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Posts tagged: supreme court

High Court won’t block Oregon gay marriage

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is refusing to halt a federal judge’s order declaring Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

The court issued an order Wednesday declining to block any new same-sex unions in the state while a federal appeals court considers whether an anti-gay marriage group can intervene in the case.

The order follows an emergency appeal by the National Organization for Marriage that seeks to overturn the May 19 ruling of U.S. District Judge Michael McShane. The group had unsuccessfully tried to intervene in the lower court proceeding after Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the same-sex ban.

Hundreds of same-sex Oregon couples have obtained marriage licenses since McShane’s order.

The group filed its request with Justice Anthony Kennedy and he referred it to the full court.

Supreme Court to hear gay marriage cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.

The justices said Friday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California’s Supreme Court.

The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples. Read more.

Any predictions on how the Supremes will rule on these cases?

Court Nixes Idaho Lake Cabin Law

The Idaho Supreme Court ruled that leases of state-owned cabin sites, like those on Payette and Priest lakes, are subject to competitive conflict auctions when the leases come up, striking down a state law that exempted the cottage sites. You can read the court's full decision here.

Johnson: Chief Roberts Makes History

There will be days and days of analysis – some of it even important – of today’s historic Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, or as those who hate the law say – Obamacare. We’ll hear every possible interpretation and then some. Here is my initial take on one sliver of the story; the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion upholding the law, went against four other conservatives on the Court with whom he often finds compatibility and maybe – just maybe – wrote himself firmly into the history books. I think most Court watchers would say that a Chief Justice – any Chief Justice – always wants to be in the majority. Roberts worked hard to get there even while taking pains to throw a rhetorical political bone to those who will see him as an updated version of former Justice David Souter, an appointee of the first George Bush who served to infuriate many conservatives/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (AP photo of Chief Justice John Roberts with President Barack Obama during 2010 State of the Union speech)

Question: Do you think Roberts made the right kind of history?

Obama, D’s Embrace ‘ObamaCare’

Holding a sign saying “We Love ObamaCare” supporters of health care reform rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 27, 2012, as the court continued hearing arguments on the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. Go ahead, call it ObamaCare. Obama’s re-election campaign has lifted an unofficial ban on using the opposition’s derisive term for his health care law. Democratic activists have been chanting, “We love ObamaCare,” in front of the Supreme Court. And the campaign is selling T-shirts and bumper stickers that proclaim: “I like ObamaCare.” (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: What do you think of the move by the Obama administration to embrace the opposition's word, “ObamaCare”?

Court Sides With Priest Lake Couple

A Priest Lake, Idaho, couple has prevailed in a property rights case involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. supreme Court today ruled in favor of Mike and Chantell Sackett, ruling they can go to court to challenge an EPA order that blocked construction of their new home and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day. The Sackett’s property has sat undisturbed since the EPA ordered a halt in work in 2007. The agency said part of the property was a wetland that could not disturbed without a permit. In an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court rejected EPA’s argument that allowing property owners quick access to courts to contest orders like the one issued to the Sacketts would compromise the agency’s ability to deal with water pollution/SR & AP Wire. More here.  (Kathy Plonka SR file photo: Chantell and MikeSackett talk about their battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over their right to build a home on a lot near Priest Lake)

Question: Do you support this decision?

Justice’s wife launches tea-party group

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.

“As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.

“I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”

But Thomas is no ordinary activist.

She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.
volvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.” Full Story

Do you think the political activities or beliefs of SCOTUS spouses has any bearing on the impartiality of the court?

Funeral Flap

Protesters from the Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church demonstrate during funeral services for Dr. George Tiller.

Obama Picks New Supreme

“President Barack Obama chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as “an inspiring woman” with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.” http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/may/26/obama-picks-sotomayor-high-court/

Thoughts about Obama’s choice?

Court Lets City Protect 10 C’s

Item: Supreme Court lets Utah city refuse religious monument in park near 10 Commandments display/Reuters

More Info: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a Utah city can refuse to put a religious group’s monument in a public park near a similar Ten Commandments display. The justices unanimously sided with the city of Pleasant Grove, which had said a ruling for the religious group would mean public parks across the country would have to allow privately donated monuments that express different views from those already on display.

Question: Are you bothered by monuments displaying 10 Commandments in parks and other public areas, like the Kootenai County Courthouse lawn?

Ban On Union Pay Deductions Upheld

Item: Supreme Court upholds ban on union payroll deductions/AP

More Info: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state law banning local governments from letting workers use payroll deductions to fund their union’s political activities, a decision that could strike at organized labor’s ability to raise funds at local levels. Five labor unions and the Idaho state AFL-CIO successfully argued in lower federal courts that a 2003 Idaho law forcing cities, counties and school districts to eliminate a payroll deduction funding union political action committees violated the First Amendment. “Idaho’s law does not restrict political speech, but rather declines to promote that speech by allowing public employee checkoff for political activities,” Chief Justice John Roberts said as the court voted 6-3 to overturn those rulings.

Question: Unions in Idaho don’t seem to have much clout. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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