UPDATE: Supreme Court Does Not Act on Same Sex Marriage
The Supreme Court has delayed its decision on whether or not it will hear a case on same sex marriage. None of the possible seven cases appeared in the orders list [PDF] released this morning that details which cases the Court will take and the ones they have rejected.
Cases being considered range from the inclusion of same-sex partners on federal and state health insurance policies to Social Security benefits to the basic legal right to marry. The Supreme Court has discussed taking these kinds of cases before, but same sex rights advocates were hopeful that a closed meeting on Friday suggested that the Court may see a case within the next year. For a case to appear before the Supreme Court, four judges must vote in favor of taking the case.
None of the seven cases were rejected by the Court, which means the Court could still choose to take one of the cases at the next closed conference on December 7th. At times the Court has delayed a decision in order to give the issue further consideration, according to Reuters.
LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, and the death penalty have been on the court's radar already this year. In October, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said: "The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state." Later that month, the court refused to hear a case proposed by anti-abortion Personhood Oklahoma that dealt with extreme personhood legislation.
Media Resources: Reuters 12/3/12; U.S. Supreme Court Orders List 12/3/12; CNN 11/30/12; Feminist Newswire 11/27/12
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .