45 of 50 states now require schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day, but the law says that no student can be forced to say it. But a student in Texas was just punished for refusing to say the pledge, both by his teacher and the principal.
Category Archive: Constitutional law
May 09 2014
Monte Neil Stewart, the attorney defending Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, is making a truly breathtaking argument based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Greece v Galloway. In a letter to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he says that that ruling on prayer applies to same-sex marriage as well for this astonishing reason:
May 07 2014
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Greece v Galloway once again revealed just how radical Justice Clarence Thomas is in his jurisprudence. He and Justice Scalia agreed with the result but wrote a concurring opinion arguing that only actual government coercion — punishing someone for not attending church, for instance — is forbidden by the Establishment …
May 07 2014
There’s a fascinating new study by Lee Epstein of the USC Law School that looks at how justices voted on free speech cases from 1953 to 2010. It shows that all justices are more likely to uphold the legality of speech that agrees with them ideologically, the conservatives on the court are far more likely …
May 06 2014
Marc DeGirolami of the St. John’s University Law School provides a very helpful breakdown of some of the key aspects of Monday’s ruling in Greece v Galloway. This analysis is mostly about the plurality opinion written by Justice Kennedy, which is the controlling opinion in the case.
May 06 2014
My friend Todd Heywood sent me a link to this legal filing in the Utah same-sex marriage appeal in the 10th Circuit. A guy named Chris Sevier, apparently representing himself, has filed a motion to intervene as a plaintiff in the case because he wants to marry his clock radio (or some unspecified machine) and …
May 05 2014
Monday morning the Supreme Court released its ruling in Greece v Galloway, which involved the question of “sectarian” prayers at local government meetings. The result was a predictable ruling that poses a great danger to the idea of separation of church and state. You can read the full ruling here.
May 05 2014
A few months ago the Florida Family Association filed a motion to intervene as a party to a lawsuit challenging that state’s ban on same-sex marriage and the judge in the case has denied that motion. And it’s pretty obvious that the wingnuts have no idea what is required to intervene in a case.
Apr 25 2014
As some of the more militant libertarians, especially the anarcho-capitalists, flock to the support of Cliven Bundy in his standoff with the federal government, most of the libertarian-minded law professors are debunking their absurd claims and pointing out how gloriously wrong those people are. Josh Blackman is one of them.
Apr 23 2014
A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled unanimously that the Obama administration must release portions of the legal memo used to justify the drone strike that killed American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2011. The Obama administration has been fighting this tooth and nail, of course.
Apr 22 2014
Last month the Michigan state legislature approved a resolution calling for a new constitutional convention to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. About 20 other states have recently voted to do so as well, but at least one scholar thinks that number is 34 because of really old votes to do so from decades ago:
Apr 18 2014
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.
Apr 13 2014
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. …
Apr 10 2014
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.
Apr 10 2014
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: