4th Circuit Upholds Overturning of VA’s Marriage Ban

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling overturning Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. It was a 2-1 ruling with two judges appointed by George W. Bush in the majority and one appointed by Ronald Reagan in dissent. The ruling applies to Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North and South Carolina. From the majority opinion:
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Defending My Recent Reasonable Doubts Appearance

A couple weeks ago I was interviewed by my good friends who do the Reasonable Doubts podcast, just a few days after the Hobby Lobby ruling came down. I said then much the same thing that I said here, that I think it’s a very bad ruling but not nearly as far-reaching as some have said it was. A couple of commenters on the RD blog seem to have been highly upset by my position and I’m going to answer their arguments here. Brooks Austin seems to be particularly agitated by what I said, saying I was an “idiot” on the episode.
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Huge Victory for Secular Celebrants

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has given us a major victory, ruling in a case brought by CFI Indiana that the state must allow secular celebrants to solemnize marriages along with clergy. The ruling was by a three-judge panel that included two legendary conservative/libertarian legal scholars, Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Richard Posner.
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ENDA and the Hobby Lobby Decision

I recorded an interview for the Reasonable Doubts podcast Wednesday evening and they asked me about the decision by several gay rights groups to withdraw support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I had seen headlines all day about it but hadn’t actually read the articles so I wasn’t clear on why they did so and what it has to do with the Hobby Lobby ruling. Reality: Not much.
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RFRA Should Be Declared Unconstitutional

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in 1993 by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The Supreme Court then struck down part of it, the part that applied to state and local actions, but upheld its application in federal law. In that case, City of Boerne v Flores, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a concurrence that said this:
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Why the Hobby Lobby Ruling Will Be Mostly Irrelevant Soon

This thought suddenly occurred to me Monday night as I was prepping for a Google Hangout to discuss the Hobby Lobby ruling: The majority opinion gave a roadmap for how the Obama administration can essentially moot the ruling unilaterally. In fact, they can do it today if they want. Let me explain.
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Hobby Lobby and Harris: Bad, But Limited, Rulings

The Supreme Court handed down rulings in the last two cases of its term this morning, Harris v Quinn (whether public sector unions could charge fees to non-members) and Burwell v Hobby Lobby, the now-infamous challenge to the ACA’s contraception mandate. In both cases, I think the results are wrong but probably the best we could have hoped for given the court’s current configuration.
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