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The United States Supreme Court has decided not to intervene in the controversial Arkansas abortion pill case.

In that matter, Planned Parenthood is challenging an Arkansas state law requiring those who provide "medication abortions" to have a contractual relationship with a doctor that has admitting privileges at a local hospital. The challenge claims that the law essentially denies Arkansas residents "medication abortions" as there would be only one other provider left in the state, since Planned Parenthood has not been able to meet the law's requirement. Proponents of law say it's about safety and the state's pro-life politics.

Veteran Wins Family Law Retirement Reduction in Taking Disability Pay

John Howell and his ex-wife Sandra divorced with an agreement that she would receive half of his military retirement, but he later opted for smaller disability payments because they were non-taxable.

In a unanimous ruling in Howell v. Howell, the U.S. Supreme Court said he does not have to make up the shortfall to his ex-spouse. Howell had to give up part of his retirement to receive the disability pay, and the court said federal law preempts states from treating waived military pay as divisible community property.

"While the divorce decree might be said to 'vest' Sandra with an immediate right to half of John's military retirement pay, that interest is, at most, contingent, depending for its amount on a subsequent condition: John's possible waiver of that pay," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the unanimous court.

The Court's first major case addressing gay and lesbian rights since last summer's Obergefell decision appears to have been an easy one. Today, the Supreme Court overturned an Alabama ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian woman who had adopted her children with her partner.

It was a unanimous per curium decision, made without full briefing or oral arguments. That's a strong sign that the Court believed Alabama's ruling was almost inarguably wrong. Let's see why.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court put the kibosh on a class action lawsuit by DirectTV customers. California courts, it ruled, must enforce a DirectTV arbitration agreement that prevented class-wide claims. It's the last opinion from the Court in 2015, and one of a number of recent cases emphasizing that state courts must give effect to arbitration agreements.

But that's wasn't the only news out of the High Court on Monday. In its first major action on the rights of gays and lesbians since last summer's Obergefell decision, the Supreme Court stepped in to a dispute between two lesbian parents, staying an Alabama order that would have denied one mother parental rights to her adopted children.

6th Cir. Upholds Gay Marriage Bans: Your Move, SCOTUS

Better late than never, though we're sure the Court would've rather the issue of gay marriage had been addressed never. Avoiding the issue might've been possible, had the circuit courts stayed in concert. Now, the Supreme Court may not have a choice.

A few months back, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the Sixth Circuit could force the Court's hand if it upheld gay marriage bans. Yesterday afternoon, it did just that, upholding bans in four states, calling RBG's bluff and putting SCOTUS in for all its chips.

Now, with a circuit split in place, and the ACLU already preparing their petition for certiorari (apparently en banc isn't happening?), the Court has to decide the issue of whether the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees marriage equality -- doesn't it?

3 Questions After SCOTUS Denies Cert. in 5 Gay Marriage Cases

Well, this is quite a way to kick of SCOTUS Week at FindLaw, isn't it? This morning, the Supreme Court shocked the nation by denying certiorari in all of the pending gay marriage cases. The orders were handed down with no warning, no elaboration, and no dissent.

In retrospect, the denials shouldn't have been that shocking: While the issue is of major nationwide importance, there is no circuit split yet, and every federal appeals court to consider the issue since Windsor has ruled in favor of marriage equality. The Court's denial is simply an exercise of restraint -- if they don't have to touch the issue, they apparently won't.

In the coming days, we'll be doing a circuit-by-circuit review of the Court's major cases that they did take, but for today, we're going to stick to the major ramifications of the Court's non-decision in the marriage cases.

5 Cases at SCOTUS' Big Fall Conference That We're Excited About

Last week, we blogged about the Big Fall Conference (aka long conference) at the U.S. Supreme Court. After a summer's worth of backlog clogs up the docket with around 2,000 certiorari petitions, the clerks of the Court sort through the chaff, the justices review their recommendations, and less than one percent are granted cert.

Of the 1,845 listed for Monday's BFC, and SCOTUSblog's "Petitions We're Watching" list, here are a few that we're particularly interested in, covering everything from equality (in marriage and employment) to juvenile sentencing:

Snippets: Stay Granted in Va.; SCOTUS Ice Bucket Challenge?

The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the Fourth Circuit's decision in the Virginia gay marriage case, which means licenses won't be handed out to same-sex couples tomorrow. Anyone surprised by this? Thought so.

And despite a national trend toward increased support for same-sex marriage, at least one state is still staunchly opposed. Any guesses?

And finally, who wants to see a Supreme Court justice dump a bucket of ice water on his or her noggin? (Answer: We all do!)

3 Questions: 1972 Gay Marriage Case, Circuit Split, Stay for Va.?

Same-sex marriage: It's the hottest legal topic out there, one that despite a bit of issue fatigue, we end up covering every single day because there is some fascinating legal development at hand.

What's the latest on the many gay marriage appeals? After the Fourth Circuit declined to issue a stay in the Bostic case, where that court ruled against Virginia's gay marriage ban, state officials reached out to the U.S. Supreme Court for some timely intervention -- if no stay is issued, then gay marriage becomes legal in Virginia on Thursday.

Meantime, oral arguments in the Sixth Circuit, and a decision in a state court in one of that circuit's states, have drawn renewed attention to a decades-old order in which the Court already decided the gay marriage debate. But is it still valid?

A Trio of Gay Marriage Cases Seek SCOTUS Review

We jokingly handicapped the race a few weeks ago, but man, it's like these states really are racing to be the first in line on the first day of proceedings at First Street.

As predicted, the first state to get an appeals court judgment against its ban, Utah, has filed its petition for certiorari. It was quickly joined by its fellow Tenth Circuit-er, Oklahoma, and by Virginia, which recently had its ban wiped out by the Fourth Circuit.

Here's how the three states shake out: