Post-DOMA Questions, College Student Edition

By: Saturday June 29, 2013 9:00 am

Edith Windsor has a big tax refund coming, and other LGBT married couples have won a victory for their relationships with the recent SCOTUS ruling in US v Windsor. But lots of questions remain in the wake of the demise of DOMA. For example, consider life for a college student in a same-sex marriage who attends a state where the state constitution says only opposite-sex marriages “shall be recognized by the state as entitling the parties to the rights or incidents of marriage.”

There’s still a lot of work to do. Just ask LGBT sort-of-but-not-really-married students at places like the University of Kansas.


Despite a Failed Nomination, Robert Bork’s Legacy Lives On at the Supreme Court

By: Saturday October 27, 2012 1:00 pm

There are few personalities in the legal profession that are divisive as Robert Bork. And, while his name has not often come up this election cycle, his legacy with the Supreme Court and possibility that his vision will shape its future deserves to be discussed.

Citizens United and Corporate Campaign Money: It’s Much More than the Appearance of Corruption

By: Tuesday August 14, 2012 5:08 pm

As we move into heavy campaigning season, let us reflect on Citizens United. Perhaps the silliest statement in the opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy is the one in which the majority concluded that corporate campaign contributions to no corrupt or create an appearance of corruption. In fact there are many studies that show the do corrupt.

Supreme Court Rules Strip Searches Okay Even for Those Arrested for Minor Offenses

By: Monday April 2, 2012 11:30 am

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that police have the discretion to strip search people arrested even for minor offenses. I’m just not feeling the bow to judicial restraint here. The Court explicitly ruled that you can get strip-searched if jailed for failure to pay a speeding ticket. That was the underlying case here (and it was actually a false arrest, as the man did pay the ticket). What happens if you’re arrested for protesting in front of the Supreme Court, or the White House?

Your Economic Liberty Ends Where My Bank Account Begins

By: Sunday April 1, 2012 10:30 am

Your worship of your own economic freedom is no reason for me to pay for your health care.

Supreme Court Divided Over Severability

By: Wednesday March 28, 2012 10:55 am

If the arguments are any guide, then, the choice would be, in the event of the mandate being found unconstitutional, between tossing the regulations with the mandate, or tossing the whole law. The mandate won’t come out alone, if form holds and everyone to the right of Kennedy agrees.

Conservatives at SCOTUS Harshly Question Mandate; Kennedy Probably Holds Deciding Vote

By: Tuesday March 27, 2012 11:30 am

The general take I’m hearing from people inside the courtroom today is that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli blew it during arguments on the health care law’s individual mandate. In the second hour, however, Kennedy and Roberts, at least, questioned the argument from the plaintiffs, representing the 26 states, almost as harshly. This may come down to how Justice Kennedy views the scope of federal power.

What’s Next for the Prop 8 Case

By: Tuesday February 7, 2012 12:00 pm

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional this morning, relying on arguments used by Supreme Court Justice Kennedy in another case. This furthers a process that will almost certainly end in the Supreme Court, with a precedent-setting ruling on the right of same-sex couples to marry. However, the ruling today is limited to the circumstances of the California initiative.

Lobbyists Buy Shiny New Terms for Super Congressfolk

By: Friday September 16, 2011 9:25 am

Can I have a nice lecture from Senator Murray on how it’s my duty as a citizen to vote for one or the other of the corrupt jerks they put in my face?

High Court Grants Ashcroft Immunity; Scalia Invents New Meaning for “Suspicion”

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 11:44 am

SCOTUS has just ruled unanimously that John Ashcroft can’t be sued by Abdullah al-Kidd for using a material witness warrant to incarcerate him. The eight justices (Elena Kagan recused herself) all agree there was no law explicitly prohibiting this kind of abuse of material witness warrants, so Ashcroft has immunity from suit.

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