U.S. Supreme Court

Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says he will call hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee to see if legislation can be written to protect minority voting rights that many feel were threatened after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Voting Rights Act.

In a speech being lauded by environmental activists, yesterday President Barack Obama announced several proposals to limit pollution that is contributing to climate change. The policies include the establishment of carbon pollution standards for power plants and increased funding for clean energy technology over the coming decades.

For reaction to the speech WAMC spoke with Representative Paul Tonko of New York’s 20th District. Before discussing climate change we asked Tonko for his reaction to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

We've seen two historic rulings today from the U.S. Supreme Court concerning gay marriage - the striking down of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and a ruling clearing the way for same sex marriages to resume in California.

WAMC's Ray Graf spoke with Lynn Faria, deputy executive director with Empire State Pride Agenda, for reaction to the decisions.

Recently the Supreme Court delivered a rebuke to Governor Jan Brewer and the citizens of Arizona arguing in a 7 to 2 majority that the state violated federal law when it added a proof of citizenship requirement to a federal voter registration form almost a decade ago.

According to the majority decision the high court ruled that in areas where Washington holds constitutional authority – as is the case with immigration and the rules for federal elections – states may not override Congressional judgment.

National Parks Service

The U.S. Supreme Court will review an appeals court ruling that overturned the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Two Adirondack environmental groups say the move is crucial for the long-term health of the region’s ecosystem.

National Parks Service

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider reinstating a federal regulation intended to reduce power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states.

Mass AG asking court to throw out marriage law

Mar 27, 2013
wikiepedia commons

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley plans to be at the U.S. Supreme Court for arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The law prohibits same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal from receiving an array of federal benefits available to heterosexual married couples. The justices are hearing the case today.

Coakley and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a brief with the high court last month calling for DOMA to be struck down.

Courtesy GLAD

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in to cases involving gay marriage. The nation’s highest court will hear the cases tomorrow and Wednesday. Mary Bonauto is the civil right project director at the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. She tells WAMC’S Brian Shields that the cases are monumental.

Court won't hear campaign finance arguments

Jan 7, 2013
Rob Crawley / Flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from an anti-abortion group that wanted to be exempted from campaign finance disclosure regulations.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from The Real Truth About Abortion, Inc., which was formerly called The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. The group wanted to stop the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department from enforcing fundraising and advertising regulations against it.

Several lower courts have ruled against it, saying it is un-constitutional, but the nation’s highest court will take up a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by congress in 1996 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. New York is among a handful of states that have legalized same sex marriage, and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court will be watched very closely in New York. George Simpson, spokesman for Empire State Pride Agenda, spoke about the issues under review by the court with WAMC’s Brian Shields.