BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Will Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases
The United States Supreme Court has announced that it will hear two cases regarding same sex marriage. One case challenges Proposition 8, the California state ban on same-sex marriage and the other challenges the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Though official dates have not been determined, hearings on the cases will most likely begin in late March with a ruling expected sometime in June.
Theodore Olson, a lawyer who is leading the fight against Proposition 8, told Bloomberg this decision is "perhaps the most important remaining civil rights issue of our time." Chad Griffin, executive direct of the Human Rights Campaign, told USA Today"I fully believe that this court's going to come down on the side of freedom and equality."
LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, and the death penalty have been on the court's radar already this year. In October, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said: "The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state." Later that month, the court refused to hear a case proposed by anti-abortion Personhood Oklahoma that dealt with extreme personhood legislation.
Media Resources: Bloomberg 12/7/12; USA Today 12/7/12; Feminist Newswire 11/27/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
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7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .