Acclaimed writer, poet and professor Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86. In a life that inspired many influential figures of the twentieth century including Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Angelou eloquently merged the lines between artist and civil rights activist. Adam Serwer at MSNBC celebrates the legacy of an American hero.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill that would close many of the state’s remaining abortion clinics. Writing for Salon, Katie McDonough comments on what the legislation could mean for women throughout the region.
Alicia A. Caldwell at The Associated Press notes the Obama administration’s decision to delay a review of the nation’s deportation policy until the summer in an attempt to pressure Congress to act on immigration reform.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s IQ requirements were too strict in assessing whether or not a prisoner was mentally competent enough to be executed. At The New York Times, Adam Liptak breaks down Hall v. Florida.
In its decision in Hall v. Florida, the Supreme Court replaced the controversial term “mental retardation” with "intellectual disability" to describe someone with limited mental functioning. Tony Mauro at Legal Times notes how advocates for those with intellectual disabilities are praising the Court for abandoning the controversial term.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Joe Nocera highlights the recent killing spree by Elliot Rodger, whose horrific actions left numerous victims injured and six others killed. In his article, Nocera examines Michael Waldman’s The Second Amendment: A Biography and the growing inclination to elevate an individual’s right to bear arms over the public good.
ACS board member Linda Greenhouse writes in a The New York Times op-ed that polarization is not the only problem facing the Robert’s Court, but also “that it’s too often simply wrong.”
Last night, the Supreme Court stayed the execution of Russell Bucklew, a Missouri inmate convicted of rape and murder. The Court granted the stay after Bucklew’s lawyers noted that his rare health condition would cause excruciating pain if he was executed via lethal injection. Robert Barnes and Mark Berman at The Washington Post discuss the role Justice Samuel A. AlitoJr. played in the decision.
On Tuesday, Judge John E. Jones III of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage violated the Constitution. Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Penn.) announced that he will not appeal the decision. Trip Gabriel at The New York Times reports on the victory for gay and lesbian couples in the Keystone State.
Writing for TIME, Andrew Rossi comments on the state of higher education as it begins to benefit more private than public interests.
At Jost on JusticeKenneth Jost explains why “the history of the fight for marriage equality is yet to be written.”
The legacy of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education remains mixed. While the Court’s 1954 ruling set a necessary precedent for education equality, many argue that it has been a “repository of unmet expectation.” Writing for ISCOTUSnow, Christopher Schmidt explains why “that’s not all bad.”
The Supreme Court has stayed the scheduled execution of Russell Bucklew. His lawyers contend that Bucklew’s rare health condition would cause excruciating pain if the lethal injection was administered. Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic reports on the constitutional issues at play.
Writing for OnLabor, Benjamin Sachs discusses the union issues facing workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee and whether the automobile company can implement a works council without violating labor law.
At Womenstake, Gail Zuagar explains why we must support the The Strong Start for America’s Children Act in order to “make high-quality preschool available to children from low- and moderate-income families.”
Amid some calls to step down from the bench, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer have remained adamant that retirement is not in their near future. L.J. Zigerell at The Monkey Cage explains why Court watchers should not hold their breath.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving the unfair firing of Robert J. MacLean, an air marshal for the Transportation Security Administration who was dismissed after releasing sensitive information to the media. Robert Barnes at The Washington Post discusses the possible implications of the case.
At the Brennan Center for Justice, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy follows the recent history of money and politics in New York as the state gets closer to meaningful campaign finance reform.
Jason Mazzone at Balkinization notes his visit to the UK Supreme Court and describes the casually civilized courtroom environment.
Writing for Demos, Devin Fergus examines racial inequality 60 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education.