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Category Archive: Constitutional law

Apr 18 2014

Louisiana Refuses to Repeal Unconstitutional Sodomy Law

In 2003, the Supreme Court overturned all state anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v Texas, making them unenforceable. But the Louisiana state legislature is insisting by a better than 2-1 margin that they keep their law on the books anyway because…well, who the hell knows why.

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Apr 13 2014

Utah Withdraws Use of Regnerus Study

On Thursday the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the appeal of a district court decision striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. In the wake of the Michigan case, they sent a letter to the court distancing itself from Mark Regnerus’ terrible study, which they had used at the trial level. …

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Apr 10 2014

OMG! Democrats Are ‘Demonizing’ the Supreme Court

Most liberals have been highly critical of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the McCutcheon case, as they were with the earlier Citizens United decision. For some reason, that seems to bother Randy Barnett, one of my very favorite constitutional scholars, very much.

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Apr 10 2014

ADF Spins Obvious Loss

The Supreme Court on Monday denied cert in a case involving a photography business in New Mexico that refused to serve a lesbian couple’s wedding. The Alliance Defending Freedom represented the business and they seem to be straining really hard to put a positive spin on that:

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Apr 08 2014

Appeals Court Issues Weird Church/State Ruling

I agree completely with Hemant on the appeals court decision in the case involving the Bronx Household of Faith and its attempt to rent public school facilities during non-school hours. I’m a little astonished at the hair splitting the court is doing to deny their right to do so. Here’s what the NYC public school …

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Apr 07 2014

The Sham of Conservative Originalism

Larry Lessig, the Harvard law professor who has led a crusade for real campaign finance reform for several years, reacts to the Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon by pointing out that the conservative justice’s claimed preference for originalism is contradicted by the ruling.

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Apr 04 2014

Major Win for Atheist in Religious Drug Treatment Case

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an atheist man from Missouri who was denied parole on a drug charge because he refused to submit to a religious rehab program and the state refused to send him to a secular one. The denial of his original grievance and his loss at …

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Apr 04 2014

Genso Criticizes Opponent’s Take on Marriage Ruling

Longtime friend of the blog Jordan Genso is running for the state legislature here in Michigan and he is calling out his opponent, the mayor of the town of Howell, for his ignorant statement issued in response to a federal judge striking down the state’s law banning same-sex marriage two weeks ago.

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Apr 03 2014

SCOTUS Hands More Power to Oligarchs

The Supreme Corp…sorry, I meant Court…doubled down on their ruling in Citizens United (and the even more important 4th Circuit case Free Speech Now) and all but handed what little was left of a genuine democracy over to wealthy individuals and corporations. The New York Times reports on the ruling in McCutcheon v FEC:

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Mar 27 2014

The Oral Argument in the Hobby Lobby Case

Lyle Denniston has his usual thorough recap of Tuesday’s oral argument in the Hobby Lobby case, which challenges the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that the case is likely to come down to how Justice Kennedy votes.

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Mar 27 2014

Corporate Personhood and the Contraception Mandate

Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA who is writing a book corporate personhood and constitutional rights, has a very interesting column at Slate arguing that it is precisely because corporations are persons for some constitutional purposes that they should not be exempted from the contraception mandate. He begins by pointing out that corporations are …

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Mar 26 2014

Scalia and the Hobby Lobby Case

Sahil Kapur writes about Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division v Smith, a 1989 case that involved two Native American men who were denied unemployment benefits after being fired for using peyote. They argued that this violated their religious freedom and the court rejected that argument. Scalia argued strongly that religious exemptions from generally …

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Mar 25 2014

Big Victory for Equality in Michigan

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman, a Reagan appointee, delivered a major victory for equality late Friday afternoon by striking down Michigan’s law forbidding same-sex marriage and second-parent adoption. The decision is absolutely devastating to the anti-equality side in every possible way, including shredding Scott Regnerus and his laughable study.

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Mar 25 2014

Wingnuts React to Michigan Marriage Ruling

Bigots around the state of Michigan are reacting to the federal court ruling striking down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and second-parent adoption with all the simpleminded inanity we’ve come to expect from them. I’ll start slow with Gary Glenn of the AFA of Michigan:

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Mar 10 2014

Michigan Wraps Up Its Case Against Equality

The state of Michigan wrapped up its case on Thursday in the suit challenging our ban on same-sex marriage and second-parent adoption and it didn’t go very well for them. One of their witnesses was ruled out by the judge, one got pummeled on the witness stand and the last one got all religious.

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