Monthly Archives: March 2013

Supreme Court Prop 8 Recap

Here’s all the latest news on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenged to the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage:

Supreme CourtTo listen to the oral arguments, go here.

To read the oral arguments, go here.

For argument recaps, go here, here, and/or here.

The bottom-line seems to be that Justice Kennedy is questioning whether the Supreme Court should rule on marriage at all.  Kennedy, who’s often the court’s swing vote, asked more than one time whether the best course would be not to rule in the case.

This Week at the Supreme Court

This week’s big legal news story is the same sex marriage cases being heard at the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.   On Tuesday, the Court will hear oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, considering whether the Equal Protection Clause prohibits California from defining marriage as the union of a man and woman.  Supreme CourtOn Wednesday, the Court will turn from Prop 8 to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as it hears arguments in the case of United States v. Windsor.  There, the issue is whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State.

There will be lots of coverage on these cases this week.  An interesting pair of articles were published on SCOTUSblog the last two days, looking at the arguments made in the amicus briefs for these two cases.  Part I of “Marriage and the Court’s ‘friends'” deals with the amicus briefs submitted for the Prop 8 case, while Part II looks at those filed in the DOMA case.

What’s New at the Library?

CirculationClick here to see the list of the Coleman Karesh Library’s new acquisitions for the month of February.

A few practice-focused books you might want to check out:

  • So You’re Going to Try Your First Case: A Primer for Federal and State Jury Trials in South Carolina, by Warren Moise.
  • Representing Clients in Mediation:  A Guide to Optimal Results Based on Insights from Counsel, Mediators and Program Administrators, by Spencer Punnet.

There are also new books on international human rights, South Carolina construction law, social media and the law, and much, much more!

Legal News of the Day: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Banning Assault Weapons

On Thursday, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices that can hold more than ten rounds.  The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 [S. 150] would prohibit the sale, transfer, importation, and manufacture of certain military-style assault weapons, specifically excluding over two thousands guns used for sport, and would also ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.

shotgunLast week, the Judiciary Committee also passed two other gun control measures, one requiring background checks for private gun sales and another renewing a grant to help schools improve safety.

Legal News of the Day: UN Nations Adopt Plan to End Violence Against Women

On Friday, the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women ended with an agreement to adopt new measures to prevent violence against women.  The Agreed Conclusions adopted condemns the pervasive violence against females and calls for raising awareness using education.  UNIt also pledges to address the many political, economic, and social gender inequalities that contribute to continued violence against women.

This comes just a few weeks after President Obama signed an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act into law.

Legal News of the Day: Judge Blocks NYC Soda Ban

sodaOn Monday, the New York City attempt to ban large sugary beverages at restaurants was thwarted, as a New York State Supreme Court judge blocked the ban.  The ban, which would have fined those restaurants serving those sugary beverages in cups larger than 16 ounces, was aimed at addressing the obesity and health problems brought on by consuming such drinks.  The judge’s ruling was based on the “arbitrary and capricious” nature in which the regulation was to be carried out; the ban didn’t apply to all establishments in the city or to all high-calorie sweetened drinks.  Mayor Bloomberg has already vowed to appeal the decision.  For more on the New York City soda ban, see this Washington Post article.

Legal News of the Day: President Signs VAWA

white houseOn Thursday, President Obama signed an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  VAWA was originally passed in 1994, but had previously expired in 2011.  The updated version included new domestic violence protections for gays and lesbians, and it granted tribal courts the ability to deal with non-Native Americans who are accused of a crime on a reservation.

To read Vice President Biden and President Obama’s remarks at the signing, see here.