Category Archives: law

California poised to reinstate death penalty

There hasn’t been an execution in California since 2006, but that may be about to change. The Atlantic reports that a Federal appeals court has just overruled a 2014 lower-court finding that California’s death-penalty statue was unconstitutional. (The full opinion is here.) It’s a complicated ruling, basically arguing that the lower court didn’t have the power to declare the […]

Scalia signals that U.S. Supreme Court might abolish capital punishment

UPDATE: I was told that my second sentence, the one about Japan, implied that prisoners don’t know they are to be executed at all until the day it’s done. I was obviously unclear in what I said, so let me explain: prisoners in Japan slated for capital punishment do of course know that they will […]

FFRF now has a Patheos website

The headline tells it all. Now you can keep up to date with the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s doings at Patheos, where the FFRF started a new website called Freethought Now! So far there have been posts by staff attorneys Andrew Seidel and Sam Grover, as well as by co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. But again I recommend joining […]

Kim Davis back to work, still refuses to issue marriage licenses

According to CNN, Kim Davis is back to work as County Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. But she’s still refusing to issue marriage licenses for gays that bear her name. She’s suggesting a “solution”, one that I don’t like nor think is legal: Kim Davis, county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, returned to work Monday, saying […]

West Virginia lawsuit alleging that evolution is a faith is unceremoniously tossed out of court

On May 27 I wrote about a lawsuit filed by one Kenneth Smith of West Virginia, a suit alleging that evolution was a “faith.” Of course, Smith had to claim damages, so the suit further argued that his daughter’s future education and prospects for veterinary school were being damaged by requiring her to learn evolutionary “faith”. Here are some […]

Kim Davis remains in jail, but seeks compromise

Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for contempt of court for failing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples (she directly violated a Supreme Court order), clearly doesn’t like having her tuchus in stir. Ordered to remain in jail until she complies with the Court, Davis has now proposed a compromise. According […]

Kim Davis, who answers to a Higher Authority than the law, faces contempt of court charges [now Jailed]

UPDATE:  Reader James B. informs me, and this is verified by the New York Times, that Kim Davis has been sent to jail. At the hearing, Judge Bunning told Ms. Davis, who is an elected official, that she would be released once she agreed to comply with his order and issue the marriage licenses. “The […]

Texas judge orders man who fought with his girlfriend to marry her and write out Bible verses—or face jail

I have no idea whether a sentence like this is legal or Constitutionally kosher, although judges seem to have wide latitude in imposing sentences. In places like Texas, the sentences can be bizarre. And in this case, the sentence is doubly ridiculous for it’s an unwarranted violation of both private relationship and the Constitutionally mandated separation of church from state. […]

Brother Tayler’s Sunday Sermon: Conservatives’ reaction to the gay marriage ruling

The 5-4 Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage was too close for my taste: I predicted 6-3. Too many decisions are being decided by that 5-4 vote—a serious sign of political polarization in the highest court of the U.S. And the problem is that the conservative justices show no sign of retiring, while many […]

The majority ruling

This is the ringing final paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Rarely have I see legalese so lyrical.


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