Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect orders from the April 24 Conference. We expect one or more opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Petition of the day

By on Apr 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-792

Issue: Whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5), which requires a moving party to show a significant change in factual conditions or law that renders continued enforcement of a judgment detrimental to the public interest, permits shifting the burden to the non-moving party to justify the original judgment.

 

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At its Conference on April 17, 2015, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as the pleading standards under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the validity of redistricting plans in North Carolina, and the filing period for a constructive discharge claim under federal employment discrimination law.

This edition of “Petitions to watch” features petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues.  Our policy is to include and disclose all cases in which Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents either a party or an amicus in the case, with the exception of the rare cases in which Goldstein & Russell represents the respondent(s) but does not appear on the briefs in the case.

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SSmarriageAs part of our expanded coverage of this month’s oral arguments in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage, we are pleased to present this post by Michael Klarman on the history of the same-sex marriage movement and, more broadly, on how constitutional law evolves in the United States.

With support for gay marriage continuing to grow, in 2008 high courts in California and Connecticut ruled in its favor. However, the California decision was quickly overturned by Proposition 8, which passed by a margin of about five percentage points.

Six months after this bitter defeat, same-sex marriage took an enormous leap forward. Within a few weeks in the spring of 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court and three legislatures in New England – those of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – embraced a right to same-sex marriage.

But efforts to legalize same-sex marriage encountered additional roadblocks soon thereafter. In Maine, voters vetoed the same-sex marriage law in November 2009 by roughly fifty-three to forty-seven percent. In Iowa, where a Democratic-controlled state legislature refused to permit a referendum on a state marriage amendment, voters in 2010 recalled three justices whose retention elections were converted into a virtual referendum on same-sex marriage. These were the first justices defeated for retention in the state’s fifty-year history of retention elections. Continue reading »

Thursday round-up

By on Apr 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

Although the oral arguments in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage are now less than two weeks away, yesterday’s big news came from Chief Justice John Roberts, who reported for jury duty in Maryland (but was not selected).  Dan Morse and Robert Barnes of The Washington Post have the story.

Turning to the same-sex-marriage issue, this blog featured the first in a two-part series by Michael Klarman on the history of the same-sex marriage movement.  In The Salt Lake Tribune, Jennifer Dobner reports that a “Mormon couple in a mixed-orientation marriage are objecting to their inclusion in a U.S. Supreme Court case filing because it argues that legalized gay marriage would demean the marriages of couples like themselves.”  In the free times, Eva Moore reports on the amicus brief filed by South Carolina in support of the states; the brief argues that the Fourteenth Amendment, “which promises equal protection to all people, doesn’t guarantee a right to same-sex marriage.”  At Time, Zeke Miller and Haley Edwards report that, in anticipation of a possible ruling striking down the state bans on same-sex marriage, conservative activists are “tak[ing] on a central tenet of modern American politics: that the Supreme Court has the final say on what is the law of the land.”  And at Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur reports that newly announced presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “appears to have shifted her view toward a full embrace of marriage equality. Her new position? Marriage should be a constitutional right for same-sex couples.” Continue reading »

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Petition of the day

By on Apr 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-1096

Issue: Whether a state offense constitutes an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), on the ground that the state offense is “described in” a specified federal statute, where the federal statute includes an interstate commerce element that the state offense lacks.

 

SSmarriageAs part of our expanded coverage of this month’s oral arguments in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage, we are pleased to present this post by Michael Klarman on the history of the same-sex marriage movement and, more broadly, on how constitutional law evolves in the United States.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down one section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) but ducked on the broader question of whether the Constitution requires states to permit same-sex couples to marry. Since then, most of the drama over this issue has dissipated. Few Court watchers any longer doubt that five Justices will support a right to marriage for same-sex couples. A look back at the history of the movement to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples sheds light on how constitutional law tends to evolve in the United States. Continue reading »

Wednesday round-up

By on Apr 15, 2015 at 5:46 am

Commentary continues on the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage, in which the oral arguments are now less than two weeks away.  Writing for this blog, Lyle Denniston continues his series previewing the oral arguments with a post on the amicus briefs filed in support of the challengers.  Writing for The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie previews the challengers’ arguments in the first of two posts on the cases, while at First Things Hadley Arkes contends that “[t]he strongest argument made by the proponents of same-sex marriage just happens to be the source of the strongest leverage against their position.” And at BuzzFeed, Chris Geidner notes that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has not indicated how she believes the Court should rule. Continue reading »

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This is the third post in a four-part series on the written arguments that have been filed in the same-sex marriage cases at the Supreme Court.  This post covers the briefs filed by individuals and organizations supporting the couples’ challenge to the states’ bans, including the brief filed by the federal government.  The final post will cover the briefs supporting the states’ bans.  The first two articles in this series covered the briefs filed by the challengers and the four states defending their bans, respectively.  

When the Supreme Court takes on a high-profile case, it immediately creates a wide constituency of people and organizations that will be affected, directly or indirectly.  And each of those may add to the flood of legal briefs that their lawyers file — so-called “amicus” or “friend-of-the-Court” briefs.  If the Court policed its own rules more tightly, many of those might not be welcome.

The rules specify that amicus briefs should “bring[] to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties.”  Such a filing, it goes on to say, “may be of considerable help to the Court.”  But it adds, if a brief does not “serve this purpose,” it will be a burden on the Court, and “its filing is not favored.” Continue reading »

Petition of the day

By on Apr 14, 2015 at 10:20 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-1039

Issue: Whether a discrepancy between a vehicle's color and the color indicated by the license tag attached to the vehicle, when viewed through an officer's experience that such discrepancy is indicative of a license plate being switched between vehicles in violation of Florida's criminal law, establishes reasonable suspicion for an officer to perform a temporary detention under the Fourth Amendment.

 

Tuesday round-up

By on Apr 14, 2015 at 7:04 am

The oral arguments in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage are now just two weeks away.  Writing for this blog, Lyle Denniston continues his series previewing the oral arguments with a post on the briefs filed by the states defending the bans.  An amicus brief filed in support of the states by “same-sex attracted men and their wives” drew commentary from Mark Joseph Stern, who at Slate contends that “[t]here are a lot of terrible arguments against same-sex marriage, but this may be the worst,” and coverage from Curtis M. Wong at The Huffington Post.  At Balkinization, David Gans discusses originalism and same-sex marriage, arguing that the “Framers made a conscious decision to write the Fourteenth Amendment as a broad guarantee of equality for all, preventing majorities in the states from discriminating against any person or group of persons.”  Continue reading »

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