BSF attorneys David Barrett, Karen Chesley, and Alex Potter filed an amicus brief on behalf of The Women's Law Project and six other women's advocacy groups asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review in Lazar v. Kroncke, a case that could have significant impact on women's economic security.
At issue is the constitutionality of retroactively applying state laws that automatically revoke the beneficiary status of a former spouse when the owner of assets such as an IRA or life insurance dies. These laws disregard the explicit written wishes of the person who has died, assuming that he or she must have simply forgotten to remove a former spouse as a beneficiary. The brief argues that such statutes disproportionately impact women, who typically have less saved in retirement accounts and are less well-insured than their former husbands, and that the retroactive application of these statutes violates the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
BSF filed the brief on behalf of amici The Women's Law Project, American Association of University Women, Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, National Partnership for Women & Families, California Women's Law Center, Legal Voice, and Southwest Women's Law Center.