Supreme Court gives green light to gay marriage in five states, including Wisconsin

THIS is good news, indeed: The Supreme Court on Monday denied review in all five pending same-sex marriage cases, clearing the way for such marriages to proceed in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The move was a major surprise and suggests that the justices are not going to intercede in the wave of decisions in favor of same-sex marriage at least until a federal appeals court upholds a state ban. The move will almost immediately increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of...

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For some reason, I just can’t get worked up about the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that Hobby Lobby and similarly “closely-held” companies cannot be required to pay for contraception coverage for their employees (see HERE). This isn’t the ruling I had hoped for, but neither does it strike me as evidence that the sky is falling on women’s rights. Will the ruling make it unduly difficult for women to obtain contraceptives? No. Does the ruling open the door to other mischievous cases in which businesses invoke their so-called religious rights...

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What will the Supreme Court say in the Hobby Lobby case?

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule tomorrow (Monday) in the so-called Hobby Lobby case, which hinges on whether a corporation can cite its religious beliefs as grounds to deny employees contraception coverage. At issue is whether businesses are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which previously has applied only to individuals. The conventional wisdom is  that the outcome of the case will pivot on how Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Anthony Kennedy feel about the matter. What do you expect from the court in...

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The Supreme Court is not nearly as divided as you may have heard

What would you say if I told you that the current session of the U.S. Supreme Court has seen the highest rate of unanimity among the nine justices in 74 years? Sounds counter-intuitive, right? The conventional wisdom is that the high court is at least as sharply divided as Congress, if not more so. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, as we see HERE: For years, particularly after the 2000 election, talk about the Supreme Court has centered on its bitter 5-to-4 divisions. Yet it is worth reflecting on a remarkable achievement: The court has...

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High Court says it’s OK to keep protesters a safe distance from the president

I’m surprised that THIS STORY hasn’t been given greater play in the media: In an opinion filled with chilling, repeated references to being within shooting or grenade-throwing distance of the president, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that the Secret Service did not engage in unconstitutional censorship when its agents moved protesters out of range of a president as he dined on an outdoor restaurant patio. The ruling stressed that the Constitution does not allow the Secret Service, in protecting the chief executive,...

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