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Is Tennessee's Ruling Against Gay Marriage a Setback for the Cause?

August 14, 2014 The great streak of court victories for gay marriage was broken on Tuesday: A state court in Kingston, Tennessee, became the first to uphold a state ban on gay marriage since the Supreme Court’s decision last year in United States v. Windsor. The decision in Borman v. Piles-Borman, written by ...

Want to Search That Cell Phone? Better Get a Warrant

June 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One smartphone owner in eight, Chief Justice John Roberts noted Wednesday, admits to sometimes taking a cell phone into the shower. (The other seven, I think, are probably lying.) Thanks to the Court, smartphone bathers can shower assured that even if the police burst in upon them like Norman Bates ...

How the Supreme Court Can Sidestep a Recess-Appointments Dilemma

January 14, 2014 Miguel Estrada, a conservative icon denied a judgeship by a recalcitrant Senate, may have just saved Senate recalcitrance. The first question to Estrada at the Supreme Court Monday was put by Justice Elena Kagan, his Harvard Law School classmate. (“Miguel and I were required to sit next to each other ...

Did Rand Paul Ask the Wrong Questions in His Drone Filibuster?

March 18, 2013 Even as redoubtable a liberal as the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson proclaimed that "Rand Paul was right." But was he? The drone issue is real, it is urgent, and the Obama Administration has not answered many legitimate questions about it. But the danger to our country is not the danger ...

Why a Secret Court Won't Solve the Drone-Strike Problem

February 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Look up: that buzz you hear overhead is the "drone court." Washington's idea of the week is a secret court, based on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which issues secret wiretap warrants in certain espionage cases. Executive officials would go before the drone court and present their evidence that an ...

Can We Talk Calmly About Obama's 'Executive Orders'?

January 18, 2013 You may be perplexed about President Obama's recent actions aimed at promoting gun safety. One of the leading scholars of separation of powers, Peter M. Shane, has set out a calm analysis of Obama's actions here. The president signed three, not 23, executive orders, he notes. Shane's most important point ...