Seemingly out of nowhere, a important victory for marriage equality arrived today as the Supreme Court rejected bids from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin to ban gay marriage, refusing to address cases in which their federal appeals courts decided that the Constitution affords same-sex couples the same marriage rights as straight couples. Basically, those five states took the issue of gay marriage tot he highest court in the land, after their own lower courts ruled that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court was all “NOPE SORRY, NOT LISTENING.” While offering no explanation, this decision makes gay marriage effectively legal in 30 out of 50 states. It also, of course, allows SCOTUS to maintain that the issue of gay marriage is a states rights issue, and while I would seriously prefer they just stand up and make gay marriage as legal as straight marriage, across the board, I suppose when all they’ll allow is baby steps towards progress, baby steps is what we’ll have to take. [Think Progress]
It’s three months away, but it’s groundbreaking and past due: This December, the Supreme Court will rule on whether online threats are protected by the First Amendment based on whether they qualify as a threat by the intent of the person making it, or by the way a “reasonable person” would interpret the threat.
The latter is the way threats have been defined by the law, historically, but the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that, in the case of Elonis v. United States, a threat is constituted by the intent of the person making the statement. Anthony Elonis of Pennsylvania has served 36 of 44 months of sentenced jail time for making threats on Facebook about his ex-wife after she left him with their children. Keep reading »
In her interview with Katie Couric this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg let us all know she’s well aware of her internet fame and the Notorious R.B.G. tumblr that was created in her honor. She giggled a bit as she told Katie:
There is a rap song, and there is one using the words from the Hobby Lobby dissent. I haven’t seen anything that isn’t either pleasing or funny on that website…[Site creator Shana Knizhnik] has created a wonderful thing with Notorious R.B.G.. I will admit I had to be told by my law clerks, what’s this Notorious. And they—they explained that to me, but I think that her website is something I enjoy. All of my family do, so cheers for doing that.
She says her children and her grandkids are getting a kick out of the site too. In case we didn’t love her enough already, this 81-year-old feminist hero just made herself an even bigger internet star. Can I be at least a little bit like her when I grow up please? Keep fighting the good fight, R.B.G. [Cosmopolitan, Business Insider, Vanity Fair] [Image via Tumblr]
Recently Notorious R.B.G. — I’m mean, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg — was interviewed by Katie Couric for Yahoo and she’s got a lot to say about last month’s decision in favor of Hobby Lobby. Keep reading »
I stopped taking birth control in 2011. I find it not-ha-ha-funny that when I tell people this, the most common reaction I get is that it’s “dangerous” not taking birth control — and yet, so many people are willing to look the other way or not get angry when the highest court in our country denies women easy access to birth control. But wait! some people are saying. They can just buy birth control out of pocket! And my answer is yes, they could, except that it’s insanely expensive. And that’s reason #1 (not in order of priority) why I stopped taking birth control: I could no longer afford it. Keep reading »
With the decisions coming out of the Supreme Court these days, I wouldn’t be too surprised if this was how things actually went down in the judges’ chambers. Can I hang out in the fort too if I give the password? [Funny Or Die]