This Is How The LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement Stalls For A Generation

FADA

Last week two important events happened: the Texas Supreme Court ruled that married LGBTQ couples do not enjoy a right to any of the benefits traditionally associated with the institution of marriage; and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy – contrary to rumors – did not announce his retirement. One of these two events is cause for concern while the […]

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TX Supreme Court: No Government Benefits To Married LGBTQ Couples

Texas LGBTQ

The Texas Supreme Court just ruled that married same-sex couples do not enjoy the right to the same government-related benefits married opposite-sex couples have access to. The decision comes mere days after the United States Supreme Court struck down an Arkansas law that treated same-sex couples differently in having both names on their children’s birth certificates. The Austin Statesman reported today: […]

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Supreme Court To Hear Case About LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Masterpiece Cakeshop

Yesterday the Supreme Court announced it would hear the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. At the center of that case lies the question: does a private business have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people? We’ve covered Masterpiece at each stage of its legal journey over the years as business owner Jack Phillips insisted his religious beliefs should […]

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Separation of Powers: Trump’s Loose Grasp of Basic Civics

Donald Trump and civics - civic ignorance is dangerous

Following a U.S. District judge’s decision to block his controversial sanctuary cities executive order, Donald Trump (and many of his surrogates, supporters and right-wing media mouthpieces) lashed out questioning the very constitutional foundations that keep government power in check. His criticism is the latest in a long line of commentary aimed at delegitimizing the constitutional role of the Judiciary. Trump’s Reaction “First the Ninth Circuit rules […]

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Religious Establishment: He Who Frames the Issue

First Amendment Establishment Clause

As I often tell my students, the most important thing I learned in law school was that “he who frames the issue wins the debate.” In other words, whoever is successful in defining what’s at stake generally prevails. You can see that truism pretty vividly in debates over culture war issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights: if  abortion is the […]

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Roe v Gorsuch: The Worst-Case Scenario

Abortion - Roe v. Wade

Thanks to some despicable behavior by the self-styled “moralists” and millions of Koch brother dollars, Neil Gorsuch is now the newest Supreme Court Justice. Aside from occupying Merrick Garland’s seat and a worrisome tendency to favor the arguments of corporate and “religious” litigants, what is the worst thing that can happen? He manages to get Roe v. Wade overturned. What would […]

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Florida Religion in School Legislation SB 436 Advances

Religion in public schools may become law thanks to Kim Daniels and Dennis Baxley - SB 436

In February, two Florida legislators proposed companion bills in the state House and Senate that would significantly weaken the church and state wall within public schools. House Bill 303 and it’s companion bill Senate Bill 436 – known collectively as the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act” – would prohibit Florida public school districts “from discriminating against students, parents, & school personnel on basis of religious […]

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7th Circuit Rules LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination Illegal

7th Circuit Rules LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination Illegal in Hively v Ivy Tech

In a historic ruling, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that LGBTQ people are protected from workplace sexual orientation discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (CRA). The 7th Circuit is the first federal level court to accept the legal argument that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination – and discrimination based on sex is prohibited by Title VII. As it’s […]

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The Gorsuch Nomination

Neil Gorsuch

As I have previously written, the most damning argument against Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation has nothing to do with his bona fides, which are impressive. It is the inescapable fact that his elevation to the Supreme Court will be illegitimate–the result of a very dangerous and cynical misuse of political power. The Republicans’ refusal to afford Merrick Garland a hearing has been widely […]

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Dirty Harry, Mitch McConnell and the Rule of Law

Merrick, McConnell and Gorsuch

A former student recently asked for my opinion on Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the current Supreme Court vacancy. As I told him, my concerns about Gorsuch pale in comparison to my deep disquiet over the Senate’s refusal to “advise and consent” with respect to President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Let me be very clear: Had Mitch McConnell and […]

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