Supreme Court

SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN CASE THAT COULD LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2015 (Washington D.C.)  - The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a landmark case this week, Obergefell v. Hodges, that is expected to decide whether same-sex couples should have a constitutional right to marriage in all 50 states.

HIGH COURT: TRAFFIC STOPS CAN'T BE DELAYED FOR DRUG DOG SEARCH

 

East County News Service

Photo by Michael Pereckas

April 22, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A divided Supreme Court has ruled that police cannot detain a motorist pulled over for a traffic stop any longer than required to issue a ticket or warning for the driving infraction.  An officer cannot delay a motorist to allow for inspection of the vehicle, such as by a drug-sniffing dog when the cause for the stop was a traffic violation.

SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE WORKPLACE PREGNANCY CASE

 

 

“Biggest test of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in a generation” – attorney Tom Spiggle, author of You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired!

East County News Service

December 1, 2014 (Arlington, VA) On December 3 the Supreme Court will decide on the biggest test of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act in a generation when it determines the outcome of the Young vs. United Parcel Services case. The case centers around a pregnant employee, Peggy Young, who was denied a request for light duty despite a letter from a medical provider requesting that she not be required to lift heavy packages.

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS GAY MARRIAGES TO COMMENCE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – Wedding bells will soon be ringing for same-sex couples in many more states, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied hearings on all appeals pending.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney James Esseks called the decision “a watershed moment for the entire country.”

The high court refused to hear appeals of same-sex marriage rulings in five states where appellate courts ruled that bans on same-sex marriages are unconstitutional.  However,the decision is expected to expand same-sex marriage rights to a total of 11 states that are all under jurisdiction of the federal appeals courts that ruled same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.  Add those to the number of states where same-sex marriage already is legal, including California, and the U.S. will likely soon have 30 states—a majority--where same-sex marriage is protected.

SUPREME IRONY IN HIGH COURT’S RULING ON ABORTION PROTESTS

 

East County News Service

Photo: Anti-abortion protestors at a Mississippi abortion clinic

June 26, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in Massachusetts violate the free speech rights of protesters.  But ironically, the high court has its own, far wider 100-foot-wide buffer zone to keep protesters away from the Supreme Court.

Massachusetts passed its law to protect abortion workers and patients after a gunman killed two abortion clinic receptionists and wounded five others at two area clinics in 1994.    Violence against abortion providers has occurred elsewhere, notably the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor who provided abortions in Wichita, Kansas.

Similar laws are on the books in other states, including California. But abortion opponents argued that such restrictions violated their First Amendment free speech rights.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: HOBBY LOBBY-- THE CORPORATION AS PROPHET

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan • for East County Magazine, www.eastcountymagazine.org

April 2, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Supreme Court sure picked a weird way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act this year. On March 24, they heard arguments in a case called Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, in which a chain of art supply stores claimed that the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (so-called “Obamacare”) that employer-provided health insurance cover birth control is an infringement on their freedom of religion. Stated that boldly, Hobby Lobby’s claim that its for-profit business has the capability of worshiping God in its own way and the government can’t dictate the terms under which it can provide employees health insurance because that would violate its freedom of religion is preposterous.

SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down limits on how much money an individual can donate overall during elections.  By a 5-4 vote in the case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the court’s majority tossed out restrictions on how much a person can donate to political parties, political action committees or PACs, and candidates in any two-year period, though limits on how much one can give to any single candidate remain in place.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion, finding that the limits intruded on what he called a “citizen’s ability to exercise the most fundamental First Amendment activities.”

But Common Cause, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to transparency in government and helping ordinary Americans have their voices heard, denounced the high court’s ruling as a “decision against democracy.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: SHOULD EMPLOYERS BE ABLE TO EXCLUDE BIRTH CONTROL FROM HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE?

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

December 11, 2013 (San Diego)--The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether for-profit companies can be forced to provide full contraceptive coverage for their employees despite religious objections from their owners. Many people believe that health insurance is something offered by employers, a sort of bonus.  In fact, it is part of what I have known as one’s “wage package.”

SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN DENIAL OF FEDERAL BENEFITS UNDER DOMA, DISMISSES PROP 8 CASE

 

 

Governor Brown orders county clerks to begin same-sex marriages as soon as 9th Circuit Court lifts stay

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme court, in closely divided 5-4 rulings, handed down decisions today in two landmark same –sex marriage cases. The rulings are being hailed as victories for supporters of same-sex marriage, while opponents vow to continue the battle at the state level. In California, however, the high court's dismissal of the Proposition 8 case opens the door for weddings between same-sex couples to resume soon.

For Dayna Dunbar of Spring Valley, the news sparked an emotional chord.  She and her partner, Brenda, have been together since 2001 and have an adopted son, Jesse (photo, left). 

“We were just holding each other, in tears,” she told ECM today.  When their son heard news of the court decision, Dunbar added, “He was so excited, he hugged us about three times each.”

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: HIGH COURT ON RIGHTS: 1 WIN, 1 LOSS, 2 DRAWS

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

Columnist's elation over marriage equality rulings is tempered by dismay over high court's ruling on Voting Rights Act

June 26, 2013 (San Diego)--The sun is shining this Wednesday, June 26 and it’s a beautiful, if rather hot, day in San Diego. I sent my husband Charles off to work this morning after we both got up early to watch MS-NBC broadcast news of the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on two cases involving the rights of same-sex couples to marry each other. It was a personal story to us because Charles and I are legally married.

SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN HEART OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT, SPARKING NATIONAL OUTCRY

 

 

"Discrimination at the ballot box is intolerable, and we must ensure that minorities don’t have their votes purged, packed, gerrymandered, and redistricted away.” -- Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, commenting on the decision

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a requirement for states and communities with a history of discrimination against minority voters to obtain federal approval before changing their voting laws.  The Court did not find the Voting Rights requirement of preapproval itself unconstitutional, but ruled that Congress must act to assess which areas still have evidence of discrimination.

The action in the Shelby v. Holder case has triggered outraged reactions from civil rights leaders across the nation. 

“Communities of color, and young, women, elderly, and disables voters are at risk,” the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) warns.  The NAACP has launched a petition asking Congress to act to protect voting rights . (Petition: http://www.naacp.org/page/s/vra-no-voting-rights?subsource=strucklb)

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: MARRYING YOUR GAY FIRST COUSIN?

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

April 7, 2013 (San Diego)--On March 26 and 27, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two major cases over whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

On March 26 they heard arguments on whether Proposition 8, which California voters passed in November 2008 to short-circuit the ruling of the California Supreme Court that the state’s constitution did not allow it to deny marriage to same-sex couples, is unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The next day they heard the case of Edith Windsor, who legally married her long-term partner, Thea Spyer, in Canada in 2007, then got socked with a federal estate tax bill of $367,000 because the federal government didn’t recognize her marriage under the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DoMA) passed by Congress in 1996.

The two cases rest on somewhat different legal issues, and it’s quite possible the court could throw out Proposition 8 and uphold DoMA — or vice versa — but the underlying issues are the same.

U.S. SUPREME COURT RELEASES AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL ARGUMENT IN PROPOSITION 8 CASE

 

Audio and Transcript of the Historic Argument Available HERE

March 26, 2013 (Washington D.C.)-- Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  The Court is considering whether Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.   

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), sole sponsor of the Perry case, has posted the full audio and transcript of the historic argument at: www.afer.org/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-marriage-equality-at-the-supreme-court/

Califiornian voters legalized same-sex marriage, but later overturned the rights of gay and lesbian couples to wed with Prop 8's passage in November 2008.  A federal district court ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, a ruling later upheld by the federal court of appeals.  On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Perry to review the case. The appeal was filed by Dennis Hollingsworth, former State Senator from San Diego and Riverside counties.

SAN DIEGO COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY BACKS AMENDMENT TO OVERTURN “CITIZENS UNITED” DECISION

December 7, 2012 (San Diego)--In a stunning unanimous vote Tuesday, the San Diego City Council supported a Constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed virtually unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns. The vote was 8-0 to limit the power of money in politics, with one absent councilmember not voting.

The resolution asks Congress to begin the process to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission “so that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech.”

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

November 28, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecti all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

HEALTH

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

ROADLESS RULE WITHSTANDS A “SUPREME” TEST

By Chris Thomas, Public News Service

October 7, 2012 (Washington D.C.)-- After a decade of legal challenges, the "roadless rule" landed on the U.S. Supreme Court's doorstep, and on Monday, the court opted to leave it in place rather than hear the latest appeal.

The rule doesn't allow new road-building on millions of acres of national forest land in three dozen states, including California.

HISTORIC LAWSUIT FOR VETERANS HEADED TO SUPREME COURT?

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

September 24, 2012 (San Diego)--My trusted veteran sources tell me that we may soon know if Veterans for Common Sense v. Eric K. Shinseki, the historic lawsuit filed by veterans advocates against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) way back in 2007, will be heard by the Supreme Court.

READER'S EDITORIAL: TAKE ACTION TO STOP INSURANCE RATE HIKES

 By Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner

July 2, 2012 (Sacramento) -- The Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act was good news for Californians. It means that Californians with health insurance will continue to enjoy the its  benefits. Now we can move forward with reforms to provide health insurance to those without it. 
 
There continues to be a major missing reform in the Affordable Care Act, however. There is still no authority to reject excessive health insurance and HMO rate hikes. And without this reform, rates for individuals, families, and businesses will keep climbing.

 

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 

 
 
June 28, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:    
 
 
U.S.
 
GENERAL NEWS
  • Supreme Court says Montana cannot ignore Citizens United ruling (NPR)
  • Supreme Court rules juvenile life without parole is cruel and unusual punishment (Chicago Tribune)
  • GM Grass linked to Texas cattle deaths; fields found toxic with cyanide produced by crop (CBS)
  • E-mail change angers Facebook users (CNN)
  • Thousands evacuated as wildfire nears Colorado towns (USA Today)
  • With no vote, taxpayers stuck with tab on bonds (New York Times)
POLITICS
  • Issa: No evidence White House covered up `Fast and Furious’ fallout (Los Angeles Times)
  • Obama invokes executive privilege over ‘Fast and Furious’ documents (Los Angeles Times)
  • Rubio sticks to GOP doctrine over immigration (The Hill)
  • Cash rules at Romney retreat while Condoleeza Rice steals the show (Yahoo news)
WORLD
 
GENERAL NEWS
  • Analysis: Mexican ruling party faces defeat but may back reforms (Reuters)
  • Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi named Egyptian president (CBS)
  • Morsi quits Muslim brother hood, vows to unite country (NBC)
WIND ENERGY NEWS
  • Iberdrola to explore sale of U.S. wind plants and projects (Recharge News)
  • Quatar takes state in Iberdrola (The National)
  • Texas wind energy fails again (National Review)
  • Presidential projects on wind power flawed according to new book (KXXV)
  • The trouble with turbines: an ill wind (Nature) 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

 

SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS KEY PROVISIONS OF ARIZONA IMMIGRANT LAW

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – By a  5 to 3 ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that key provisions in an Arizona law targeting immigrants is unconstitutional.  The court upheld a controversial police powers provision, however.  

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 

March 29, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:   
 

    

U.S.
  • Supreme Court weighs all or nothing on healthcare law (Reuters)
  • Jobs bill clears Congress despite warnings (Los Angeles Times)
  • Trayvon Martin: confronting the problem of enduring racism (Forbes)
  • A job at what cost? When employers log in to dig in (NPR)
  • Gingrich scales back his presidential bid (USA Today)
  • Cooking school spreads immigrant skills and ethnic recipes (NPR)
 
WORLD
  • Very high radiation, little water in remaining Japanese reactor (UT San Diego)
  • Japan left with one nuclear reactor after shutdown (BBC)
  • Syrian authorizes are targeting children, says UN rights chief (BBC)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 

February 23, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include: 
 
U.S.

General news

  • Supreme Court takes up affirmative action case (ABC  News)
  • Post Office closings isolate small towns and poor (MSNBC)
  • Obama to float corporate tax overhaul (Reuters)
Presidential Election
  • 25 percent of Super PAC money comes from 5 rich donors (USA Today)
  • Super PAC donors revealed: Who are the  power players in the GOP primary? (Washington Post)
  • Is Santorum too extreme for the middle? (Los Angeles Times)
  • Mitt Romney says spending cuts hurt economic growth (Huffington Post)
  • A Republican platform for American women: barefoot and pregnant? (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
WORLD
  • U.N. nuclear inspectors barred from Iran site (Reuters)
  • Obama administration opens door to aid for Syrian rebels (Fox News)
HEALTH
  • FDA to ease critical cancer drug shortage (CBS News)
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

2 LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS COAUTHOR BILL TO REQUIRE DISCLOSURE OF CORPORATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

 

 
February 15, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) -- Two San Diego Congressional representatives, Susan Davis and Bob Filner, have taken steps to clean up the secret money plaguing our political system.  Both Democrats have joined colleagues in cosponsoring the Disclose 2012 Act (H.R. 4010) to require disclosure of the corporate and special interest money in politics.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL SHOULD MOVE FORWARDS WITH A CITIZEN PETITION TO PUBLICLY FUND ELECTIONS

 By Nadin Abbott

 
January 15, 2012 (San Diego)--On Thursday January 11th, 2012 Mr. Derek Casady of La Jolla brought a proposal for the June Ballot allowing for voluntary public financing of elections in the City of San Diego. We are just starting to see the toxic effects of the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision on our democracy. In that decision, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could pour virtually unlimited amounts into funding campaigns for candidates and political initiatives, opening wide the floodgates for corruption and undue influence on public officials. 

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 


January 12, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media.  This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
   
 
 
 
 
STATE
 
  • Referendum drive to overturn California Dream Act fails (Sacramento Bee)
  • California Supreme Court tackles redistricting (Sacramento Bee)
  • Gov. Jerry Brown proposes axing traditional kindergarten (Sacramento Bee)
LOCAL
 
  • Algae biofuels inject money in San Diego’s economy (LPBS)
  • County Supervisors back Sycuan pact (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • 5 charged in Sweetwater school corruption (KPBS)
  • Susan Davis meets her new constituents (Mount Helix Patch)
  • SOHO buys historic Santa Ysabel store (Ramona Journal)
  • Merchant alleges city, PBID violations of Brown Act (La Mesa Patch)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

WILL POWER REPORT: SUPREME COURT ON DRUGS?

Nothing but the truth! 

By Will Power
 
June 29, 2011 (San Diego)--The US Supreme Court made two important health care rulings last week. 
 
The first ruling was that consumers harmed by the use of a generic drug cannot sue the drug manufacturer.  Generic drugs are copies of drugs which are out of patent.  This means anybody can manufacture these copycat drugs, and often quality control  can become a problem.  Another problem is because many of these drugs are made in India or China,  issues of counterfeit drugs become an issue.


WILL POWER REPORT: SUPREME COURT BANS CLASS ACTIONS


Nothing but the Truth!

 

Action Violates Seventh Amendment to US Bill of Rights

 

By Will Power

 

April 28, 2011 (San Diego)--In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise examined by any Court of the United States, than according to the common law.

 

The US Supreme Court ruled this week (on a straight party-line 5-Republicans and Four Democrats) that corporations can avoid class-action suits by demanding consumers waive their constitutional rights and use Arbitration procedures instead. In what clearly is unconstitutional, the Bill of Rights is superseded by the Contract Law, America's Sacred Cow. What were the Justices thinking?

WILL POWER REPORT: MORE CORPORATE CORRUPTION?

 

Nothing but the Truth!
 

January 22, 2010 (San Diego) -- The US Supreme Court this week decided it is a violation of the First Amendment to prohibit corporations from directly contributing to political campaigns. This decision comes at a time when banks and brokers are guilty of running confidence games on the taxpayers. Public confidence in the integrity of banks is at an all-time low.

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