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Posts tagged "Courts"

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

Let’s hope marriage equality comes to the USA Nationwide within the next year or two. 

h/t: Germán López at Vox

thepoliticalfreakshow:

MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge on Friday put same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on hold, a week after she struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional, a move that allowed more than 500 couples to wed over the last eight days.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb’s ruling Friday means that gay marriages will end while the appeal from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pending. Couples who were in the middle of the five-day waiting period to get a license, which most counties waived, are caught in limbo.

Van Hollen requested Crabb put her ruling on hold, arguing that allowing the marriages while the underlying case was pending created confusion about the legality of those marriages.

Crabb, who held a 30-minute hearing before issuing her written order, hinted strongly that she was likely to halt further marriages because the U.S. Supreme Court had done that in a similar case out of Utah.

But in her order, she expressed mixed feelings about it.

“After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples featured in media reports, I find it difficult to impose a stay on the event that is responsible for eliciting that emotion, even if the stay is only temporary,” Crabb said in her order. “Same-sex couples have waited many years to receive equal treatment under the law, so it is understandable that they do not want to wait any longer. However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court.”

The ruling came exactly one week after Crabb ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. But Crabb didn’t issue any orders on how state officials were to implement her decision, and amid the uncertainty, nearly every Wisconsin county – 60 of 72 – issued licenses.

Crabb issued an order preventing clerks from denying same-sex couples marriage licenses, but then put that on hold as well as her earlier ruling striking down the law as unconstitutional.

John Knight, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law, called her decision to put her order on hold disappointing.

“But we will fight for a quick resolution on appeal and are confident that marriage will be a reality in Wisconsin very soon for lesbian and gay couples who have waited much too long already,” he said in an email.

Van Hollen had no immediate reaction.

As of midday Thursday, 555 same-sex couples had gotten married in the state, based on an Associated Press survey of all 72 counties. There was a rush to get married in Madison and Milwaukee on June 6, when Crabb released her decision, and then again earlier this week throughout the state as other counties began issuing licenses.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb

Van Hollen said Thursday that same-sex couples with marriage licenses aren’t legally married because Crabb hasn’t issued an order telling county clerks how to interpret her ruling striking down the law. Van Hollen also said district attorneys could charge clerks who issued licenses with a crime.

Crabb reiterated in Friday’s 30-minute hearing that clerks were issuing licenses to same-sex couples on their own.

“I never told them not to and I never told them to do it,” Crabb said.

The ACLU and others say because Crabb found the law unconstitutional, and didn’t order clerks not to issue licenses, they could legally give them to couples seeking to get married.

Crabb’s order did not address whether same-sex marriages completed over the past week are valid.

Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment, approved by 59 percent of voters in 2006, outlawed gay marriage or anything substantially similar. The ACLU said the ban violated the constitutional rights of eight gay couples to equal protection and due process and Crabb agreed.

Gay rights activists have won 15 consecutive lower court cases since a landmark Supreme Court ruling last summer, with Wisconsin being the latest.

Wisconsin is among 13 states with gay marriage cases pending before appeals courts. Twelve are with six different federal appeals courts, and one in Arkansas is before a state appeals court. A final ruling on Wisconsin’s case likely is months away.

The cases that are furthest along originated in UtahOklahoma and Virginia, based on decisions issued in December, January and February. Federal appeals court judges have heard arguments in those cases, and rulings are expected soon.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in during its next session beginning in October.

The order is here.

Developing story, check back for updates.

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice