Bruce Ledewitz, a law professor at Duquesne University, has a column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the dozens of legal challenges to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. First he explains that companies don’t actually have to provide contraception as part of their group policies:
Category Archive: Constitutional law
Dec 05 2013
Dec 02 2013
Harold Meyerson has a column in the Washington Post about the Hobby Lobby case, which the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear, but I think he should have consulted with a constitutional law attorney or professor before writing at least one passage in it:
Dec 01 2013
Christian Reconstructionist and neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka actually spoke to students at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida recently. That’s outrageous, but it’s entirely legal because he was invited by the American Club, an official student group, rather than by the administration (and it wasn’t a school assembly, it was just to that group).
Nov 30 2013
The Freedom From Religion Foundation won a very important lawsuit this week against the parsonage tax exemption for churches, with their argument being that because it applies only to Christian churches, it is a special benefit for churches and thus unconstitutional. American Atheists has a similar suit going on another case of disparate treatment, the …
Nov 25 2013
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has won a lawsuit filed against the parsonage allowance given to churches but not to any other non-profit organization. A federal judge ruled that the law establishing that tax break for ministers did not have a secular purpose or effect and is an impermissible subsidy for churches.
Nov 20 2013
Though the 4th Amendment requires that no search can be made without probable cause, the courts have allowed the much lower “reasonable suspicion” standard for many types of police stops. A new report that shows a 97% failure rate should put that absurd idea to rest permanently.
Nov 18 2013
The state legislature in Hawaii just passed a law recognizing same-sex marriage and it’s already survived a constitutional challenge? Yep. One of those legislators along with some Christian leaders filed a suit claiming that they didn’t have the authority to do that because of a 1998 amendment passed by popular referendum. A state judge rejected …
Nov 14 2013
Alex Seitz-Wald has a column in the National Journal arguing that it is time to “blow up the Constitution,” start over and design a new system that is better suited to modern times. Noting that Thomas Jefferson believed that it should be rewritten every 20 years, he writes:
Nov 12 2013
In a ruling that I’m absolutely astonished could find three votes against it, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a lesbian parent who donated the egg that her former partner carried can’t have her parental rights eliminated at the whim of that now-estranged partner.
Nov 10 2013
A teacher in Florida, apparently completely unaware of the existence of the First Amendment and a Supreme Court ruling that goes back a full seven decades, has been suspended for five days after forcing a child to say the pledge of allegiance and insulting them with jingoism in the process.
Nov 08 2013
The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Town of Greece v Holloway on Wednesday morning, the case involving the question of local elected boards beginning their meetings with prayers. The key precedent here is Marsh v Chambers, which upheld the practice of opening state legislative sessions with prayer. Lyle Denniston reports on what happened at …
Nov 07 2013
A gay high school student in Birdville, Texas has been suspended for ripping pages out of his own Bible, which he brought with him to class. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Legal Center is getting involved, sending a letter to the school demanding that the suspension be lifted.
Nov 06 2013
I noted the other day that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals had put a stay on an injunction ordered by District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin reining in the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program. It was a very odd ruling, removing Scheindlin from handling the case even though neither side had requested such action. That …
Nov 06 2013
Bob Vander Plaats, king of the Iowa wingnuts and bigots, went on Steve Deace’s radio show and claimed that the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling cause a “constitutional crisis” because the ruling defied “the law of nature and the law of nature’s God.” Funny Bob, but that’s exactly what was said about the ruling on interracial …
Nov 04 2013
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay of the landmark federal district court ruling that declared some aspects of the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program unconstitutional and imposed new procedural and oversight protections. The ruling will not be enforced while an appeal is heard.