LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Justice Department Keeps Up Pressure On Texas Voting Laws

POLITICS AND LEADERSHIP: Last month, the U.S. Justice Department asked a panel of judges in San Antonio to order continued scrutiny of Texas' voting procedures, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June nullifying the requirement for the state to seek federal approval for any changes to...

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Abercrombie Calls Gay Marriage Special Session

Saying the votes are there, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) called for a special session next month to allow lawmakers to act on legislation that would make the Aloha State the 14th to legalize same-sex marriage. The session has been scheduled for Oct. 28. "The decision to call a special session...

Oklahoma Governor Blocks Same-Sex Benefits For National Guard

FALLIN BLOCKS SAME-SEX BENEFITS FOR GUARD: Saying she was honoring the wishes of Sooner State voters, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has ordered her state's National Guard units to stop processing requests for military benefits for same-sex couples. The directive comes after the Guard had previously...

same sex wedding bands

States Continue to Restrict and Expand Opportunities to Vote

AZ SWITCHING TO TWO-TRACK VOTING SYSTEM: Arizona could have a dual-track voting system requiring the use of two different ballots in next year's elections, as a result of an opinion issued last week by the state's attorney general, Tom Horne. Under the new system, only those voters who registered...

Same-Sex Marriage in Hawaii and Illinois, Abortion in Michigan and Oklahoma

HI LEGALIZES GAY MARRIAGE: Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) signed the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013" (SB 1) last week, enabling the Aloha State to edge out Illinois to become the 15th in the nation to legalize same-sex marriages. Illinois passed its own same-sex marriage bill last week (SB...

Virginia Department of Taxation Will Not Recognize Joint Returns for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor

BY: THOMAS W. ALDOUS, JR. The Virginia Department of Taxation recently announced that same-sex couples married in another state must file separate Virginia income tax returns even though they file a federal return as a married couple. Background . In United States v. Windsor , 186 L. Ed. 2d...

Once Again: Voting Rights and Gay Marriage In The News

VOTING RIGHTS BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: A bill introduced in Congress last month would require four southern states to once again obtain federal preapproval before making any changes to their voting laws by replacing parts of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The...

Skirmishes In States Over Same-Sex Marriage

SKIRMISHES IN STATES OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Last week was a busy one for same-sex marriage, with significant developments on the issue in multiple states. Some of the biggest news came out of Nevada, where Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) announced the state was...

Brewer Vetoes Anti-Gay Bill, More Loom Across States

BREWER VETOES ANTI-GAY BILL, MORE LOOM ACROSS STATES: Amidst much hue and cry last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed SB 1062, the highly controversial measure that would have allowed businesses to legally cite their religious beliefs as reason to refuse services to gay, bisexual and transgender...

Governor Beshear Orders Defense Of Kentucky Gay Marriage Ban

BESHEAR ORDERS DEFENSE OF KY GAY MARRIAGE BAN: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said the Bluegrass State would hire a private sector attorney to defend the state's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. Beshear made the announcement last Tuesday shortly after state Attorney...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Abortion Rules, Abortion Rules, and More Abortion Rules

SOCIAL POLICY: A federal judge upholds an ARIZONA law that bans pill-induced abortions after seven weeks of pregnancy. U.S. District Judge David C. Bury said overturning the law was "not in the public interest," allowing it to go into effect last Tuesday (AZCENTRAL.COM). • WEST VIRGINIA...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Resulting in Significant Impact on Employee Benefit Plans

On May 20, 2014, a federal judge in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf struck down both Pennsylvania's ban on marriage for same-sex couples and its prohibition against recognition of same-sex marriages legally entered into in other jurisdictions, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ...

Diana Richmond on Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor: After Jubilation, What?

Last month, as a result of the decision of United States District Court Judge John E. Jones III in Whitewood v. Wolf , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68771 (M.D. Pa. May 20, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the State of Pennsylvania became the 19th state to recognize same-sex marriage...

Whitewood v. Wolf Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Pennsylvania

In a decision handed down on May 20th, Federal District Judge John E. Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage, concluding that "all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage." Whitewood v. Wolf , No. 1:13-CV-1861, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 68771, at...

State Net Capitol Journal Constitutional Rights Updates: Voting Law Challenges Create Uncertainty Ahead Of Midterms

Just months ahead of the midterm elections in November, court challenges to tough new voting laws in several states have thrown the electoral process into legal limbo. Nearly all of the laws — imposing strict photo ID requirements and restricting early voting — were passed since 2011 in Republican...

State Net Capitol Journal Constitutional Rights Updates: Governor Pence Says Indiana Won't Recognize Gay Marriages Performed In State After Court Ruling

PENCE SAYS IN WON'T RECOGNIZE GAY MARRIAGES: The lead legal counsel for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced last week that the Hoosier State will not recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages performed in June before a court ruling allowing those unions to go forth was struck down. In a memo sent...

7th Cir. Explains What Same-Sex Marriage and Voter ID Have in Common

By Eric G. Pearson What do cases involving challenges to same-sex-marriage and voter ID laws have in common? The answer, according to a per curiam opinion issued last week by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Frank v. Walker , Nos. 14-2058 & 14-2059...