Over the past week the public’s attention has been focused on several major decisions the U.S. Supreme Court released, involving issues such as same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act and drugs used for lethal injections in death penalty cases. In the midst of the release of these major decisions, the Supreme Court has also issued some routine orders concerning cases it has decided to hear next year.
Explanation: Without a single word of discussion, the UCONN board of trustees recently voted to adopt a $1.3 billion budget for the upcoming year. How is it possible to adopt a budget of that magnitude without any public discussion? According to UCONN, by having the discussion behind closed doors before the formal vote in public session.
A closely divided Supreme Court ruled today that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As expected, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. Chief Justice Roberts and justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito each wrote their own dissents.
More to follow later!
In a 6-3 decision penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court once again upheld the Affordable Care Act against attack by forces committed to its destruction–interest groups that seem absolutely convinced that our country is better off when millions and millions of people do not have health insurance.
It is hard to believe that eleven years have passed since I released “The Billable Hour Blues,” my first album of musical parodies about lawyers and the legal profession. Foolishly, I’m hard at work writing songs for a second CD. Click here to listen to my latest recording, “The Lawyer Is A Champ.” (Sincere apologies to Rodgers and Hart.) As with all of my music, this song is best appreciated after a few drinks. I hope you enjoy it!
UPDATE: 6/25/15: Readers unfamiliar with the original Rodgers and Hart tune on which the song is based may enjoy this classic version by Frank Sinatra:
Or this contemporary version by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga:
As most readers are probably aware, the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) is investigating whether the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) violated state campaign finance laws when it sent out certain get-out-the-vote (GOTV) mailers that featured Governor Malloy. The SEEC recently served the DSCC with an investigatory subpoena, calling upon the DSCC to produce a vast array of documents. The DSCC’s attorney, David Golub, responded with a letter informing the SEEC that his client had no intention of responding to the subpoena. Golub argues that the SEEC lacks jurisdiction on the theory that federal election law preempts state law with respect to GOTV activity.
The Jane Doe case is back in the news. Jane Doe is the transgender teen who, at the request of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), was transferred temporarily to the York Correctional Institution for Women in Niantic because of her history of physical violence towards other girls and DCF staff.
Following up on my post last week concerning the pending U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, The Economist has this article making the same point I discussed: No one in Congress or the Obama administration believed that subsidies would be available to folks who bought insurance on state-created exchanges, but not on the federal exchange. Yet the folks challenging the subsidy provisions of the Affordable Care Act continue to argue to the contrary.
I missed this interesting article in the New York Times last week about an ongoing battle between Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the state judiciary. Brownback recently signed a bill that “stipulates that if a state court strikes down a 2014 law that removed some powers from the State Supreme Court, the judiciary will lose its funding.”
It is June folks! That means the U.S. Supreme Court will soon issue decisions in some of the most consequential, and controversial, cases of the term. I’m especially antsy as I await the decision in King v. Burwell, about which I have written before. This otherwise run-of-the-mill statutory construction case has the potential to destroy the Affordable Care Act by depriving millions of people who purchase insurance through Healthcare.gov–the federally operated exchange–of access to the same subsidies available to people who purchase insurance through state-operated exchanges.