marriage equality

  • January 8, 2015
    Guest Post

    by Steve Sanders, Associate Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Bloomington.

    * This piece originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

    The Supreme Court has been reluctant to jump into the question of same-sex marriage, preferring to let the issue percolate through state-by-state litigation in the lower federal courts.  But the time has come for the justices to come out of hiding.  The denial of marriage equality is a national problem, not a state-level problem, and it requires a national resolution that only our nation’s constitutional court can provide.

    At the moment, 35 states allow marriage equality, while 15 forbid it.  The anti-equality states not only refuse to allow same-sex marriages to be licensed and celebrated; 14 of them also refuse to recognize marriages from sister states where such unions are perfectly legal.  Petitions from cases in four of those states – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee – will be considered by the justices at their next private conference this coming Friday.

    One reason marriage equality is a national issue is that our current patchwork of marriage laws imposes unreasonable, indeed absurd, burdens on same-sex couples’ security in their marriages and their freedom to move from state to state.  A married gay couple from a pro-equality state can relocate for job, education or family reasons to an anti-equality state – as long as they’re willing to give up their marriage, and perhaps even their property and parental rights.  A rational legal regime cannot tolerate this state of affairs.

    In a 2012 article in the Michigan Law Review, I first proposed that the Constitution provides not only a right to get married, but a right to remain married.  Multiple federal court decisionsincluding one from the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appealsinvolving Utah’s marriage laws, have since endorsed this principle.  There is also an argument to be made that denial of interstate marriage recognition offends the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause.

  • January 5, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    In The Atlantic, James Fallows provides a profile of the late Mario Cuomo in which he calls the former New York Governor “the most accomplished and engrossing public thinker” of the recent generation’s politicians.

    Steven Sanders argues in the Huffington Post that the Supreme Court should take up a marriage equality case.

    In The Boston Globe, Jessica Meyers reports on an upcoming Supreme Court case about a Massachusetts panhandling law that considers how to balance free speech with public safety.

    Hayato Watanable argues at The Hill that it is time to have an Asian-Pacific American on the Supreme Court.

    Steven Mazie at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog discusses a North Carolina abortion law that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently struck down.  

    At the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice, Lauren-Brooke Eisen considers whether there are criminal justice reforms upcoming in 2015.

  • November 26, 2014

    by Paul Guequierre

    With Thanksgiving upon us, two judges in the South gave us one more reason to be thankful --advancement for equality. Just yesterday, federal judges in Arkansas and Mississippi ruled the states’ respective marriage bans unconstitutional.

    In Arkansas, the ruling, which is on hold pending appeal, is the second court ruling to find the state’s ban to be unconstitutional. The first ruling came from a state court judge in May in a case that was heard on appeal before the Arkansas Supreme Court this past week.

    Hours after the victory in Arkansas, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves ruled Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is also unconstitutional, writing, “Gay and lesbian persons are full citizens that share the same rights as other citizens, including the right to marry.”

    Unfortunately he put the decision on hold for two weeks. Judge Reeves explained his decision, “Today’s decision may cause uneasiness and concern about the change it will bring,” U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves wrote. “Mississippi continues to change in ways its people could not anticipate even 10 years ago. Allowing same-sex couples to marry, however, presents no harm to anyone. At the very least, it has the potential to support families and provide stability for children.”

  • November 26, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Steve Benen of MSNBC reports on the recent marriage equality victories in Arkansas and Mississippi.

    In The AtlanticConnor Friedersdorf argues that the case for reforming police practices is significantly bigger than Ferguson and the Michael Brown shooting.

    At The NationChase Madar explains why it is nearly impossible to indict a cop. 

    Amanda Taub of Vox asserts that the violations of police conduct are less scandalous than the police violence that is actually allowed. 

    Margo Schlanger explains in The New Republic how President Obama's immigration order, though not comprehensive reform, will change enforcement priorities and help an enormous number of people.

  • November 25, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Krishnadev Calamur of NPR reports on the aftermath of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. Kimberly Kindy of The Washington Post discusses how juries tend to give police the benefit of the doubt in such cases.

    In The New York Times, Adam Liptak considers whether there is a numerical tipping point at which the Court will feel prepared to invalidate state laws and what it could mean for the marriage equality fight.

    In Slate, Mark Joseph Stern writes about how a Supreme Court ruling that allowed religious holiday displays has meant that the government must also support the Satanic Temple and other controversial religious groups.

    E.J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post examines President Obama’s immigration announcement and what it says about the plans of the president’s political opponents.

    In The New Yorker, Jill Lepore writes about the theft of Justice Felix Frankfurter’s papers from the Library of Congress and the challenges to investigating the history of the Court.