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Biggest Law Changes in the Past Year

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on September 08, 2015 3:55 PM

2015 has already been a big year in the law. From marijuana to marriage, and state statutes to the Supreme Court, the past nine months have brought about many significant legal changes that affect day-to-day life in America.

This busy year in the law has kept everyone in the legal profession on their toes. This is certainly true for the content teams at FindLaw, as we continually cover the latest legal changes through our Legal Blog Network and our Learn About the Law sections. Here are a few of the biggest legal changes in 2015 we've covered so far:

Marriage Equality

Obviously, the biggest nationwide change to the law is the Supreme Court's decision that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. The ruling brought an end to years of disagreements between state constitutions and circuit courts and guaranteed that same-sex couples can get married no matter where they live. (Although certain county court clerks have been slow to adhere to the new rule.)

Marijuana Availability

The laws surrounding cannabis sales have been in constant flux for years now, and that evolution continues in 2015. Alaska and Washington D.C. both legalized recreational marijuana; Georgia legalized medical marijuana; and Colorado courts were packed with pot litigation, from employment discrimination claims to RICO lawsuits. Even the feds don't seem sure whether marijuana is allowed on Indian reservations. And without a comprehensive federal approach to legalization, expect pot laws to keep on changing next year.

Medical Access

Although Barack Obama signed his eponymous healthcare statute into law in 2010, major provisions of the Affordable Care Act didn't take effect until 2014 and the medical reform bill survived one of its biggest challenges just months ago. The Supreme Court upheld Obamacare subsides for federal exchanges, meaning that millions who lived in states without health insurance exchanges wouldn't lose their coverage. In addition, the ACA's employer mandate took effect in 2015, requiring businesses with over 50 employees to provide health insurance for some percentage of their employees.

Whether by state legislation, Supreme Court ruling, or Presidential negotiation, the law is constantly changing. You can access the most up-to-date information through FindLaw's Learn About the Law section and keep an eye on our Legal Blog Network for changes in the law as they happen.

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