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Posts tagged: unconstitutional

Court: NYC Soda Ban Unconstitutional

New York City’s crackdown on big, sugary sodas is staying on ice. An appeals court ruled Tuesday that the city’s Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants. In a unanimous opinion, the four-judge panel of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division said that the health board was acting too much like a legislature when it created the limit, which would have stopped sales of non-diet soda and other sugar-laden beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces. The judges wrote that while the board had the power to ban “inherently harmful” foodstuffs from being served to the public, sweetened beverages didn’t fall into that category/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Which soda is your favorite type? How much of it do you drink?

9th Circuit: Gay Marriage Ban Illegal

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday struck down Proposition 8's ban on gay marriage in California. The Ninth Circuit's ruling is likely to be appealed to the US Supreme Court, which has never before decided on the constitutionality of laws that prohibit same-sex marriage. California voters passed Proposition 8 in November 2008 with 52.4 percent of the vote. The measure outlawed same-sex marriage in the state by amending California's constitution to only recognize marriages between men and women. The California Supreme Court ruled that the amendment was valid, but in August 2010 US District Judge Vaughn Walker nullified Proposition 8 for violating the due process and equal protection rights of gay men and women guaranteed by the US Constitution. Three Ninth Circuit judges unanimously affirmed Walker's ruling Tuesday/New York Post. More here. (AP photo: Steve Harris carries a sign against gay marriage outside of the courthouse before a hearing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday in San Francisco)

Question: Agree/disagree with ruling?

Court: Idaho Redistricting Plan Illegal

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled 4-1 against the new legislative redistricting plan, L-87, developed by Idaho's second bipartisan redistricting commission this year, holding that it violates the Idaho Constitution. A court challenge led by Twin Falls County contended the plan was unconstitutional because it unnecessarily split counties. The court found that since the plan's unconstitutional, it “must be revised,” but didn't say how; that presumably opens the door for Secretary of State Ben Ysursa to reconvene the redistricting panel to make changes to its plan to bring it into compliance/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Idaho Probation Program Illegal?

For almost two decades, Idaho’s counties have run their own probation programs for misdemeanor offenders. Now a recent legal memo has some county and state leaders scratching their heads, wondering if state lawmakers have enacted a law that violates the Idaho Constitution and may have thrown the entire misdemeanor probation system into question. State laws giving counties the authority to conduct adult misdemeanor probation services are “null, void and unenforceable,” wrote Sara B. Thomas, an attorney with the State Appellate Public Defender's Office, in an Aug. 15 memo that Ada County commissioners became aware of this week. Under the state constitution, only the Board of Correction — an executive branch of state government — has the authority to supervise adult probationers/Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Idaho Open Primary Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill has declared Idaho's open primary election system unconstitutional with respect to the state's Republican Party primary, which the party passed a rule saying it wants to close. “An important corollary of the right to freely associate is a right not to associate,” Winmill wrote in the decision, issued today. He found “clear evidence of crossover voting” in Idaho's primaries/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question (for Democrats): Will you register as Republicans in order to vote in important legislative and county races that will be decided in the GOP primary (because there is no Democratic opposition)?

Judge: Health Care Reform Illegal

In a big loss for the Obama administration, a federal judge has thrown out the entire health care reform law. Judge Roger Vinson in Florida found today that the requirement in the law that all Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine “exceeds Congress’ power” under the Commerce Clause. Vinson rules that the rest of the health care law cannot stand on its own. A judge in Virginia last month came to a similar conclusion about the individual mandate. But today's ruling goes further; the Virginia ruling allowed the rest of the law to stand while the individual mandate was challenged/Ariane de Vogue, ABC News. More here.

Question: What happens now?

Judge Rules ‘Don’t Ask/Tell’ Illegal

A federal judge in Riverside on Thursday declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional, saying the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy violates the First Amendment and due process rights of lesbians and gay men. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the policy did not preserve military readiness, contrary to what Justice Department attorneys and many supporters have argued, saying evidence shows that the policy in fact had a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services. Phillips said she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy/Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Is it time for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ to go?

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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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