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Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court in a landmark decision on Friday ruled gay and lesbian couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry and that states must recognize those marriages, handing advocates a sweeping and historic victory that cements the legality of same-sex marriage nationwide.

Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia permitted same-sex marriage ahead of Friday’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case in which the justices considered two questions related to gay marriage restrictions in four states.

Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority’s opinion and was joined by the court’s liberal wing. The court’s conservative justices each filed a dissent.

Check this shit out. I haven’t seen this ANYWHERE yet! Fucking awesome!

No state can ban same sex marriage. None.

hi!

just wanted to give a BIG hooray for the supreme court ruling, and celebrate that in the entire USA gay couples are constitutionally supported to get married.

there are many more step for the LGBT community to tackle for this country to fully recognize our rights, but this was certainly a leap for many.

you’re all beautiful and i hope you enjoyed today and keep on fighting tomorrow (and the day after, etc.)!

SCOTUS Guts Three Strikes Laws In Ruling

SCOTUS Guts Three Strikes Laws In Ruling

There is a time when the Supreme Court accepts that it cannot ignore an issue. After three-strikes laws — that is, laws which impose a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat offenders — have gone before it five times in seven years, the justices knew that they had to decide, and decide definitively, the constitutionality of three-strikes laws. (Image courtesy of innerisness.com) But first, let us…

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thehomelessoul asked:

So I have a question so now that marriage equality stuff is now legalized everywhere does that allow same sex couples to sue a church for now doing a wedding ceremony for them kind of like the whole bakery thing where they got sued for not wanting to

Constitutionally I say no, but that doesn’t mean someone won’t try it.

People are assholes.

The justices have preserved Texas women’s few remaining options for safe and legal abortion care for the moment. Now it’s time to put a stop to these clinic shutdown laws once and for all. Our Constitution rightly protects women from laws that would create barriers to safe and legal abortion care, but Texas politicians have tried to sneak around the Constitution with sham regulations designed to close clinics’ doors.  The Supreme Court has affirmed time and again that a woman has a constitutionally protected right to decide whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and we are confident the justices will make clear once again that the constitutional protections for safe and legal abortion are real.
— 

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, after the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a 5th Circuit ruling that would have closed all but nine clinics in Texas.

Via The Texas Tribune

Attorneys for the abortion providers had told the high court that the ruling would create “a severe shortage of abortion services” and that it would be difficult to increase “operational capacities” at remaining clinics because of how hard it is for doctors to obtain admitting privileges.

The admitting privileges provision closed about half the 41 abortion facilities that were operating in the state before the restrictions went into effect.

The abortion providers must still file their appeal to the Supreme Court, which is not scheduled to hear arguments until October, when its next term begins.

My prediction for Monday

I think lethal injection is going down. So between that and everything else (protecting the Fair Housing Act, Obamacare subsidies, protecting the already meager integrity of judicial elections, overturning parts of an evil Arizona law, getting the confederate flag license plate case right on a day it really mattered, not to mention marriage equality for all 50 states) this term is going better than the best you could have hoped for–except that I think the Arizona redistricting case is going to go the wrong way, the evil way, the fucked up way, as my friend Erikk pointed out, just as every redistricting case ever seems to go.

Basically state legislators are suddenly going to have a constitutionally protected right to gerrymander that overrides the people’s right to use ballot initiatives to create independent redistricting commissions.

So, um, yeah, we have a huge gerrymandering problem in America and it is profoundly damaging our democracy. And it will only get worse on Monday, I suspect. So that is pretty fucking depressing. But what can you do?

By the midway point of the next President’s first term, we’ll have the oldest Supreme Court ever, with, I think, 4 justices over age 80. So keep that shit in my mind come votin’ time.

goldenshadowfox asked:

How would you feel if next the government forced churches to marry same sex couples? No hatred geared toward anyone, just an honest question.

Well seeing as I don’t even think a business should have to take part in a gay wedding (or any wedding…or even actually serve anyone they don’t want too) I would find that ethically repugnant and constitutionally indefensible. 

I have been marinating this post for like, two days now, and I am no closer to being able to articulate it well. Someone else could, I’m sure. Someone who doesn’t just turn into a flaily bundle of gestures when trying to talk about emotional ideas.

But here’s a thing: I keep seeing people complaining about the same-sex marriage decision that the Supreme Court made because they think marriage rights aren’t going to solve any problems. And quite aside from the 1200+ tangible benefits available to married couples in the United States, let me tell you what else this did:

This set a precedent.

A solid, legal precedent.

That is invaluable when it comes to the rest of the problems we are facing as a community.

Because see, the thing is, discrimination against us is categorically based on things like the gender of people we are attracted to. It is, in a very large part, based on our romantic relationships.

The Supreme Court of the United States just ruled that our relationships are constitutionally protected.

That means that other discriminations we face based on our orientation – being fired from our jobs, for example, or being denied equal housing – can now be taken to court with the legal precedent that the Supreme Court says that we are constitutionally protected. It means we have a much higher chance of winning those cases.

And on a social level, this takes HUGE steps toward normalizing same-sex attraction in day to day society. There are babies that were born today who will grow up in a world where it was always possible for them to marry their same-sex partner. They will grow up in a world where the phrase “same-sex marriage” is no longer relevant because the word “marriage” includes same-sex relationships on an equal status. They’ll grow up seeing married couples who are of the same gender. It will cease to be something remarkable because it will just be normal.

And while that doesn’t mean that hate is going to go away completely (just because something is illegal doesn’t mean people stop doing it!) it does mean that attitudes will begin to change. That’s huge. Same-sex attraction losing a large part of its stigma means that maybe fewer parents will reject their gay, lesbian, and bisexual children on the basis of their attraction in the future, which may reduce LGBT teen homelessness, which is a large problem we’re facing! The tangible benefits available through marriage will help reduce some LGBT poverty issues, especially in the elderly LGBT community who have not been able to afford medical care under their partners’ medical insurance up until now! Who have been evicted from the homes they’ve shared with their partners for years and years because their names weren’t on the lease and inheritance taxes are steep if you’re not legally married! The reduction of public stigma of our orientations and relationships will probably go a long way toward reducing LGBT teen suicides!

What this decision does, more than anything, is provide a basis and a workable foundation for all the work we still have left to do. It gives us a huge boost. It gives us hope.

And the fact that some people are shitting on this because it doesn’t immediately solve all the other problems facing the community today just shows how little we understand about the long, multifaceted struggle, and how much winning one big battle can turn the tide in a long, exhausting war for equality.

This decision is huge, and awe-inspiring, and it’s worth our time and energy to celebrate it and be happy about it and allow ourselves to feel hope.

reason.com
5 Supreme Court Cases to Watch in June
The High Court prepares to rule on Obamacare, gay marriage, death penalty drugs, and more.

Elonis v. United States

Anthony Elonis claims that he’s “just an aspiring rapper” who likes to post violent lyrics and graphic first-person murder fantasies to Facebook. But after numerous Facebook postings in which Elonis wrote about killing his estranged wife, killing his boss, and killing others, including the FBI agent sent to investigate him, a federal jury found him guilty of transmitting “in interstate or foreign commerce any communications containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another.” He was sentenced to 44 months in prison.

In Elonis v. United States the Supreme Court will decide whether those Facebook posts constituted a “true threat” of violence or whether they count as constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment.

Glossip v. Gross

The state of Oklahoma employs a three-drug protocol when carrying out the death penalty via lethal injection. The first drug is supposed to render the prisoner totally unconscious and insensate. The second drug is a paralytic. The third drug does the killing. But what if there is a lack of medical consensus about whether or not the first drug actually renders the prisoner unconscious and insensate? What if paralyzed prisoners sometimes suffer excruciating pain in the final minutes before death? Would that lack of medical certainty about the drug’s effects violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against imposing cruel and unusual punishments?

Glossip v. Gross centers on such concerns. At issue is Oklahoma’s use of the drug midazolam to render prisoners unconscious during execution. According to the petitioners, midazolam “is not approved or used as a standalone anesthetic during painful surgeries, because it is inherently incapable of reliably inducing and maintaining deep, comalike unconsciousness.” The Supreme Court is tasked with determining whether or not the lower court got it wrong when it allowed Oklahoma to continue using this potentially unreliable drug.

Horne v. United States Department of Agriculture

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires the government to pay just compensation when it takes private property for a public use. Yet according to a federal regulation designed to “stabilize” the raisin market, raisin farmers such as Marvin and Laura Horne are required to physically surrender a portion of their crop to federal officials each year without receiving just compensation in return. For example, in 2003-2004, the USDA demanded 30 percent of the annual raisin crop, which amounted to 89,000 tons. In return, the federal government paid nothing back to raisin farmers.

Do the USDA’s actions violate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment? The Supreme Court will decide in Horne v. USDA.

Obergefell v. Hodges

Do state legislatures have the lawful power to prohibit gay marriage? Or do state bans on gay marriage violate the 14th Amendment, which forbids the states from denying the equal protection of the laws to any person within their respective jurisdictions? In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court confronts the possibility of legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

King v. Burwell

The question before the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell is whether the Obama administration illegally implemented the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) when the IRS allowed tax credits to issue to certain persons who bought health insurance on federally established health care exchanges. According to the text of the ACA, such tax credits should only issue in connection with purchases made via an “Exchange established by the State.” According to the Obama administration, however, the phrase “established by the State” is actually a “term of art” that encompasses exchanges established by both the states and by the federal government. The legal challengers, by contrast, maintain that the statutory text is clear and that the health care law means what it says. Depending on how the Court sees it, the long-term survival of Obamacare could be at risk.

ottawacitizen.com
Unions file Charter challenge on government's right to determine sick leave deal
“This government is giving itself the power to directly violate the constitutionally-protected right to meaningful collective bargaining,” said PIPSC President Debi Daviau.

Federal unions are challenging the constitutionality of the recently passed budget bill that allows the Conservative government to bypass collective bargaining and limit public servants’ right to strikes so it can impose a new sick leave and disability regime.

The long-anticipated lawsuit was filed in Ontario Superior Court Monday by 12 of the 17 unions representing Canada’s public servants, alleging the Conservatives’ legislative changes violate employees’ right to free and fair collective bargaining and limits the right to strike.

The lawsuit is aimed at the part of the budget bill in which the Conservatives gave itself the power to override the Pubic Service Labour Relations Act and impose a new sick-leave and disability regime for public servants at any time.

The legal action is led by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), the two largest unions for professional public servants, from scientists to economists. The giant Public Service Alliance of Canada is expected to file a separate challenge Tuesday.

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