Not since Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union in 1959 has the United States had to find room for new stars in the field of blue on Old Glory. While several unsuccessful attempts have been made at statehood for the District of Columbia, the next few years should bring some serious discussions about statehood for Puerto Rico following a referendum vote in the territory on Tuesday.
Just four more days until Election Day. The candidates have debated and campaigned. They’ve shaken hands and kissed babies. They’ve posed, stumped, endorsed and “approved this message.” And now it’s up to us. Come Tuesday night, we’ll finally know who the winner is.
Nearly every holiday has been the subject of at least a handful of notable lawsuits and Halloween is no exception. Scary costumes, haunted houses, wandering in the dark and taking candy from strangers are perfect ingredients for frightfully bad legal actions.
It’s election season, and election season inevitably brings its share of lawsuits as parties, candidates and committees challenge the way we conduct our elections. This election season has been no different and while the big election-related legal news of the week was the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal over Ohio’s early voting hours, a major election-related legal story from last month got very little press time.
In more than a dozen cases over nearly three decades, the Supreme Court of the United States has been asked to determine whether programs that grant benefits, bonuses or advantages to minority groups are in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The cases frequently feature lively oral arguments, multiple dissents and votes of 5–4 or 6–3 among the Justices.
A stepparent files to request custody of their stepchild following a divorce. A grandparent seeks to gain custody of their grandchild. An aunt or uncle seeks to gain control over the care of a nephew whose living condition is questionable. In each case, the person trying to earn custodial rights will almost certainly ask to have visitation with the child while the custody case is pending.
In 2011 the world was captivated by the wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate. Various sources estimated the worldwide television audience to be in excess of one billion viewers for the nuptials of the future King and Queen of the United Kingdom. This past week, however, a very different kind of attention was drawn to the Princess as a result of the publication of revealing pictures of her sunbathing topless while on vacation in France.
It will be difficult for the U.S. Supreme Court to garner more attention to its 2012–2013 term than it received a year ago in a calendar that included major cases on immigration and health care reform. That said, this Supreme Court term, which begins with oral arguments in early October, is not without noteworthy cases. Among them: