DOJ Files SCOTUS Brief Defending LGBTQ Discrimination

Masterpiece Cakeshop

In the latest attack on the LGBTQ community, the Trump administration’s Justice Department just filed an amicus brief defending discrimination against LGBTQ people in places of business. The brief argues that business owners have a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBTQ people so long as they couch that discrimination in protected speech and expression founded in religious belief. The Justice […]

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Another Look At Gerrymandering

gerrymandering

This week, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in an important gerrymandering case on appeal from Wisconsin. Regular readers are undoubtedly tired of my posts about gerrymandering, but this seems an apt time to share remarks I recently made to the Washington Township Democratic Club, summarizing the issues. I’ve always believed that gerrymandering is a frontal assault on democracy, […]

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Former Coach Joe Kennedy Loses Bremerton School District Lawsuit

Joe Kennedy Bremerton High School lawsuit
Photo: Michaela Roman / Kitsap Sun

Former Bremerton High School assistant football Coach Joe Kennedy lost his lawsuit today as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined his request for an injunction allowing him to return to the school and resume proselytizing his Christian beliefs to football players. The lawsuit arose from a conflict that began when the embattled Washington state high school decided not to renew […]

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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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