Caitlin Shortell: Anchorage civil rights attorney on marriage equality

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Caitlin Shortell was born and raised in Anchorage. She returned home after earning her law degree at Northeastern University in Boston and worked as an Assistant Public Defender at the Alaska Public Defender Agency (2003); as an Assistant Attorney General at the Alaska Attorney General's Office (2004-2008); and as Human Rights Advocate at the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights (2008-2009). Ms. Shortell, along with two other attorneys, was plaintiff's counsel in Hamby v. Parnell (2014), the case that secured same sex couples the right to marry in Alaska. Five years after winning the lawsuit that secured equal marriage, Ms. Shortell sued to stop the State of Alaska from a discriminatory practice of denial of PFDs to same sex military spouses and kids stationed out of State in Smith v. Dunleavy (2020). We talk about all of that and the potential undoing of landmark supreme court precedents on today's episode.

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