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Mar 26, 2013

Factbox – Major U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gay rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two gay marriage cases the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this week begin a new chapter in its review of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It has been a decade since the court last took up a gay-rights dispute. That 2003 case from Texas and the court’s two earlier gay-rights decisions were closely fought and produced strong dissenting opinions.

Mar 26, 2013

Factbox: Major Supreme Court decisions on gay rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two gay marriage cases the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this week begin a new chapter in its review of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It has been a decade since the court last took up a gay-rights dispute. That 2003 case from Texas and the court’s two earlier gay-rights decisions were closely fought and produced strong dissenting opinions.

Mar 22, 2013

Gay-marriage cases to define Supreme Court legacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of marriage for gay men and lesbians in the coming week, the justices will be taking a major step toward defining their own legacy.

In their first-ever review of same-sex marriage laws, the nine justices on the country’s highest court are hearing arguments on Monday and Tuesday on one of the most politically charged dilemmas of the day, bound with themes of religion, sexuality and social custom.

Mar 20, 2013

Majority supports U.S. benefits for same-sex couples: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the Supreme Court prepares to decide whether the federal government may deny benefits to same-sex married couples that it allows their heterosexual counterparts, Americans seem already to have made up their minds.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said married gay and lesbian couples should be able to qualify for Social Security survivor payments and other benefits provided to married heterosexual couples, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling of 2,886 people between March 5 and March 14.

Feb 28, 2013

Analysis – In U.S. voting-rights case, liberal justices pitch to Kennedy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barely a minute into a U.S. Supreme Court hearing, liberal justices began a strategic barrage of questions that came down to this: Why should a time-honoured plank of the 1965 Voting Rights Act be invalidated in a case from Alabama with its history of racial discrimination?

What followed constituted a classic example of how justices can try to use oral arguments to dramatic effect and influence a swing vote justice. Key players were Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, appointees of President Barack Obama and the newest members of the bench. The likely target of their remarks: Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who is often the decisive fifth vote on racial dilemmas.

Feb 28, 2013

Analysis: In voting-rights case, liberal justices pitch to Kennedy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barely a minute into a U.S. Supreme Court hearing, liberal justices began a strategic barrage of questions that came down to this: Why should a time-honored plank of the 1965 Voting Rights Act be invalidated in a case from Alabama with its history of racial discrimination?

What followed constituted a classic example of how justices can try to use oral arguments to dramatic effect and influence a swing vote justice. Key players were Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, appointees of President Barack Obama and the newest members of the bench. The likely target of their remarks: Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who is often the decisive fifth vote on racial dilemmas.

Feb 24, 2013

Justices poised to query voting rights focus on South

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When the Supreme Court last scrutinized the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2009, Justice Anthony Kennedy peered down from the bench and asked why federal rules were tougher for Alabama and Georgia than for Michigan and Ohio.

Chief Justice John Roberts pointedly added that it seemed lawyers defending the rules, which were created to protect black voters, believed that even in modern times “southerners are more likely to discriminate than northerners.”

Jan 27, 2013

Insight: Lawyers in U.S. gay marriage cases aim pitches at Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – On separate occasions in recent days, lawyers on opposite sides of a U.S. Supreme Court fight over same-sex marriage took an elevator to the fifth floor of the Department of Justice, entered a large conference room and made a pitch to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and other top Obama administration lawyers.

Each side wants the administration’s support in a late-March showdown on the fundamental rights of gay men and lesbians.

Dec 7, 2012

Factbox: Major U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gay rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two gay marriage cases the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear on Friday begin a new chapter in its review of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It has been nearly a decade since the court last took up a gay rights dispute. That 2003 case from Texas, along with the court’s two earlier gay rights rulings on the issue, were closely fought and produced strong dissenting opinions. Here is how the justices divided in past cases:

Dec 4, 2012

Special Report: Behind U.S. race cases, a little-known recruiter

SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine (Reuters) – Sometime in the next few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide two cases that could fundamentally reshape the rules of race in America.

In one, a young white woman named Abigail Fisher is suing the University of Texas over affirmative action in college admissions. In the other, an Alabama county wants to strike down a law that requires certain states to get federal permission to change election rules.