Two Major Supreme Court Rulings Back Gay Marriage
26 June 2013
Breaking: Two Major Supreme Court Rulings Back Gay Marriage 26 Jun 2013 Married gay and lesbian couples are entitled to federal benefits, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a major victory for the gay rights movement. In a second decision, the court declined to say whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Instead, the justices said that a case concerning California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, was not properly before them. Because officials in California had declined to appeal a trial court's decision against them and because the proponents of Proposition 8 were not entitled to step into the state's shoes to appeal from the decision, the court said, it was powerless to issue a decision. The ruling leaves in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation.
Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act 26 Jun 2013 The Supreme Court Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside. The court said it violated equal protection to provide benefits to heterosexual couples while denying them to gay couples in the 12 states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex couples may marry.
Prop. 8: Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California 26 Jun 2013 The Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for same-sex marriages to resume in California as the justices, in a procedural ruling, turned away the defenders of Proposition 8. Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said the private sponsors of Prop. 8 did not have legal standing to appeal after the ballot measure was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan joined to form the majority.
Supreme Court strikes down federal provision on same-sex marriage benefits 26 Jun 2013 In a dramatic slap at federal authority, a divided Supreme Court has struck down a key part of congressional law that denies to legally married same-sex couples the same benefits provided to heterosexual spouses. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. The vote Wednesday was 5-4. "Although 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," said Justice Anthony Kennedy. [Click here to read the ruling.]
Snowden hid copies of secret NSA documents in case something happens to him 25 Jun 2013 A trove of classified documents supplied to The Guardian newspaper by NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been copied and shared with several people around the globe, journalist Glenn Greenwald told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who first began publishing National Security Agency documents earlier this month after meeting with the former intelligence contractor, told journalist Eli Lake that Snowden made arrangements to ensure others around the world have encrypted copies of that information should any circumstances allow the data or its source to be compromised. Snowden "has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure [sic] the stories will inevitably be published," Greenwald said.
Assange, Back in News, Never Left U.S. Radar 25 Jun 2013 Until he re-emerged this week as an ally for Edward J. Snowden, the former computer contractor who leaked details of National Security Agency surveillance, [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange looked like a forgotten man. But the United States government had not forgotten about him. Interviews with government agents, prosecutors and others familiar with the WikiLeaks investigation, as well as an examination of court documents, suggest that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks are being investigated by several government agencies, along with a grand jury that has subpoenaed witnesses. Tens of thousands of pages of evidence have been gathered. And at least four other former members of WikiLeaks have had contact with the United States authorities seeking information on Mr. Assange, the former members said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a matter they were informed was confidential.
Army to eliminate 10 brigades at U.S. bases in drawdown: Odierno 25 Jun 2013 The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it would eliminate 10 brigade combat teams at bases across the United States and cancel some $400 million in construction projects as it cuts about 80,000 soldiers over the next four years. General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said the move was part of the largest organizational change in the Army since World War Two as the service winds down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and responds to tighter U.S. budgets.
Texas abortion bill fails to pass after epic filibuster 26 Jun 2013 A bill that opponents claimed would virtually ban abortion in Texas failed to pass late Tuesday after lawmakers missed a deadline by just minutes. There were chaotic scenes after a filibuster attempt fell just short and protesters cheered, clapped and shouted from 11:45 p.m. to midnight and beyond as lawmakers tried to hold the vote before the session ended at midnight (1 a.m. ET). The filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who wore a back brace, lasted almost 11 hours but ended after three challenges to her speech were upheld. The only way Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate could defeat the measure was by not letting it come to a vote on Tuesday.
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