Supreme Court Tag - ACLU of North Carolina http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/Latest.html Mon, 22 May 2017 13:24:53 -0400 en-gb Victory! Supreme Court Denies Stay in North Carolina Voting Rights Case http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/victory-supreme-court-denies-stay-in-north-carolina-voting-rights-case.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/victory-supreme-court-denies-stay-in-north-carolina-voting-rights-case.html

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today denied North Carolina’s request to stay a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s restrictive voting law.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged the law, charging it discriminates against African-American votersand unduly burdens the right to vote, in violation of the U.S Constitution’s 14th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed the law was enacted “with discriminatory intent,” against African Americansand issued a sweeping ruling on July 29 that blocked voter ID and restored a week of early voting, same-day registration, preregistration, and out-of-precinct provisional voting.

“The Supreme Court was correct to deny North Carolina’s last-ditch effort to undermine African-American voter participation in the November election. This ruling means that thousands of voters who would have been disenfranchised will now be able to participate in the presidential election,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice represent the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, North Carolina Common Cause, Unifour Onestop Collaborative, and several individuals.

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/league-women-voters-north-carolina-et-al-v-north-carolina

 

 

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Voting Rights Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:18:27 -0400
VICTORY! U.S. Supreme Court Establishes Marriage Equality Nationwide http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/victory-u-s-supreme-court-establishes-marriage-equality-nationwide.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/victory-u-s-supreme-court-establishes-marriage-equality-nationwide.html

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a sweeping and historic decision that affords gay and lesbian couples the same legal right to marry and recognition of their marriages as different-sex couples. The ruling invalidates discriminatory laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and as a practical matter, requires all 50 states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

“The Supreme Court today welcomed same-sex couples fully into the American family. Gay and lesbian couples and our families may be at peace knowing that our simple request to be treated like everyone else – that is, to be able to participate in the dignity of marriage – has finally been granted,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project. “Today’s historic victory comes on the backs of same-sex couples and advocates who have worked for decades to dismantle harmful stereotypes and unjust laws in the quest for equal treatment.”

The court’s 5-4 opinion holds that state marriage bans violate the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Recognizing that “marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death,” the Court held that the Constitution grants to same-sex couples the right to “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

"Today's decision has been 50 years in the making and will stand with Brown vs. Board of Education as one of the landmark civil rights moments of our time," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. "Now we take the battle for full legal equality to the states, where 31 states have yet to pass any statewide LGBT non-discrimination laws.  The wind is at our backs, and we are now on the cusp of achieving full legal equality for LGBT Americans across the country."

The case is captioned Obergefell v. Hodges and is made up of cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.  The American Civil Liberties Union represented plaintiffs in Kentucky casesBourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear and in Ohio case Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges with private firms.

North Carolina Background:

The ACLU filed the first legal challenge to North Carolina’s marriage ban in June 2013 when it amended a 2012 lawsuit seeking second parent adoption rights for six families headed by same-sex couples. The adoption lawsuit, Fisher-Borne, et al. v. Smith, was originally filed in June 2012, just weeks after passage of the state’s marriage ban, known as Amendment One, which the ACLU lobbied and campaigned against. In April 2014, the ACLU filed a second lawsuit, Gerber and Berlin, et al. v. Smith, challenging North Carolina’s marriage ban on behalf of three married same-sex couples, one member of which has a serious medical condition. In October 2014, U.S. District Judge William Osteen issued a ruling in both cases that declared North Carolina’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional.

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) LGBT Rights Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:08:52 -0400
Supreme Court Declines Review of North Carolina’s Demeaning Ultrasound Law http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/supreme-court-declines-review-of-north-carolina-s-demeaning-ultrasound-law.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/supreme-court-declines-review-of-north-carolina-s-demeaning-ultrasound-law.html

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it would not review a ruling striking down North Carolina’s 2011 law that would have forced a woman to undergo a narrated ultrasound before receiving abortion care. The Court’s decision means the law, which had been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, cannot go into effect.

“North Carolinians should take comfort in knowing that this intrusive and unconstitutional law, which placed the ideological agenda of politicians above a doctor’s ability to provide a patient with the specific care she needs, will never go into effect,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “We’re very glad the courts have recognized that politicians have no business interfering in personal medical decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor.”

In December 2014, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in December 2014 affirmed that the law violates the First Amendment rights of physicians by forcing them to deliver politically motivated communications to a patient even over the patient’s objection, declaring that “transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes.”

The law was preliminarily blocked in October 2011 following a lawsuit filed on behalf of several North Carolina physicians and medical practices by the Center for Reproductive Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the firm of O’Melveny & Myers.  The measure was later permanently struck down as unconstitutional by a federal district court in January 2014.

The North Carolina mandatory ultrasound law, passed in 2011 by the General Assembly over the veto of then-Governor Bev Perdue, was one of the most extreme ultrasound laws in the country.  While the law would have allowed the woman to “avert her eyes” from the ultrasound screen and to “refuse to hear” the explanation of the images, the provider would have still been required to place the images in front of her and describe them in detail over her objection. The North Carolina law would have applied even if a woman did not want to see the ultrasound, and it made no exception for rape, incest, serious health risks or severe fetal anomalies.

In November 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a similar law from Oklahoma, allowing the ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocking the measure as unconstitutional to stand.

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keason [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Kevin Eason) Reproductive Rights Mon, 15 Jun 2015 10:28:47 -0400
VICTORY! Federal Court Strikes Down N.C. Marriage Ban http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/victory-federal-court-strikes-down-n-c-marriage-ban.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/victory-federal-court-strikes-down-n-c-marriage-ban.html

RALEIGH – A federal judge in Asheville today ruled that North Carolina’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

Judge Max Cogburn’s ruling extends the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in North Carolina and requires North Carolina to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states.

“This is a historic day for freedom and equality in North Carolina,” said Jennifer Rudinger, Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “Thousands of North Carolinians are now able to marry the person they love and receive the dignity and legal security that comes with having that marriage recognized in their home state. For countless couples and their children, this victory is nothing short of life changing.”  

“Our joy and excitement is boundless. We've been together for 48 years and are so happy that our love and commitment will now finally be recognized in the state we call home,” said Ellen “Lennie” Gerber, who, along with her spouse, Pearl Berlin, was a plaintiff in one of two ACLU lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s marriage ban.

The ACLU filed the first legal challenge to North Carolina’s marriage ban in June 2013 when it amended a 2012 lawsuit seeking second parent adoption rights for six families headed by same-sex couples. The adoption lawsuit, Fisher-Borne, et al. v. Smith, was originally filed in June 2012, just weeks after passage of the state’s marriage ban, known as Amendment One, which the ACLU lobbied and campaigned against. In April 2014, the ACLU filed a second lawsuit, Gerber and Berlin, et al. v. Smith, challenging North Carolina’s marriage ban on behalf of three married same-sex couples, one member of which has a serious medical condition.

The ACLU has been working the rights of LGBT people since 1936, when it brought its first gay rights case. The organization filed the first freedom-to-marry lawsuit for same-sex couples in the nation in 1970, represented Edie Windsor in her successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, and has marriage lawsuits on behalf of same-sex couples pending in several other states.

The ACLU’s co-counsel on the North Carolina cases are the law firms of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, and attorneys Jon Sasser and Jeremy Falcone.

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) LGBT Rights Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:57:51 -0400