On November 18, 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts propelled the state into making history: Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Recently in Civil Rights Law Category
In 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, and last week, the First Circuit became the first federal appellate court to apply the holding, and "[t]he results are remarkable," says Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman in his article for Bloomberg.
Sometimes, we read cases that leave us wondering "what the hell is wrong with people?" In a recent discrimination case in the First Circuit, when we read some of the racist comments uttered, we first wondered, who thinks that way?
And then had to follow-up with... Who actually says those things to people? The answer, in this case: a Kmart employee.
North Andover High School, a public school outside Boston, recently drew a firestorm of criticism for disciplining a student under its zero tolerance policy after the teen gave a ride to a friend who was too drunk to drive home.
The case highlights growing legal concern about schools' zero tolerance policies.
We're a week deep in the
embarassing U.S. Federal Government shut down, but one thing remaining open? SCOTUS. Yep, today is the first Monday of October and that means one thing: SCOTUS is in session and beginning to hear oral arguments.
One of the cases that will no doubt stir emotions and public opinion is McCullen v. Coakley, an abortion buffer zone case out of the First Circuit.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals did D.A.R.E proud and unanimously upheld Providence, Rhode Island's anti-tobacco laws, reports the Providence Journal.
The pair of ordinances prohibits tobacco companies from selling flavored products and offering price discounts -- two Big Tobacco tactics that are notorious for luring children.
In a case that wrestles with an individuals' free speech rights balanced against a government's obligation to be transparent, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the city of South Portland could not prevent two city employees from running for the school board.
In a 5-1 decision, the court said the rights of the employees outweigh the city's interest in preventing hypothetical conflicts of interest. However, because the court felt the government's concerns were legitimate, the force of the decision is actually quite limited.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will soon revisit the constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance. A family from Boston is arguing that the words ''under God'' in the pledge discriminate against atheists.
But do they really have a case?
Hospitals, nurses, doctors and other medical providers have urged New Hampshire to expand Medicaid to an additional 49,000 poor adults under the Affordable Care Act.
But the state legislature must pass a law in order to expand Medicaid -- and they're deadlocked in a split.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that the state's wiretap statute permits the interception of cell phone calls and text messages -- even though neither form of communication is mentioned in the Massachusetts wiretap statute.
The court's decision is girded by legislative intent and clings to inference, opting for an "it's close enough to federal law" line of reasoning.