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Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Florida Death Penalty

Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Florida Death Penalty | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
A court majority ruled that juries were not given sufficient say over which inmates should be put to death.
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The "Stealth Creationism" Movement in Schools

The "Stealth Creationism" Movement in Schools | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
A new study shows that anti-evolution lessons have become more stealthily integrated into curricula.
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Five items Congress deleted from Madison’s original Bill of Rights

Five items Congress deleted from Madison’s original Bill of Rights | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it

As Constitution Daily counts down to Bill of Rights Day on December 15, we are looking at some fascinating facts about the iconic document. 

When James Madison spoke to the First Congress he proposed 20 amendments for a Bill of Rights, and not the 10 we all know about. So what did Congress delete from the final list that was ratified by the states?

There were some very significant deletions as his proposed list went through the House and Senate, and Madison himself took part in the decisions to edit out some of his own ideas.

List: Read Madison’s original proposed Bill of Rights

In the end, 12 of the 20 amendments survived the congressional approval process. Enough states approved 10 of those 12 amendments to make the Bill of Rights a reality on December 15, 1791. One of two bypassed amendments was eventually ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment; it restricted the ability of Congress to change its pay while in session. (The other proposed amendment dealt with the number of representatives in Congress, based on the 1789 population.)

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Judge Allows Moral, Not Just Religious, Contraception Exemptions

A federal court ruled in favor of March for Life, a secular nonprofit that argued religious-only exemptions to employer insurance requirements violated equal protection principles.
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In for a half inch, not in for two feet

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court held (Holt v. Hobbs) that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act required prisons to allow religious inmates to grow half-inch beards, even when a general prison rule forbids all facial hair. But Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Knight v. Irvin held that prisons don’t have to let religious inmates grow their hair long, if they have a general short-hair requirement. The result strikes me as quite right, and it illustrates well how fact-specific decisions under religious accommodations schemes often have to be.
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Colorado Court Rules Use of Public Funds for Private Schools Is Unconstitutional

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a school district’s voucher program violated a plank of the state constitution that explicitly prevents public money from going to religious schools.
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Federal appeals court: Drug dog that’s barely more accurate than a coin flip is good enough

Federal appeals court: Drug dog that’s barely more accurate than a coin flip is good enough | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
A "search warrant on a leash."
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Supreme Court Overturns Conviction in Online Threats Case

Supreme Court Overturns Conviction in Online Threats Case | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The justices, ruling in the case of a self-styled rapper angry at his estranged wife, said prosecutors must prove comments were intended as threats.
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Muslim Woman Denied Job Over Head Scarf Wins in Supreme Court

Muslim Woman Denied Job Over Head Scarf Wins in Supreme Court | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The justices, voting 8 to 1, reinstated a job discrimination lawsuit filed against Abercrombie & Fitch, saying the company had acted improperly.
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Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of lethal injection drugs

Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of lethal injection drugs | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
Next week, the Supreme Court is set to wade into debate over the constitutionality of certain drugs used for execution by lethal injection, as Glossip v. Gross comes before the bench.
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Estefania Briceno's comment, May 31, 2015 6:37 PM
The issue of lethal injections is an entire issue of its own, but thinking that the person who is put to death row and administer the drug can suffer and feel all the pain is really scary. This is because the article argues that the drug that is usually used is not available anymore so they opted for a different option, however that option has been proven to not be that reliable at lowering the risks of the inmates suffering from the effects of the other two drugs used. I believe that even if you are put to death row everything should be done to ensure the person does not suffer greatly, especially if is an issue of availability of drugs. There is no reason to violate a person’s constitutional rights even if that person is an inmate or not.
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U.S. Supreme Court: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

U.S. Supreme Court: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it

When the government places a location monitor on you or your stuff, it could be violating the Fourth Amendment.

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19 states that have ‘religious freedom’ laws like Indiana’s that no one is boycotting

19 states that have ‘religious freedom’ laws like Indiana’s that no one is boycotting | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
40 percent of states have a version of the law.
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Fight over Texas License Plate With Confederate Flag Heads to High Court

Fight over Texas License Plate With Confederate Flag Heads to High Court | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
Justices set to hear arguments over whether the state’s rejection of the plate violates the free-speech rights of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
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Can students pray in school? Wyoming school district learns what’s legal and what isn’t.

Can students pray in school? Wyoming school district learns what’s legal and what isn’t. | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The facts may surprise some people.
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Public university bans confederate flags even from students’ own dorm rooms - The Washington Post

From the Kutztown University (Pennsylvania) Decoration Policy; thanks to Emily Leayman (College Fix) for breaking the story:

All decorations in common areas in the residence hall and apartments must take into consideration that obscene, distasteful displays which are demeaning to an individual’s or group’s race, ethnic, religious background, and/or gender or ability, will not be permitted and will be removed immediately, at the discretion of Housing and Residential Services. The Confederate flag and swastika are NOT permitted in any residence hall, suite, and apartment or student room. . . ."

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An Eighth Amendment double-header at the Supreme Court

An Eighth Amendment double-header at the Supreme Court | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases that dealt with the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
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The Debate Over Florida’s 'Docs vs. Glocks' Law

The Debate Over Florida’s 'Docs vs. Glocks' Law | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it

An appeals court just ruled that the state is allowed to ban physicians from talking about guns with their patients. But educating doctors about firearms could lead to an honest conversation about health risks with gun owners.

BY ADAM WEINSTEIN

 

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Massachusetts High Court Strikes Down Law Criminalizing Political Lies

Massachusetts High Court Strikes Down Law Criminalizing Political Lies | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The highest court in Massachusetts struck down a state law that makes it a crime -- punishable with prison time -- to try to influence an election by making a false statement about a candidate.
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Rob Duke's curator insight, August 6, 2015 11:29 PM

Yeah, unfortunately, you can't make political lies illegal because that slope is too slippery and the law could be used to stop all dissent.  It's a matter of karma and the hope that, as Lincoln once said: "you can fool all of the people some of the time; and, some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".

Clay Faris's comment, August 7, 2015 6:12 AM
Meh. I'd much rather the focus be on how long politicos are allowed to campaign before an election, the amount of money they can spend, and term limit legislation. I think at this point in time anyone who is paying any attention at all realizes that politicians are scumbag liars. What ever happened to the idea of "citizen legislator" and when did "politician" become a valid career choice?
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Law banning secret filming of animal abuse on farms ruled unconstitutional

Law banning secret filming of animal abuse on farms ruled unconstitutional | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
Idaho law carried a 1-year jail penalty and up to $5,000 fine for first offenders.
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This Bizarre Bill Would Protect Discrimination Against Gays—and, Um, Single Mothers

This Bizarre Bill Would Protect Discrimination Against Gays—and, Um, Single Mothers | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
Republicans in Congress had many ways to demonstrate how much they disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. They could have passed a resolution condemning the ruling, whipped up votes for a constitutional amendment to overturn it, or encouraged...
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Supreme Court throws out conviction for violent Facebook postings

Supreme Court throws out conviction for violent Facebook postings | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
Justices rule it’s not enough to consider postings a threat without examining the writer’s mental state.
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Is a sign law that exempts governmental and religious emblems, as well as ‘works of art,’ content-neutral?

Is a sign law that exempts governmental and religious emblems, as well as ‘works of art,’ content-neutral? | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The Supreme Court is being asked to decide this (or perhaps to send the case back down to the Fourth Circuit to reconsider).
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Some “Teachable” First Amendment Moments in the Supreme Court’s Oral Argument About Confederate Flags on Texas License Plates

Some “Teachable” First Amendment Moments in the Supreme Court’s Oral Argument About Confederate Flags on Texas License Plates | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar comments on the case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Texas’s rejection of a custom license plate application that included the ...
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When Does Government Speech Cross a Line?

When Does Government Speech Cross a Line? | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The Supreme Court considers whether putting a Confederate battle flag on a license plate should be different than urging Americans to eat more beef.
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Justices Look for Reasoning Behind Texas Ban on Confederate License Plate

Justices Look for Reasoning Behind Texas Ban on Confederate License Plate | Civil Liberty Readings | Scoop.it
The question for the Supreme Court Monday was whether the ban violated the First Amendment. Many of the justices were not happy with either possible answer.
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