Steven H. Levinson

Steven H. Levinson

Steven H. Levinson (born June 8, 1946) of Cincinnati, Ohio is Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court. Levinson served his first term from 1992 to 2002. He is currently serving his second term from 2002 to 2012.


Upon graduating from his hometown Walnut Hills High School, Levinson attended Stanford University where he obtained his bachelor's degree in political science. He then went on to the University of Michigan where he obtained his doctorate of jurisprudence.


In 1971, Levinson moved to Honolulu, Hawaii to work as a law clerk for his uncle Bernard Levinson, Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court. In 1972, he joined the law firm Schutter, Levinson and O'Brien where he worked until 1976. From 1977 to 1989, Levinson worked at the law firm Damon, Key, Bocken, Leong and Kupchak where he became an associate and then a stockholder/director. It is from his private practice that Governor John Waihee appointed Levinson in 1989 to the Hawaii State Judiciary as a circuit court judge. Confident in his abilities, the governor elevated Levinson to the Hawaii State Supreme Court in 1992. Levinson is a member of the Hawaii Democratic Party.

"Baehr v. Lewin"

In 1993, as a Hawaii State Supreme Court Justice, Levinson wrote a notable opinion in the "Baehr v. Lewin" case, in which he ruled that the state of Hawaii needed to demonstrate a "compelling state interest" for denying marriage licenses to three same-sex couples in December of 1990. He cited Article I, Section 5 of the Hawaii Constitution in stating:

"No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of the person's civil rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of race, religion, sex or ancestry."

Although the ruling gave a push to the gay-rights movement, in 1998, Hawaii's residents voted in favor of amending the state's constitution to allow the legislature "the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples." [] The Hawaii State Legislature amended the constitution to define marriage as being between "one man and one woman."

External links

* [ "Baehr v. Lewin"]

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