/ June 8, 2009

Today At the Supreme Court

On a busy Monday in the high court, the Justices issued a number of opinions and granted cert to a few more, but failed to do so in one case that would have drawn monumental attention. We’ll highlight just a couple of the stand-out moments below:

In the case of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Company Inc., et al., the majority made a landmark decision (5-4) regarding the position of state supreme court judges in cases involving parties that have contributed to their campaigns. Although Justice Kennedy, for the majority, opined that not all contributions lead to bias, the amount of money in question in this particular case led to a strong feeling it could not be decided in a fair manner for both sides. State guidelines regarding when recusal is necessary were unclear in West Virginia, the state in which the case originated, paving its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Justices also determined it was not yet time to hear the Constitutional argument regarding H.R. 2401, used by the military since 1994. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, as it is more commonly known, was challenged on the grounds that it keeps openly homosexual individuals out of the military. As it stands currently, there is no constitutional right to serve in the military. It was this provision that individuals opposing the policy were hoping to have changed if the Court had chosen to hear the case.

Source: The Washington Post

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