State Judge Strikes Down AR Marriage Ban

Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage has been struck down, but by a state judge rather than a federal one. Much of the decision is based on the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, however. And the judge also explicitly said that LGBT people have “suspect class” status that triggers heightened review, though that wasn’t necessary to reach the decision.
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Prayer Ruling Used in Marriage Equality Case

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:
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Greece Ruling Shows Thomas’ Radicalism

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 Clause. But Thomas went even further in a section of the concurrence that even Scalia would not join:
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Conservative Justices Far More Biased on Free Speech

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 than the liberals to do so. Here’s a chart showing how the most recent long-serving justices voted in such cases:
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Funniest Motion to Intervene Ever

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 his interest isn’t represented. It’s a motion so badly written that even Larry Klayman would be embarrassed so submit it.
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Greece v Galloway Ruling: Predictable But Very Dangerous

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.
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Bigots Denied Intervention in Florida Marriage Case

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.
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Libertarian Law Prof Debunks Bundy Nonsense

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.
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Appeals Court Orders Release of Drone Strike Memo

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.
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Did Michigan Just Cause a Constitutional Convention?

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:
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