LGBT issues

  • May 9, 2014
    Guest Post

    by Eric Lesh, Fair Courts Project Manager, Lambda Legal

    *Lambda Legal brought the case of Garden State Equality, et al. v. Dow, et al., which secured the right to marry for same-sex couples in New Jersey.   

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has until June 29 to decide whether he will preserve the independence of the state’s nationally renowned judiciary or continue to retaliate against members of the New Jersey Supreme Court for decisions that he characterizes as “liberal” and “activist.”

    On October 21, 2013, the fight to bring the freedom to marry to New Jersey ended in a resounding victory when the New Jersey Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, refused to delay the lower court win in Garden State Equality v. Dow. The Supreme Court agreed that there was no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process continued.
     

  • May 9, 2014

    Yesterday, Oklahoma officials delayed the execution of Charles F. Warne. The decision comes just a week after the botched execution of Clayton D. Lockett which left him “writhing in pain before he died of heart failure.” Erik Eckholm at The New York Times reports on the state of capital punishment in the Sooner State.
     
    Labor groups will be looking to get national attention next week as they kick-off fast-food protests in the U.S. and around the world. The Washington Post reports that the protest efforts are coming “at a time when the widening income gap has become a pressing issue” and fewer workers are aware of their rights.
     
    Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the justices will decide whether to hear oral argument in a case involving a public school graduation ceremony held at a church. Mark Walsh at Education Week’s School Law Blog breaks down Elmbrook School District v. Doe
     
    Jennifer Bard at Prawfblawg analyzes the problems facing legal education and “what we must do to make students not just practice ready but work ready.”
     
    Lambda Legal’s Blog notes an important victory for same sex couples in Indiana.  
  • May 7, 2014

    As controversy continues to surround Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett, a “bipartisan panel of legal experts have urged sweeping changes in what it calls the ‘deeply flawed’ administration of capital punishment.” Erik Eckholm at The New York Times reports on the panel’s proposal for execution by single-dose injections. At The Week, Andrew Cohen explains why either John Paul Stevens or Sandra Day O’Connor should lead Oklahoma’s  investigation.
     
    Writing for The New York Times, Justin Gillis reports on a new study which shows “with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, and heat waves becoming more common and more severe…the effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States.”
     
    As the Supreme Court nears the end of its term, many will be focusing on the justices’ ruling in high stakes securities class action and software patent cases. Lawrence Hurley at Reuters has the story.
     
    At The Life of the Law, Katherine Thompson writes to President Obama about immigration law and the struggles facing same-sex couples—and he writes back. 

     

     

  • April 28, 2014

    Leading gay rights groups are directing their efforts to promoting civil rights for gays and lesbians throughout the south. The “new strategy reflects the growing worry within the movement that recent legal and political successes have formed two quickly diverging worlds for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Americans: one centered on the coasts and major cities, and another stretching across the South.” Nicholas Confessore and Jeremy W. Peters at The New York Times have the story.
     
    Writing for The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen discusses Louisiana’s “broken justice system” and why, “by allowing non-unanimous verdicts in murder trials, the state makes it possible for prosecutors to accept minority jurors—and then discount their views.”
     
    Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases which raise the question of  whether or not police can search through confiscated cellphones of arrestees without a warrant.  Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog previews Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie.
     
    At ISCOTUSnow, Christopher Schmidt discusses Justice Sotomayor’s dissent in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, and why the Justice’s “portrayal of oral dissenting as ‘entertainment for the press’ is not only refreshingly candid, it also happens to be a remarkably accurate.”
     
    Debbie Elliott at NPR discusses one Mississippi abortion clinic’s fight to stay open. 

     

  • April 21, 2014

    Alabama’s criminal sentencing laws have faced criticism for their ineffectiveness which “leads to overcrowded, dangerous prisons that breed more crime.” Writing for AL.com retired Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, Sue Bell Cobb describes what the state legislature must do to “remedy this deplorable situation.”  
     
    At The Huffington PostGeoffrey R. Stone, former ACS Board Chair and current Co-Chair of the Board of Advisors for the ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter as well as Co-Faculty Advisor for the University of Chicago Law School ACS Student Chapter, explains why his former conservative constitutional mentor Philip Kurland “would be appalled by the conduct of the current Court.”
     
    Gerard Magliocca at Concurring Opinions examines the purpose of “describing the first ten amendments as the Bill of Rights.”
     
    The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has filed a “friend-of-the-court brief in Bostic v. Schaefer” a case which “seeks to overturn Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.”