Catherine Smith

Catherine E. Smith

Professor of Children’s Constitutional Rights

Chauncey G. Wilson Memorial Research Chair


Employment and Labor Law, Torts, Workplace Law

Professional Biography

Catherine Smith joined the faculty at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2004.  After graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Professor Smith clerked for the late Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for U.S. Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe Jr.  She then served as a legal fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Professor Smith teaches Torts, Sexuality, Gender and the Law, and a seminar on Children’s Rights and the Constitution.  Her most recent scholarship seeks to understand and contribute to a robust children’s equality law. Her co-authored amicus brief on children’s rights was cited and relied upon in the same-sex marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. She recently completed a chapter (“concurring opinion”) in, What Obergefell v. Hodges Should Have Said: The Nation’s Top Legal Experts Rewrite America’s Same-Sex Marriage Opinion (Jack M. Balkin, ed., Yale University Press, 2020) and currently serves as an expert in Juliana v. United States, the landmark climate case brought by twenty-one young people suing the federal government for its role in the climate crisis.


The Smartest Constitutional Argument For Marriage Equality that No One is Making,

Blog posts

Obergefell and the Interests of Children

Ban Proponents Slept Through a Revolution: But Not the One You Think

How Marriage Bans Harmed Children of Same-Sex Parents

Kid Power!

View CV



  • JD, University of South Carolina, 1996
  • MA, University of South Carolina, 1993
  • BA, Government and French, Wofford College, 1991

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