USC Gould Search


David B. Cruz

David B. Cruz

Professor of Law

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Telephone: (213) 740-2551
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 424
Personal Website: Link
SSRN Author Page: Link

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David Cruz is a constitutional law expert focusing on civil rights and equality issues, including equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. He specializes in discrimination law and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. He teaches Constitutional Law I; Constitutional Law II; Federal Courts; Sexual Orientation and the Law; International/Comparative Perspectives on Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation; Identity Categories; and Law, Identity, and Culture.

Before joining the USC Gould School of Law faculty in 1996, Cruz was a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General in Washington, D.C. He also clerked for The Honorable Edward R. Becker, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is past Chair of the AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues and co-president of ILGLaw, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Intersex Law Association.

Cruz graduated from the UC Irvine, and earned his master’s degree from Stanford University. He is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was managing editor of New York University Law Review.

Cruz’s academic publications include “Spinning Lawrence, or Lawrence v. Texas and the Promotion of Heterosexuality” (Widener Law Review, 2005); “Mystification, Neutrality, and Same-Sex Couples in Marriage,” in Mary Lyndon Shanley’s Just Marriage (Oxford University Press 2004); “Making Up Women: Casinos, Cosmetics, and Title VII” (Nevada Law Journal, 2004); and “Disestablishing Sex and Gender” (California Law Review, 2002).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Transgender Rights After Obergefell.” 84 University of Missouri-Kansas City 693 (Spring 2016). - (Hein)
  • “‘Amorphous Federalism’ and the Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases.” 47 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 393 (2014). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
  • United States v. Windsor, Marriage, and the Dangers of Discernment.” 48 UC Davis Law Review 505 (2014). - (Hein)
  • “Acknowledging the Gender in Anti-Transgender Discrimination.” 32 Law & Inequality 257 (2014). - (Hein)
  • “Repealing Rights: Proposition 8, Perry, and Crawford Contextualized.” 37 New York University Review of Law & Social Change 235 (2013). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
  • “Mystification, Neutrality, and Same-Sex Couples in Marriage.” In Just Marriage (Mary L. Shanley with others, eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • “Making Up Women: Casinos, Cosmetics, and Title VII” (Symposium: Pursuing Equal Justice in the West). 5 Nevada Law Journal 240 (2004). - (Hein)
  • “A Real ‘People’ Person” (A Tribute to the Life of Mary C. Dunlap). 19 Berkeley Women’s Law Journal 7 (2004). - (Hein)
  • “Disestablishing Sex and Gender.” 90 California Law Review 997 (2002). [Reprinted in 2 The Dukeminier Awards: Best Sexual Orientation Law Review Articles of 2002 253 (2004).] - (Hein)
  • "Civil Marriage and the First Amendment" and "Social and Judicial 'Just-So' Stories." In Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate (Lynn D. Wardle with others, eds.) (Praeger Publishers, 2003).
  • “The New ‘Marital Property’: Civil Marriage and the Right to Exclude?” 30 Capital University Law Review 279 (2002). - (Hein)
  • "'Just Don't Call It a Marriage:' The First Amendment and Marriage as an Expressive Resource." 74 Southern California Law Review 925 (2001). - (Hein)
  • "Same-Sex Marriage I." In Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2d ed. (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, Adam Winkler, eds.) (Macmillan Reference, 2000).
  • "Sexual Orientation" (Update). In Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2d ed. (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, Adam Winkler, eds.) (Macmillan Reference, 2000).
  • "'The Sexual Freedom Cases'? Contraception, Abortion, Abstinence, and the Constitution." 35 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 299 (Summer 2000). - (Hein)
  • "Controlling Desires: Sexual Orientation Conversion and the Limits of Knowledge and Law." 72 Southern California Law Review 1297 (1999). - (Hein)
  • "State of Sovereignty." 21 Los Angeles Lawyer 32 (1998).
  • "Piety and Prejudice: Free Exercise Exemption from Laws Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination." 69 New York University Law Review 1176 (1994). - (Hein)

Other Works

  • "Equal Citizens: Fully Integrating All People into Civic Life Requires More Legislative Work." Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 18, 2003, at 6.


Buzzfeed News
March 18, 2018
Re: Niels W. Frenzen

Niels Frenzen was quoted on the lower evidentiary standard for arresting someone based on immigration status instead of a criminal act. The majority of immigration arrests in the United States are warrantless arrests, Frenzen said. "I don’t know if that is the case with this recent arrest in San Diego, but if CBP really had evidence that she was involved in a transnational human smuggling operation of some kind, that would definitely be a case where CBP would seek to criminally prosecute first and deport second," Frenzen said. "So the fact that CBP has arrested her on the civil law violations suggests that CBP does not have enough evidence to convince a judge to issue a criminal arrest warrant."


Robert K. Rasmussen
January, 2018

"Puerto Rico and the Netherworld of Sovereign Debt Restructuring," Workshop, Duke Law School, Durham, NC. 

Pauline Aranas
January, 2018

Pauline Aranas participated on a panel on "Effective Assessment:  Measuring Your Law Library's Impact" at the Association of American Law School's Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Pauline Aranas
January, 2018

Pauline Aranas concluded her year-year term on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law School's Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information.