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Posts tagged "Courts"

Today’s verdict is a victory for the people of Mississippi and for the supporters of reproductive choice. 

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Health

thepoliticalfreakshow:

WASHINGTON — The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday that Virginia’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is unconstitutional.

On a 2-1 vote, the appeals court joined the wave of court decisions declaring such bans unconstitutional. The decision, by Judge Henry Floyd acknowledged both the debate over such laws and, in the court’s view, the clear constitutional impediment to laws banning same-sex couples from marrying.

“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable,” he wrote. “However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.”

In considering the matter, Floyd, joined by Judge Roger Gregory, ruled, “The Virginia Marriage Laws … impede the right to marry by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and nullifying the legal import of their out-of-state marriages. Strict scrutiny therefore applies in this case.”

Judge Paul Niemeyer dissented from the decision, writing, “Because there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage and there are rational reasons for not recognizing it, just as there are rational reasons for recognizing it, I conclude that we, in the Third Branch, must allow the States to enact legislation on the subject in accordance with their political processes.”

The court heard arguments in the case in May.

Read the opinion.

Source: Chris Geidner for Buzzfeed

h/t: Zoe Greenburg at RH Reality Check

thepoliticalfreakshow:

A second Florida judge has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and unenforceable. It is the second such ruling in the state in as many weeks. Like last week’s ruling, the decision has been stayed pending appeal, so same-sex couples cannot yet begin marrying in Florida.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel opened her decision with an excerpt from Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that overturned all bans on interracial marriage. Referring to passages like, “The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious… discriminations,” she noted that the language “applies equally” to the case at hand. She suggested it was “disingenuous” of the state to ignore it in their arguments.

Zabel dismissed many of the arguments made by Florida in court, including attempts to define “marriage” as inherently only being between a man and a woman. “The inquiry is not whether there is a right to same-sex marriage,” she emphasized, “but whether same-sex couples can be excluded from the right to marriage.”

Arguments about childrearing also fell flat, particularly because of Florida’s own jurisprudence; state courts previously knocked down laws banning same-sex couples from adopting in 2010. Not only does the court record show that same-sex couples make equally effective parents, but it demonstrates that child-rearing is a separate issue from marriage altogether. “Rather,” Zabel wrote, “the marriage bans merely prevent same-sex couples from having their already existent families and partnerships recognized in the same manner as opposite-sex couples,” which harms the children they are already raising.

Noting the country’s long history of overcoming prejudice and discrimination, Zabel concluded that, “as evidenced by the avalanche of court decisions unanimously favoring marriage equality, the dam that was denying justice on this front has been broken.”

Source: Zack Ford for ThinkProgress

As in the South Park episode “Follow That Egg!”, Colorado will remain on “Butt Buddies” (aka civil unions) status instead of full equal marriage. 

EWTN, the Catholic programming network, has been granted an injunction from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals preventing the government from enforcing the HHS contraceptive services mandate.

The decision came the same day the Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that the Obamacare contraception mandate when applied to “closely held” corporations violates the law, though the court did not get to the First Amendment issues raised by the mandate. (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf).

A U.S. District judge on June 17 had ruled that EWTN was subject to the mandate that it provide coverage of “contraception, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization” as part of its employee health care coverage,” according to EWTN.

While the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby didn’t resolve the EWTN case, the network said, it “recognizes that business owners don’t give up their religious freedom when they start a business.”

The injunction means EWTN does not face the $35,000-per-day fines for not adhering to the mandate, which would have been levied starting July 1, said EWTN. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents both Hobby Lobby and EWTN, as well as others in the dozens of lawsuits filed against the contraception mandate.

“This has been a very good day for religious liberty in America,” said EWTN Chairman Michael P. Warsaw. “The Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case was a great affirmation of the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression.”

EWTN filed its original lawsuit in February 2012, but that was dismissed on technical grounds. It filed a second lawsuit in October 2013 against the DHS and agencies. The State of Alabama joined EWTN as a co-plaintiff in the new suit.

H/T: John Eggerton at Broadcasting and Cable

thepoliticalfreakshow:

In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court ruled against streaming broadcast TV company Aereo, deciding that the service is a “public” performance of the copyrighted local broadcast content it retransmits through digital antennas to the streaming devices of its paying customers

In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court ruled against streaming broadcast TV company Aereo, deciding that the service is a “public” performance of the copyrighted local broadcast content it retransmits through digital antennas to the streaming devices of its paying customers. Although the ruling just came out and experts are still combing through it, SCOTUSblog’s early take is that the decision is “sweeping and definitive” in its conclusion that Aereo is illegal. 

More… 

Source: Abby Ohlheiser for The Wire

h/t: Paul Blumenthal at HuffPost Politics

h/t: Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed

Post by Justin’s Political Corner

Text: Four opinions left outstanding at ‪SCOTUS‬ that could be decided on tomorrow and at least other decision day (most likely Monday). 

Here are the cases:
- NLRB v. Noel Canning (recess appointments)
- Harris v. Quinn (union dues, workers’ rights, unionization of home care workers)
- McCullen v. Coakley (abortion, protest buffer zones)
- Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby/Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, likely the last decision of the 2013-14 SCOTUS Term. (birth control, contraception, religious freedom, women’s health, religious exemptions) 

Expect Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby to be decided last, on either Thursday or Monday, June 30th.

crooksandliars:

Judge Strikes Down NC GOP's Effort To Silence Moral Monday Protesters

North Carolina Republicans must be shocked — SHOCKED — to discover that the First Amendment doesn’t just apply to them!

Via New Civil Rights Movement:

A Superior Court Judge in North Carolina has struck down most of the new rules the state legislature passed in order to thwart those vexing Moral Monday protests that just won’t go quietly away. Judge Carl Fox said the lawmakers can’t ban noise, like singing and clapping, nor can they confiscate protest signs because it has a messages that disturb the sensibilities of a lawmaker.

Thom Tillis (R-Art Pope), who is challenging Kay Hagan for her Senate seat, brought Moral Mondays on himself.

read more

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is ready to move forward on marriage cases pending before the court from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is ready to move forward on marriage cases pending before the court from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

On Monday, the court announced that oral arguments in all of the cases — challenges to bans on same-sex couples’ marriages or recognition of those marriages in each state in the circuit — are set for 1 p.m. August 6 in Cincinnati:

On Monday, the court announced that oral arguments in all of the cases — challenges to bans on same-sex couples' marriages or recognition of those marriages in each state in the circuit — are set for 1 p.m. August 6 in Cincinnati:

The court announced it would hear 30 minutes of arguments from each side in the Michigan marriage case:

The court announced it would hear 30 minutes of arguments from each side in the Michigan marriage case :

And 15 minutes per side for the Kentucky marriage recognition case:

And 15 minutes per side for the Kentucky marriage recognition case :

And 15 minutes per side for the Tennessee marriage recognition case:

And 15 minutes per side for the Tennessee marriage recognition case :

And 30 minutes per side for the Ohio death certificateand marriage recognition cases:

And 30 minutes per side for the Ohio death certificate and marriage recognition cases:

But the Ohio arguments will not include Equality Ohio and four couples, who were represented by Roberta Kaplan and had tried to intervene in the case, as their request was denied on Monday:

But the Ohio arguments will not include Equality Ohio and four couples, who were represented by Roberta Kaplan and had tried to intervene in the case, as their request was denied on Monday:

The arguments in the 6th Circuit will be the third federal appeals court to hear marriage arguments since last June’s Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The arguments in the 6th Circuit will be the third federal appeals court to hear marriage arguments since last June's Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The 10th Circuit heard appeals from Utah and Oklahoma in April, and the 4th Circuit heard Virginia’s appeal in May. The 9th Circuit is due to hear appeals from Nevada and Idaho in September. Viabuzzfeed.com

Source: Chris Geidner for Buzzfeed