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Category Archive: Constitutional law

Feb 18 2014

Guest Post: Dan Ray on Right to Discriminate Laws

This is a guest post from my good friend Dan Ray, who teaches constitutional law at Cooley Law School. It’s about the constitutionality of a bill in Kansas (and another in Tennessee) that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay people due to their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

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Feb 17 2014

Fed. Judge Strikes Down VA Marriage Law

A federal judge has struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage in the case in which the new attorney general decided not to defend the case any longer and in which David Boies and Ted Olson were representing the plaintiffs. The ruling was released Thursday evening.

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Feb 14 2014

4th Circuit: State Can’t Have Only ‘Choose Life’ Plates

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that said the state of North Carolina can’t approve the offering of a “Choose Life” license plate and then refuse to approve a pro-choice license plate. That is viewpoint discrimination under the law.

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Feb 14 2014

Court: KY Must Recognize Gay Marriages From Other States

This is an interesting development. For the first time that I’m aware of, a state has been ordered by a federal court to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that the U.S. Constitution requires such recognition.

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Feb 14 2014

NC School Tries to Block SSA Club

Here’s yet another example of a clueless school administration that doesn’t know the law and wants to prevent students from forming a secular club, this time in Waynesville, North Carolina. The assistant principal is refusing to let a student form an SSA club, in direct contravention of well-established law.

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Feb 13 2014

More Bad Arguments Against Marriage Equality

Five major religious groups — the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod — have filed an amicus brief in the case challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. …

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Feb 13 2014

Nevada Stops Defending Marriage Ban

In a rather dramatic turn of events, Gov. Brian Sandoval (a Republican) and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (a Democrat) of Nevada filed a motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals withdrawing their defense of the state law forbidding same-sex marriage.

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Feb 11 2014

Virginia Confronts Marriage Equality Again

A federal court heard oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage last week and Thomas Peyser was there to observe the proceedings. He makes several interesting observations, including the parallels with Loving v Virginia, the case that overturned Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage (and all others as well, of course).

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Feb 10 2014

Plaintiffs in Marriage Case Want Regnerus Ruled Out

A set of plaintiffs in Michigan who are challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption have filed a brief asking the court to disallow the testimony of Mark Regnerus as an expert in the case, citing the many methodological problems in his famous study of gay parenting (which wasn’t really about gay …

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Feb 09 2014

Boies, Olson Take on Virginia Marriage Ban

After their partly successful challenge of a California law banning same-sex marriage, David Boies and Theodore Olson are now representing the plaintiffs challenging an identical law in the state of Virginia. This legal dream team, one Democrat and one Republican, have a steeper hill to climb this time.

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Feb 04 2014

FFRF Urges Overturning of RFRA in Contraception Case

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and several other groups have filed an amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood case challenging the contraception mandate. The brief was written by Marci Hamilton of the Cardozo School of Law and it takes a very aggressive stance, asking the Supreme Court to declare the Religious Freedom …

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Feb 02 2014

House May Pointlessly Sue Obama

Republicans are throwing a fit over President Obama saying he’ll take some vague and unspecified unilateral action to address vague and unspecified problems and Michele Bachmann says that the House of Representatives may try to take him to court over it. Yeah, good luck with that.

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Jan 28 2014

Worst Anti-Marriage Equality Argument Ever?

In the legal challenge to Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, now pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the anti-equality group Nevada Coalition for the Protection of Marriage just filed a brief with a breathtakingly ridiculous argument for why same-sex marriage is nothing like interracial marriage.

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Jan 27 2014

Virginia AG to Support Marriage Equality

Virginia was one of more than 30 states to pass laws banning same-sex marriage between 2004 and 2008 and that law is now being challenged in federal court. The new Democratic attorney general of the state has decided not to defend the law in court but to file a brief arguing that the law is …

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Jan 25 2014

Agema, Saleem Lawsuit Dismissed

Dave Agema, one of Michigan’s representatives on the Republican National Committee, and Kamal Saleem, one of the many fake “ex-terrorists” making a living scaring the hell out of the Christian right, have had a lawsuit they filed against a Michigan city, People for the American Way and CAIR dismissed by a Bush-appointed federal judge. They …

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