to national triumphs. And all the things that never would have happened and all the people who would have been left behind if we had not reasoned and fought and won those battles together."
В том же месяце Роберта Каплан, молодая студентка из Гарварда, изучающая русский язык и культуру, приезжает на стажировку в Москву и по наводке еврейских организаций знакомится с «отказниками» и диссидентами.
По СССР в эро время шли трещины. В июле 1988 Политбюро ЦК КПСС приняло постановление “О сооружении памятника жертвам беззаконий и репрессий”, а в Москве прошёл первый советский конкурс красоты «Московская красавица».
Каплан вернётся назад, поступит в юридическую школу и сделает карьеру успешного корпоративного адвоката. В процессе мучительно осознает собственную «нетрадиционную» сексуальную ориентацию и найдет спутницу жизни. В 2009 она откликнется на призыв ACLU и станет бесплатно (pro bono) представлять вдову из Нью-Йорка, которая добивается признания равных прав однополых супругов.
Дело United States v. Windsor закончилось оглушительным успехом: суд признал неконституционными ограничения на права однополых браков в законе DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) и тем самым проложил дорогу к признанию права на такие браки Верховным судом.
The justices ruled in favor of Edith "Edie" Windsor, who sued the federal government for failing to recognize her marriage to her partner Thea Spyer after Spyer's death. Windsor and Spyer met in the early 1960s. Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977, and Windsor helped her through her long battle with the disease, which eventually left Spyer paralyzed. Windsor and Spyer, who were a couple for 44 years, were married in 2007. When Spyer died in 2009, she left all of her property to Windsor, including the apartment that they shared. But because DOMA prevented the federal government from recognizing the marriages of gay people, Windsor was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes that she would not have owed if she had been married to a man. Windsor's attorneys argued that DOMA denied her, and other gay and lesbian married couples, the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. <...>
"This is truly a day for the history books, one that will be marked by future generations as a giant step forward along our nation's continuing path towards equality," said Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, who argued Windsor's case at the Supreme Court.
Через несколько дней после этого судьбоносного решения на другом конце планеты Путин подписал печально известный закон о «запрете пропаганды гомосексуализма в России».
Что касается событий в Вашингтоне, то ключевую роль в решении United States v. Windsor сыграла не только блестящая юридическая стратегия Роберты Каплан, но и решение Барака Обамы и генерального прокурора Эрика Холдера не защищать неконституционный законе DOMA в суде. Чтобы подготовить это решение, они попросили Каплан задержать иск, на что она, скрипя сердце, согласилась.
On January 21, I received one more call. This time, it was from Associate Attorney General Tony West, then the number three person at the Department of Justice.
“Robbie,” Tony said, “I understand two people have called you, and you’ve refused to agree to an extension.” I readily conceded that he was correct and explained why. “Edie’s not getting any younger. We need to get this case moving.”
Tony paused, then said, “I’m asking you for an extension because we are seriously considering what position the government should take in this case.” He told me that he was having discussions about our case with President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, and that they needed more time to decide what to do.
I have to admit, I did not believe him. I thought the Obama administration, like any defendant, was simply playing for time, messing with my client and my case, and I was irritated. DOMA was a terrible law, and I suspected that the government attorneys were not thrilled about having to defend it. Still, the government almost always defends its own laws in cases like this, so I felt they just needed to figure out their strategy and get on with the process, rather than holding everything up. <...>
“Okay, Tony,” I said. “We’ll give you the extension.” Tony thanked me, and the conversation could have, and probably should have, ended there. But I couldn’t help myself. I needed to remind Tony whose side the angels were on. “Tony,” I said with more than a hint of irony in my voice, “I just want you to know that as you and the president deliberate upon this, I’ll be praying for both of you.”
On Feb. 23, 2011, West called Kaplan again. The administration was planning to notify Congress that it was done defending DOMA.
“Remember when you said you would be praying?” Becker recounts West telling Kaplan. “Well, sometimes prayers work.”
В день принятия решения (26 июня 2013) Обама позвонил на квартиру Каплан с борта президентского самолета, чтобы лично поздравить Эди Виндзор с победой в ее деле.
On the morning of June 26th, when the Supreme Court was at last expected to hand down its ruling on Windsor, a hundred and sixty-two thousand people were logged on to the scotus blog. Windsor and her good friend Virginia Moraweck, a graceful woman with very short white hair, were sitting side by side at Kaplan’s dining-room table. “When Thea stopped being able to write, Ginny was her scribe,” Windsor said. “I have all kinds of love letters in Ginny’s handwriting.”
Kaplan, her wife, and the key members of her legal team sat tensely at the other end of the table; everyone was quiet except Kaplan, who was groaning. “We all did the best we could,” she said. “Nobody could have done it better.”
And then the words “doma is unconstitutional” flashed on the computer screen.
There was silence. Somebody screamed. Rachel Lavine started sobbing. “Everything is going to be different for Jacob,” she said, of their son. Then she was hugging Kaplan and passing her the phone. “Hi, Mom,” Kaplan said. “Total victory—total! It couldn’t be better.”
Windsor was not yelling or crying. “I want to go to Stonewall right now,” she said.
Moraweck wiped tears from her face and said, “Even though Edie’s the survivor, you feel like Thea’s still present.”
“Crybaby,” Windsor said, and patted her on the shoulder. Then someone called for her on the landline, and Windsor said into the receiver, “Who am I talking to? Oh, Barack Obama?” The President was calling from Air Force One, on his way to Africa. “I want to thank you,” she told him. “I think your coming out for us made such a difference throughout the country. Hello?” She looked at the dozen people staring at her in silence. “I think I just hung up on the President.” He called back and told her how moved he’d been by her story.
Выступая на церемонии памяти Холокоста в январе 2016, Обама повторил хорошо знакомые Каплан слова из Второзакония: צדק צדק תרדוף.
And so we’re called to live in a way that shows that we’ve actually learned from our past. And that means rejecting indifference. It means cultivating a habit of empathy, and recognizing ourselves in one another; to make common cause with the outsider, the minority, whether that minority is Christian or Jew, whether it is Hindu or Muslim, or a nonbeliever; whether that minority is native born or immigrant; whether they’re Israeli or Palestinian.
It means taking a stand against bigotry in all its forms, and rejecting our darkest impulses and guarding against tribalism as the only value in our communities and in our politics. It means heeding the lesson repeated so often in the Torah: To welcome the stranger, for we were once strangers, too. That’s how we never forget -- not simply by keeping the lessons of the Shoah in our memories, but by living them in our actions. As the book of Deuteronomy teaches us, “Tzedek, Tzedek tirdof” -- “Justice, Justice you shall pursue.”
Where does your passion for law and social justice come from?
Ironically enough, religious Jews have what's called a bat mitzvah when they turn 13. ... What you do at a bat mitzvah is you read publicly from the Torah, or the Old Testament, for the first time, and you read a portion. The portion that I read was Deuteronomy 16:20—it's the portion that says "Justice, justice, thou shalt pursue." So that might have had something to do with it.
В этом году Роберта Каплан была приглашена для выступления на церемонии выпуска в Гарвардской юридической школе.
“A Harvard law degree gives you the privilege to take risks and recover from mistakes that others can’t. Resist the impulse to play it safe. Think consciously about what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you just go with the flow and let others define what happens to you, then one day you will wake up and realize that the life you’re living isn’t your own. This doesn’t necessarily require you to abandon the prestigious institutions that many of you are heading to. I built a wonderful career by climbing the ranks at my old firm, Paul Weiss. But becoming a great lawyer requires that you be courageous, press boundaries wherever you are, and insist that things can always change for the better, especially now.”
She said, ‘Do you want to sue Nazis with me? And I said, ‘Absolutely.’” Such a cool story on the women behind @IntegrityForUSA’s Charlottesville suit – who are taking the white nationalist movement to court: https://t.co/fdqhrMPqt2 #SueANazi— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) October 9, 2019
В своем выступлении она упоминает свою новую юридическую кампанию Kaplan Hecker & Fink и новое дело, которое она ведет: иск к нацистским организациям, организовавшим сборище в Шарлотсвилле, чтобы возместить ущерб пострадавшим от теракта, а заодно разорить эти организации - подобно тому, как в прошлом судебными исками удалось разорить Ку-клукс-клан.
On Oct. 12, 2017, 10 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Virginia against more than two dozen of the rally’s organizers. The case, Sines v. Kessler, alleges the organizers meticulously plotted a violent conspiracy months in advance of the rally. The plaintiffs represent a group of 10 counterdemonstrators. Elizabeth Sines was a second-year UVA law student at the time. Jason Kessler was the lead organizer of the rally and obtained the permit for the event.
Helming the plaintiffs’ case is Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who made history when she defeated the Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, paving the way for marriage equality in all 50 states. Now she’s seeking to combat the leadership behind America’s growing white supremacist movement and possibly bankrupt them into obscurity.
The case is set to go to trial in the summer of 2020. Other defendants include Richard Spencer, who coined the term “alt-right”; Matthew Heimbach, the founder of the now-defunct hate group the Traditionalist Worker Party; and Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer.
“Over the last few decades, other civil suits similar to ours have successfully taken on those responsible for racist attacks. In one particularly instructive case from the 1980s, a lawsuit brought by the family of lynching victim Michael Donald against the KKK organization delivered a $7 million award from a federal jury. The perpetrators’ property and assets — including the KKK’s massive headquarters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama — were seized, ultimately putting an end to the United Klans of America.”
В другом деле, значение которого трудно переоценить, Каплан представляет женщину, которая была жертвой сексуального насилия со стороны Трампа, а ныне судит его за клевету.
The warrioress suing the Nazis in Charlottesville! The genius who overturned DOMA and brought gay rights to all Americans! The fighter who co-founded Time's Up! She's Robbie Kaplan, the BEAST! My attorney! @kaplanrobbie @TIMESUPLDF @KaplanHecker https://t.co/rgG34qYbAh— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) November 5, 2019
In her latest book, published this summer, Carroll wrote that Trump sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s.
Trump has denied the accusation. He also denied knowing Carroll and implied she had falsely accused other men of rape, according to Carroll’s lawsuit. The complaint describes this as a calculated series of lies aimed at destroying Carroll’s reputation.
“After he lied about attacking her, he surrounded that central lie with a swarm of related lies in an effort to explain why she would invent an accusation of rape. To do so, he smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity—all in the national press,” Kaplan wrote in the complaint.
Carroll told two friends about the attack when it happened, but she did not come forward publicly because she believed Trump would “bury her in threats and lawsuits,” according to the complaint.
“Carroll knew then that sexual assault was pervasive,” Kaplan wrote in the complaint. “She also knew that men have been assaulting women and getting away with it since before she was born. And she knew that while a woman who accused any man of rape was rarely believed, a woman who accused a rich, famous, violent man of rape would probably lose everything.”