1:24 PM, June 27th, 2013
2:52 PM, June 26th, 2013

The Supreme Court made a million new best friends Wednesday. See the best photos

10:38 AM, June 26th, 2013

Front Page — June 26, 2013

  1. Texas Abortion Bill Did Not PassIt might not have been easy to stand on the Texas House floor in those pink running shoes for over 10 hours, but it looks like Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster actually worked.
  2. SCOTUS Strikes Down DOMAIn a historic victory for same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.
  3. Bodies Recovered in India Chopper CrashThe bodies of 20 people were recovered Wednesday, one day after a helicopter carrying survivors of major landslides and flooding crashed into a hillside in northern India. Over 1,000 people have died and thousands of homes have been destroyed in the floods, which have ravaged the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand since the middle of June.
  4. Patriots Star Aaron Hernandez ArrestedAaron Hernandez was arrested at his Massachusetts home Wednesday morning, one day after his attorney unleashed an attack on the media for falsely reporting that the police had a warrant for the New England Patriot on an obstruction-of-justice charge.
  5. Markey Wins Mass. Senate SeatDemocratic Congressman Edward J. Markey is the new U.S. senator from Massachusetts, beating out Republican businessman Gabriel E. Gomez with 54 percent of the vote in a special election.

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PHOTO: In Rawalpindi, Pakistan, a child sits on the window of a train, while he and others try to escape the heat trapped inside the cabin, as temperatures reached 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit at Rawalpindi railway station. (Photo by Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

10:16 AM, June 26th, 2013

The power the Constitution grants it also restrains.
And though Congress has great authority to design laws to
fit its own conception of sound national policy, it cannot
deny the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of
the Fifth Amendment.

What has been explained to this point should more than
suffice to establish that the principal purpose and the
necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons
who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires
the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person

11:37 AM, June 25th, 2013

Front Page— June 25, 2013

  1. SCOTUS Strikes Down Key Section of Voting Rights ActIn a decision that will have major repercussions for future elections, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which mandated which regions with a history of racial discrimination had to get federal approval for changes in election law.
  2. Defense: Block Zimmerman’s Calls: Prosecutors in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial sought on Monday to have the self-appointed neighborhood vigilante’s previous calls to police be admitted into evidence, while the defense has tried to block them as irrelevant to the case at hand.
  3. U.S. to Russia: ‘Do the Right Thing’: Hope Edward Snowden is enjoying those long June nights in Moscow—Washington doesn’t want him to stay there much longer. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged Russia to “do the right thing” and return the fugitive leaker, who is believed to still be in Moscow despite rumors Monday that he had boarded a flight to Cuba en route to Ecuador.
  4. Gunmen Attack Afghan Palace: Gunmen attacked the Afghan presidential palace early Tuesday morning while reporters were present for a press event with President Hamid Karzai, according to Reuters. Explosions and gunfire reportedly shook the city center and debris was visible.
  5. Turkish Police Arrest 20 Protesters: Turkey on Tuesday cracked down on the widespread protests that have swept the country since May, detaining 20 people in Ankara. The protests began as demonstration against a planned development on a park in Istanbul, but turned into a massive statement against Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan—and there have been daily demonstrations in the capital since then.

PHOTO:  The season for pineapples (yakuza slang for hand grenades) may finally be over. Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky on the bloody, seven-year battle between the Dojin-kai and the Seido-kai. Read more here.

1:03 PM, June 24th, 2013

Frontpage— June 24, 2013

  1. Snowden Not on Flight to Cuba: Is he just wearing a mustache or hiding in the drink cart? NSA leaker Edward Snowden is so far a no-show on what Russian officials said would be his flight to Havana on Monday—which also happens to be packed with journalists. He may be heading to Ecuador. 
  2. Report: Snowden Took Job to Get NSA Intel: The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that the fugitive leaker said he had taken a job as an independent contractor at Booz Allen Hamilton for one reason: to gather information about NSA’s surveillance program. 
  3. Zimmerman Family Booted From Court: George Zimmerman’s second-degree-murder trial kicked off on Monday with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, giving a statement and the judge removing Zimmerman’s family from the courtroom since they could be potential witnesses.
  4. Silvio Berlusconi Guilty in Sex Case: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly been convicted of abusing his power by engaging in sex-for-hire and sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from holding political office.
  5. SCOTUS Punts on Affirmative Action: The Supreme Court on Monday deferred ruling on the merits of affirmative action, instead sending the case back down to a lower court. The suit, Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, revolved around whether the university could use race as a factor in admissions decisions. The court will revisit the issue sometime next year. 

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PHOTO: A boy plays on a TV news stage across from Mandela’s former home. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

1:37 PM, March 26th, 2013
So there isn’t a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a—a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing, as the supporters of Proposition 8 apparently believe.
But you want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cell phones or the Internet? I mean we — we are not — we do not have the ability to see the future.
4:30 PM, July 9th, 2012
One day in the spring of 1989, Barack Obama and I found ourselves discussing a case whose relevance to the Supreme Court’s 2012 health-care decision neither of us could conceivably have anticipated at the time. I had recently hired Barack—I’ll call him that here because that’s what I called him then—as my principal research assistant, and he was helping me with a complicated law-review article about what lawyers can learn from modern physics. I can still recall him sitting on the floor of my law-school office on that particular day, a lanky kid in jeans and leather jacket, the sun streaming in through my windows, as we went back and forth discussing a Supreme Court decision that had been handed down several months earlier.
10:37 AM, June 28th, 2012

SCOTUS Blog’s Amy Howe Explains Ruling in Plain English

Take a breath and read this slowly. It helped us. 

In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

(via SCOTUSblog)

10:12 AM, June 28th, 2012
The individual mandate survives as a tax.

SCOTUSblog, on the Health Care decision. More as we get it. (via shortformblog)

CNN originally reported that it was struck down, and they were wrong. 

SCOTUSblog: “So the mandate is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts joins the left of the Court.”

Reblogged from ShortFormBlog
9:53 AM, June 28th, 2012

Annndd we’re live! Our panelists are making their predictions now. Have a question for them? You can leave them here and we’ll pass them on. 

12:35 PM, June 26th, 2012
I had the top bunk and would roll down on early mornings and notice the picture of his child on the dresser. You don’t sleep well knowing your child will never know you as a free man.
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