Today, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the case of Smithkline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories, holding that lawyers cannot exclude a potential juror from service solely based on their sexual orientation, because sexual orientation is subject to heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause.
On Friday, federal court judge Judge Clark Waddoups issued a ruling stating that parts of Utah’s polygamy laws, including the statute that criminalizes cohabitation, is unconstitutional. [more inside]
On Monday, a 12-year-old California boy was convicted of the second-degree murder of his father, regional Neo-Nazi leader Jeff Hall. [more inside]
Brazil's supreme court recognises same sex unions. The Brazilian Supreme Court voted 10-0 (one abstention) yesterday to recognise same-sex civil unions as of equal legal validity to marriage/ with "stable" same-sex couples now able to gain certificates that allow access to equal legal rights. "Discrimination generates hatred," said Justice Carlos Ayres Britto, who wrote the ruling. [more inside]
With a ruling scheduled today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis of all of the polling data on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.
In a 5-4 decision in the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Supreme Court has ruled that suspects must explicitly assert their right to remain silent under the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision. [more inside]
In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that school officials violated an Arizona teenager's rights by strip-searching her for prescription-strength ibuprofen, declaring that U.S. educators cannot force children to remove their clothing unless student safety is at risk. Clarence Thomas demurred, suggesting that panties would become the new drug underground.
Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
In response to the 2005 lawsuit, ACSI v. Stearns, a federal court has upheld the decision of the University of California to deny college credit for science courses that utilize texts with a religious slant. Official statement from the UCOP (PDF).
Court throws out FCC media ownership rules The appeals court in Philadelphia said the methods the FCC used to craft their new media ownership rules were bunk. Major media outlets aren't devoting much to this setback, but activist groups have reacted by calling for hearings across the country. No one seems to know what's next.
I'm sure this isn't news to anybody, but Judge Colleen has decided that the Seattlement stands as originally crafted. Of course, the States can always appeal. Has Microsoft won? Has the consumer lost? Discuss.
Judge declares terrorism detainments unconstitutional (NYTimes link) - A federal judge in NY has ruled that the Justice Department abused the material witness statute when it imprisoned a Jordanian college student living in San Diego. The Justice Dept is, of course, appealing the ruling.