Jean Dubofsky

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Jean Dubofsky (born 1942) is the first woman to become a Colorado Supreme Court Justice and a former Deputy Attorney General for Colorado. She was the lead attorney in Romer v. Evans, the case that overturned Colorado Amendment 2 at the US Supreme Court, resulting in a landmark ruling for LGBT rights in the United States.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life

Dubofsky was born in 1942 and grew up in Topeka, Kansas. As a senior in high school, she won the national Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemaker of Tomorrow scholarship, and met Mamie Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.


Dubofsky went to Stanford University as an undergraduate, and then got a degree from Harvard Law School in 1967.

She served as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Walter Mondale from 1967 to 1969, then moved to Boulder, Colorado to practice law there.[6]

In 1975 she was appointed Deputy Attorney General for Colorado.[7]

In 1979, Dubofsky became the first female justice on the Colorado Supreme Court and the youngest person ever appointed to the court, at age 37. She was the 11th woman to be appointed to any state supreme court. She served there until 1987.[8]

Dubofsky returned to private practice in 1988.

Amendment 2

In 1992, Colorado citizens voted for Amendment 2, a ballot initiative which banned state and local laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. According to public opinion surveys, Coloradans strongly opposed discrimination based upon sexual orientation, but proponents of Amendment 2 saw it as prohibiting affirmative action based upon sexual orientation.

Jean Dubofsky led the team which filed a lawsuit, Romer v. Evans, against the law two weeks after it passed. In 1993 a state court granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from taking effect and thereby overturning local laws in Boulder, Denver and Aspen. She argued the case before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1995, and the court ruled the law unconstitutional in 1996 by a 6-3 vote. The majority opinion found that it violated the Equal Protection Clause since it "classifies homosexuals not to further a proper legislative end but to make them unequal to everyone else". The decision was seen as a landmark, setting the stage for other rulings, including Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, overturning state bans on same-sex marriage.[4]


See also


  1. ^ "Boulder attorney Jean Dubofsky profiled in new book about fight for gay rights". Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  2. ^ a b "Jean Dubofsky - Colorado Women's Hall of Fame". Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  3. ^ "A Quiet Trailblazer: Jean Dubofsky". KGNU News. 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  4. ^ a b "Parallels drawn between transgender debate, Amendment 2 fight – The Denver Post". Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  5. ^ Casey, Susan (2016). Appealing for justice : one Colorado lawyer, four decades, and the landmark gay rights case : Romer v. Evans. Denver, CO: Gilpin Park Press LLC. ISBN 978-0-9976984-0-4.
  6. ^ a b "Jean E. Dubofsky, P.C., ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award Recipients, 1994" (PDF). American Bar Association. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  7. ^ "Gay Rights Advocates: Keynote Speaker Series - Verge Campus". Verge Campus. 2016-02-22. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  8. ^ "How A Colorado Legal Pioneer Went From 'Ladies Day' At Harvard Law To Supreme Courts (Excerpt)". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  9. ^ "Jean Dubofsky - Adjunct Faculty". Retrieved 2016-11-17.

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