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The push and pull of gun control laws and the Second Amendment continued regarding firearm restrictions passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. New York and Connecticut passed stricter gun laws in 2013, and a federal court upheld some of those restrictions while invalidating others.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that bans of semiautomatic assault rifles and large-capacity magazines can stand, while striking down provisions against the non-semiautomatic Remington 7615 and limits on gun owners loading more than seven bullets in a clip. You can read the court's opinion in full below:

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.

The Wikimedia Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the government agency's mass data collection violated the Constitution.

Wikipedia's parent company is heading a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), among others, and contends the online encyclopedia was specifically targeted for surveillance.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Gay Marriage Appeals From 4 States

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments from plaintiffs in four states on the question of whether the Constitution requires a state to allow or recognize gay marriage.

The Court announced today that it was granting petitions appealing a circuit court ruling upholding gay marriage bans in four states: Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. That decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late last year ended a streak of legal victories for gay marriage advocates.

By agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court is set to decide on the constitutionality of gay marriage in not just those four states, but in the country as a whole.

This has been quite a year for breaking legal stories; 2014 has produced some shocking court decisions, grand jury hearings, celebrity deaths, and shady settlements.

Here are the 10 most-viewed breaking legal documents from FindLaw's Courtside blog in 2014:

Oklahoma and Nebraska are suing Colorado over its legalization of marijuana, and the U.S. Supreme Court gets to be the first court to hear it.

The complaint filed Thursday claims that under Colorado's new marijuana scheme, the state has created "a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system" and has allowed the drug to flow into neighboring states. According to The New York Times, law enforcement on the borders of Colorado have complained that marijuana arrests are stretching jail budgets too thin.

What is the legal argument against Colorado's law and why is this issue before the Supreme Court?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search an arrested suspect's cellphone.

The 9-0 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts held the right of police to search an arrested suspect at the scene without a warrant does not extend in most circumstances to data held on a cellphone. Still, there are some emergency situations in which a warrantless search would be permitted, the court said.

Ruling on two cases from California and Massachusetts, the justices acknowledged both a right to privacy and a need to investigate crimes. But they came down squarely on the side of privacy rights.

Seeing someone with a cellphone is such a common thing today, that "the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy," Roberts wrote. "We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime...Privacy comes at a cost."

California's laws on teacher tenure, layoffs and dismissals deprive students of their constitutional right to an education, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

The ruling is a serious defeat for teachers' unions that overturns several California laws that govern the way teachers are hired and fired. 

The 16-page decision (attached below) may set off a slew of legal fights in California and other states, where many education reform advocates are eager to change similar laws.

"There is ... no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms," Judge Rolf M. Treu wrote. "Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students.

"The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience."

Enforcement of the much awaited ruling in Vergara v. California will be delayed pending an appeal by the lawsuit's defendants, the state and California's two major teachers unions.

Michigan can't block the opening of an off-reservation Indian casino because of a tribe's sovereign immunity, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A divided Court ruled 5-4 that the state could not block the Bay Mills Indian Community's casino about 90 miles south of its reservation. Michigan and 16 other states had urged the Court to allow the casino to be shuttered.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the Court that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act only allows a state to bring lawsuits challenging casinos operating on Indian lands. But the Bay Mills casino was opened outside the tribe's reservation, Kagan said, placing it outside the law's coverage.

The 5-4 decision divided the Court, but not along traditional ideological lines.

Joining Justice Kagan was Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Justice Thomas wrote the dissent, joined by Justices Scalia, Ginsburg and Alito.

Kagan noted that Michigan officials have other options for dealing with the casino, such as bringing a lawsuit against individual tribal officials or even prosecuting tribal members under criminal laws.

Supreme Court Upholds Prayer at Town Meetings

The Supreme Court has upheld the long-standing tradition of offering prayers at the start of government meetings, even if those prayers are heavily Christian.

The Court ruled that the town of Greece, New York was free to open its monthly public meetings with a prayer. Two residents, one Jewish and one atheist, claimed that because the prayers were almost always Christian, the practice amounted to government endorsement of a single faith.

The 5-4 ruling (attached below) was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, with the court's conservatives agreeing and its liberals, led by Justice Elena Kagan, dissenting.

Kennedy wrote that "ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond that authority of government to alter or define."

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the town's practices could not be reconciled "with the First Amendment's promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share of her government."

The Supreme Court last considered the issue of government prayer in 1983, ruling that the Nebraska legislature did not violate the Constitution by opening its sessions with a prayer from a Presbyterian minister.