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- Sharee Langenstein, Gun Rights, First Amendment Rights, and Government Relations activist
On April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges. This highly anticipated case concerned two questions. The first, is whether states are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The second question is whether states are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were lawfully married in a different state.
To discuss the case, we have John Eastman, who is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law.
The long-anticipated gay marriage cases have now been argued in the Supreme Court. The questions presented are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize amarriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction. Join a special Courthouse Steps edition of Teleforum as we discuss the oral argument: Which advocate seemed to fair best? Who fielded the most difficult questions? Which justices seemed most skeptical of which side of the argument? What are the possible outcomes of the case, and what are the implications of those possible outcomes?
On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court granted cert in four same-sex marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit (one case from each of four states of the circuit, -- Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky). The questions presented in the cases are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction. This Teleforum previewed the strongest and weakest points of argument for each side in the case.
The “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act requires a mandatory minimum fifteen-year sentence for anyone who has three prior “violent felony” convictions and is found to unlawfully possess a firearm. This clause has been addressed at the Supreme Court on numerous occasions in recent years, with Justice Scalia suggesting that it is unconstitutionally vague. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Johnson v. United States in November with no mention of the question, and after two months of silence re-scheduled the case for additional argument and instructed the parties to address this question directly. Many Court-watchers have suggested that there may now be five votes on the Court to declare the residual clause unconstitutionally vague.