Monday, March 3, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Kansas Bill Authorizing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples -- What Does It Provide? Is It Constitutional?

In the name of defending religious freedom, the Kansas House recently adopted a statute that would authorize any person or business to refuse service, employment, or employment benefits to same-sex couples. Is it constitutional?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2013-2014 Supreme Court Term: Court's Decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, No. 11-965: Implications for the Birth Control Mandate Cases?

On January 14, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in favor of Daimler AG (the maker of Mercedes-Benz), ruling that the federal courts in California lacked personal jurisdiction over Daimler to adjudicate claims for human rights violations arising in Argentina. The ruling of the Court may have implications for the birth control mandate cases pending before the Court in Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties. The Court's slip opinion in Daimler AG v. Bauman is available here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bishop v. United States: Federal District Court Strikes Down Oklahoma Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Since the decision of the United States Supreme Court six months ago in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, courts in Utah, New Mexico, and Ohio have declared state laws against same-sex marriage to be in violation of the United States Constitution. Oklahoma now joins their ranks. The decision of the District Court Judge Terence C. Kern in that case (Bishop v. United States) has a number of noteworthy elements.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013-2014 Supreme Court Term: Greece, New York v. Galloway, No. 12-696 (Official Prayer)

In this case the Supreme Court will decide whether the Town Board of Greece, New York, violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution with its practice of opening its sessions with a prayer.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Corporations Are Persons -- But They Are Not Citizens Nor Do They Have Souls

This year in the birth control mandate cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the religious liberty claims of two for-profit business corporations: Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties. This represents an opportunity for the Court to correct the grave error it made in the Citizens United case where it ruled that business corporations have a constitutional right to expend money on behalf of candidates for political office as if they were citizens. For profit corporations are persons, but they are not citizens who have the right to participate in democratic elections for office, nor do they have souls and the consequent right to exercise religion.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013-2014 Supreme Court Term: Pending Constitutional Law Cases

There are an unusually high number of significant constitutional law cases pending in the United States Supreme Court. Over the course of the next few weeks I will summarize these cases and analyze the issues. Today I simply post a list of the upcoming cases.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Choices and Consequences for the Republican Party

The Republican Party has made a number of choices in recent years. Some of these choices are structural, others are simply cultural and economic. But all of these choices have had consequences for the composition of the Party and its competitiveness in national elections.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Federal Judge Upholds NSA Metadata-Gathering Program

On December 16 Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Columbia district issued his decision in the case of Klayman v. Obama striking down the NSA telephone metadata surveillance program as unconstitutional -- a violation of the Fourth Amendment. My analysis of that decision may be viewed here. Today Judge William H. Pauley III of the Southern District of New York issued his decision in the case of ACLU v. Clapper. Judge Pauley came to the opposite conclusion and upheld the constitutionality of the data-gathering program.