Civil Rights Law Decisions: Decided
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The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action in a 6-2 ruling issued Tuesday.

This decision affirms Michigan's Proposal 2, a constitutional amendment that prohibits discriminatory or preferential practices like affirmative action in public education, public employment, or government contracts, reports The New York Times.

What does this mean for affirmative action in Michigan and nationwide?

"Company Doe's" secrets could soon be revealed after a federal appeals court panel determined the corporation cannot keep product-safety litigation secret to protect its image.

The case involved the death of an infant, and the corporation wished to be only known as "Company Doe" in court papers to maintain confidentiality. But a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that sealing court records in this case violated the public's constitutional rights to "obtain access to civil proceedings," Reuters reports.

So when will "Company Doe" and its secrets be revealed? It's still not quite clear.

A federal judge announced Monday that Ohio must recognize legally performed out-of-state gay marriages, but his order will not immediately go into effect.

Judge Timothy Black of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio determined that Ohio's refusal to recognize out-of-state gay marriages was "unconstitutional and unenforceable," reports The Columbus Dispatch. The ruling avoided dealing directly with Ohio's ban on performing in-state gay marriages.

With Black's ruling stayed pending appeal, what can we learn from this federal decision on gay marriage in Ohio?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that aggregate campaign contribution limits for individual donors are unconstitutional in light of the First Amendment.

According to The New York Times, Wednesday's 5-4 ruling is a "sequel" to the High Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United, which struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions.

Now, thanks to the Court's decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, individuals are free to spend an unlimited aggregate amount on direct contributions to candidates, political parties, and political action committees.

Fla.'s Damages Cap for Medical-Malpractice Death Cases Struck Down

In case you missed it, the Florida Supreme Court recently struck down the state's damages cap on wrongful death awards resulting caused by medical malpractice.

The state law placed a $1 million limit on the amount of money people could be awarded for pain and suffering when someone dies from medical malpractice.

Why was the cap on damages for these types of cases struck down?

Voter laws in Arizona and Kansas requiring proof of citizenship when registering by mail were upheld by a federal judge Wednesday.

A U.S. District Court judge in Witchita, Kansas, ruled that because Congress had not acted to outlaw these sorts of "proof of citizenship" rules in the states, the two states were free to add those requirements to voter registration forms, reports Reuters. This ruling overturned a decision by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) which had denied Arizona's and Kansas' requests to require proof of citizenship for voters.

Does upholding a "proof of citizenship" requirement sanction voter suppression in these states?

Birthing Moms Can Kick Dads Out of Delivery Room: N.J. Court

In the first ever ruling of its kind, a New Jersey judge ruled that a woman in labor has the right to ban an unwed father from the delivery room.

The case -- argued the day the mother went into labor (!) -- stemmed from an estranged couple who called off their wedding prior to the birth of their child. Steven Plotnick sued his ex-fiancée Rebecca DeLuccia for the right to know when she went into labor and for access to the baby upon its birth, The Star-Ledger reports.

Though the child has since been born (in case you're wondering: pops was present at the birth), Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed ruled in favor of the mother.

A federal judge struck down Texas' gay marriage ban as unconstitutional on Wednesday, although the ban will remain in effect until the decision is appealed.

Texas now joins a host of other traditionally conservative states who have had their same-sex marriage prohibitions challenged and invalidated in federal court. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, found Texas' ban to "state-imposed inequality," reports The Washington Post.

How does this Texas marriage decision shape the national conversation about same-sex marriage?

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a pair of NRA appeals challenging federal and state gun laws, leaving those laws more or less intact.

The High Court on Monday declined to hear two NRA cases concerning the ability to sell guns to those under 21, Reuters reports. It also declined to hear a third firearms-related case, brought by some District of Columbia residents, about consumers' ability to challenge regulations on gun sales.

In all three cases, the lower courts' rulings now stand.

San Diego County's policy of requiring "good cause" for concealed carry gun permits -- outside of the general desire to carry a gun for protection -- is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled today.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling relied not only on the specifics of the county's policy but also the history and interpretation of the Second Amendment.

This decision dealt with a local gun policy, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the issue is very likely to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.