They never stop asking for more

Religious organizations and individuals, the Catholic church in particular, put Oliver Twist to shame. Their recent string of legal victories against having to provide contraception coverage to their employees has made them even more greedy about claiming privileges. Molly Redden says that the Catholic church now argues that even having to show up in court to fight a lawsuit is a violation of their religions freedom.
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Was I too gloomy about Obamacare’s prospects?

Brianne Gorod, an Appellate Counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, says that those who think (like I do) that the US Supreme Court agreeing to take on the federal subsidies issue is a sign that they are going to disallow it and thus seriously wound Obamacare are being too pessimistic (or too optimistic, if you happen to be an opponent of the health care law).
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Setback for same-sex marriage

Yesterday the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its verdict on the six same-sex marriage cases from the four states in its jurisdiction (Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee). District judges had in each case ruled that the bans on such marriages in each of those states was unconstitutional and the three-judge panel looked at all the cases together. The panel ruled 2-1 to reverse the lower courts and uphold the bans, meaning that same-sex marriages cannot proceed in these four states. The majority opinion is, frankly, appalling. I do not say this simply because I disagree with the conclusion but for reasons that I give below.
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Texas’s restrictive voter ID law to remain in effect

In a ruling issued early this morning, the US Supreme Court upheld the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Texas voter ID law SB 14, one of the most restrictive in the nation, should stay in place through the current election, thus likely disenfranchising many poor and minority and student voters, the ones most likely to vote for the Democratic party.
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Texas voting rights case update

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Texas threw out that state’s new voting ID requirements enshrined in the law SB 14, the strictest in the nation, on the grounds that it imposed undue hardship on voters, was discriminatory, and the costs involved amounted to a poll tax. It was a sweeping judgment that Texas immediately appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is one of the most conservative of the Appeals Courts and on Tuesday, they reversed the judge’s ruling, allowing the rules to remain in place.
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Voter suppression efforts receive two setbacks

It has been clear for some time that, since their actual policies and practices are so unpopular with key demographics, the GOP strategy for winning elections is to try and reduce voting by likely Democratic voters by enacting strict voter ID laws under the pretext of preventing fraud, a problem that does not exist in any significant way to matter. But yesterday, these measures received two significant setbacks.
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Clarifying the state of play on same-sex marriage

When it comes to same-sex marriage, the current state of play can be a little confusing, consisting as it does of a mixture of legislative and judicial decisions. Since the US Supreme Court has declined to hear, for now at least, cases that deal with this issue, we are left with a patchwork of laws passed by referenda and legislatures and state and federal courts. We have basically three different situations:
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