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June 26, 2013
The Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiciton to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

SCOTUSblog

California gays can get their marriage on again. 

(via waitingonoblivion)

It’s not everything that same-sex marriage proponents wanted—it avoids a ruling on the larger issue, for one thing—but it’s a victory nonetheless.

(via waitingonoblivion)

10:32 // 1 year ago
This case is about power in several respects. It is about the power of our people to govern themselves, and the power of this Court to pronounce the law. Today’s opinion aggrandizes the latter, with the predictable consequence of diminishing the former. We have no power to decide this case. And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.
Antonin Scalia, in his DOMA dissent.
10:20 // 1 year ago
DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.
The majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. SCOTUS has decided DOMA is unconstitutional. Read more at NPR’s The Two-Way. (via npr)

This seems like a pretty historic one right here.
10:14 // 1 year ago
nbcnightlynews:

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court strikes down #DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act

More forthcoming, but … a fairly big start to the day.

nbcnightlynews:

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court strikes down , the federal Defense of Marriage Act

More forthcoming, but … a fairly big start to the day.

10:06 // 1 year ago
June 25, 2013

Here’s what SCOTUS ruled on the Voting Rights Act, in lay terms

  • question The Voting Rights Act mandated that certain jurisdictions in the country with a history of voter disenfranchisement (all in the south) receive pre-clearance from the federal government before enacting any new voting laws. The case on which SCOTUS ruled today questioned whether or not this is constitutional. 
  • ruling The court did not strike down the concept of pre-clearance; rather, struck down the specific formula currently used to determine which states require pre-clearance. So, until Congress can agree on and pass a new formula for this determination, no states will require pre-clearance anymore.

It falls upon congress to decide on a new formula—essentially, to figure out which states should still require federal approval to change their voting laws. Given how congress is these days, we’re exceedingly doubtful that any agreement will be reached anytime soon. source

16:01 // 1 year ago
nbcnews:

BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down a key part of 1965 Voting Rights Act
(Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters, file)
Live SCOTUSblog offers latest details.
Continue reading

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his opinion on the case: "Nearly 50 years later, [the rules laid out by the Voting Rights Act] are still in effect; indeed, they have been made more stringent, and are now scheduled to last until 2031. There is no denying, however, that the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions."
Thoughts?

nbcnews:

BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down a key part of 1965 Voting Rights Act

(Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters, file)

Live SCOTUSblog offers latest details.

Continue reading

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his opinion on the case: "Nearly 50 years later, [the rules laid out by the Voting Rights Act] are still in effect; indeed, they have been made more stringent, and are now scheduled to last until 2031. There is no denying, however, that the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions."


Thoughts?

10:27 // 1 year ago
June 24, 2013
15:59 // 1 year ago
June 23, 2013
nbcnews:

Same-sex marriage opponents plan for DOMA ruling, weigh constitutional challenge
(Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images file)
Opponents of same-sex marriage prepare for their next chapter as they await highly-anticipated Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. If the decisions aren’t in their favor, they say they may pursue an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Continue reading

Anyone seeing them actually being able to pull off such an amendment? Here’s what it would take, according to Wikipedia:

Before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention (known as an Article V convention) called by two-thirds of the states, and ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions thereof, the method of ratification being determined by Congress at the time of proposal. To date, no convention for proposing amendments has been called by the states, and only once—in 1933 for the ratification of the twenty-first amendment—has the convention method of ratification been employed.

The first route is unlikely considering the current makeup of the Senate in particular. The second route is unlikely because it would require a lot of movement at a grassroots level to make it happen.

nbcnews:

Same-sex marriage opponents plan for DOMA ruling, weigh constitutional challenge

(Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images file)

Opponents of same-sex marriage prepare for their next chapter as they await highly-anticipated Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. If the decisions aren’t in their favor, they say they may pursue an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Continue reading

Anyone seeing them actually being able to pull off such an amendment? Here’s what it would take, according to Wikipedia:

Before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention (known as an Article V convention) called by two-thirds of the states, and ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions thereof, the method of ratification being determined by Congress at the time of proposal. To date, no convention for proposing amendments has been called by the states, and only once—in 1933 for the ratification of the twenty-first amendment—has the convention method of ratification been employed.

The first route is unlikely considering the current makeup of the Senate in particular. The second route is unlikely because it would require a lot of movement at a grassroots level to make it happen.

22:01 // 1 year ago
June 17, 2013
15:21 // 1 year ago
June 13, 2013
I join the judgment of the Court, and all of its opinion except Part I–A and some portions of the rest of the opinion going into fine details of molecular biology. I am unable to affirm those details on my own knowledge or even my own belief. It suffices for me to affirm, having studied the opinions below and the expert briefs presented here, that the portion of DNA isolated from its natural state sought to be patented is identical to that portion of the DNA in its natural state; and that complementary DNA (cDNA) is a synthetic creation not normally present in nature.
A big-deal case passed the Supreme Court this morning, with the court finding that genes can’t be patented. But the fun part of this decision is Justice Antonin Scalia’s reasoning for joining with the majority, which disregards a part of the opinion which notes that “Genes form the basis for hereditary traits in living organisms.” Apparently Scalia slept through biology class in high school, because that’s all way over his head.
12:28 // 1 year ago