CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal Documents Blog

CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog


SCOTUS Upholds Same Sex Marriage

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States changed the way Americans view marriage. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the 14th Amendment requires states to permit same sex marriages within their boundaries, and recognize the marriages of same sex citizens from other states.

The Majority

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority of the justices (himself, and Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Beyer) and began his opinion by noting how ancient and honored marriage is in our culture. It is also, Justice Kennedy noted, an institution of both continuity and of change. Therefore, with our modern understanding of family and civil rights, the conclusion must be reached that the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment require all states to recognize same sex marriage.

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling upholding key subsidy provisions of the Affordable Care Act, known popularly as Obamacare. Had the case gone the other way, millions of Americans who rely on tax credits in order to afford mandatory health insurance could've lost their insurance coverage.

The Court's ruling means that nothing will change in the current health insurance landscape, but that doesn't mean the justices didn't have some interesting things to say. You can read the full majority opinion and dissent below, and decide for yourself who makes the more compelling argument.

Moments ago in Zurich, FIFA officials voted to retain controversial president Sepp Blatter. Three days ago, nine high-ranking FIFA officials (including the man many thought would succeed Blatter) were arrested along with five media company executives on a wide range of corruption charges that rocked soccer's governing body.

The charges are detailed in an extensive Department of Justice indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York. You can read all 160 pages listing racketeering, bribery, and wire fraud below. Here are some highlights:

Last week jurors in the Boston Marathon Bombing sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. The jurors had already found Tsarnaev guilty of the bombing itself, and had been weighing both mitigating and aggravating factors presented by his attorneys and prosecutors during the penalty phase of his trial.

Although it took just 14 hours for the jury to decide Tsarnaev deserved the death penalty, many had speculated whether the jury might decide on life in imprison instead. Now the speculation is over, and you can see exactly what the jury was thinking. The verdict form that the jury filled out when sentencing Tsarnaev is below, so you can see for yourself what evidence they found convincing and which factors led to their decision.

An investigation into whether the New England Patriots illegally deflated game balls from last year's AFC Championship Game says it's "more probable than not" that team personnel altered the balls and quarterback Tom Brady was likely involved.

The full report, conducted by an outside law firm at the NFL's request, can be seen below. It includes text messages between Pats staffers discussing altering the inflation of game balls, as well as calls and texts between staff and Brady immediately after news of the scandal broke.

Michael Brown's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson and the former officer that shot and killed the teen in August 2014. The civil lawsuit, asking for $75,000 in compensation as well as punitive damages was filed in St. Louis County on Thursday.

The full text of the complaint is below, and there are a few aspects of the suit that are worth highlighting:

Both Indiana and now Arkansas are the center of a nationwide debate about Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs). Critics of the recently passed legislation say the laws will allow businesses to refuse service to gay, lesbian, and transgender customers under the protection of religious freedom.

Indiana's Gov. Mike Pence signed that state's RFRA into law last week, and the Arkansas State House passed their own version yesterday. With all of the controversy surrounding the laws, let's take a look at the actual text of each, and see how they compare to each other, and federal religious freedom legislation.

Ellen Pao Loses Gender Discrimination Suit on 3 of 4 Counts

The verdict is in on the Ellen Pao discrimination case. Sort of. Earlier this afternoon, a San Francisco jury returned verdicts in favor of defendant Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers on three of four counts.

On the fourth count, the jury failed to reach the required nine votes out of 12, but the judge sent them back to deliberate further.

What happened to "no man left behind"? Does it only apply to our soldiers and not our foreign allies?

Nine Iraqi men, who risked their lives alongside American soldiers, are living in fear in Iraq after the United States allegedly failed to honor its promise. The men, identified by code names, worked as interpreters for U.S. forces in Iraq and were promised visas to come to the United States. Despite completing all required paperwork and interviews, the men have waited over two years and still have not received their visas.

So now, they are suing the U.S. Department of State. for a resolution on their Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applications, NPR reports.

Tennessee's law capping "pain and suffering" damages is unconstitutional, a state judge has ruled.

Donald and Beverly Clark filed a lawsuit against Aimee Cain and AT&T for damages due to a car crash. The couple asked for $22.5 million in damages for pain and suffering, far exceeding the state's cap for non-economic damages. AT&T filed a motion for partial summary judgment requesting that damages be limited to the $750,000 cap.

Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge W. Neil Thomas denied the motion and ruled the cap unconstitutional for violating the fundamental right to a trial by jury.