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Published: 03/22/11

South Dakota Governor Signs Tough Abortion Bill Into Law

By  Politics Daily Staff - Politics Daily
South Dakota Governor Signs Tough Abortion Bill Into Law

It's not easy for a woman to get an abortion in South Dakota. There is only one abortion clinic in the state. As of Tuesday, it got even more difficult. Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill requiring women seeking an abortion to wait three days after meeting with a doctor and receive counseling before undergoing the procedure, news agencies reported. The measure brought condemnation from abortion rights groups. CBS News.com said that the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of South Dakota and Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced Tuesday they plan to file a legal chal...

Published: 03/2/11

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Military Funeral Protesters

By  not in system - AOL News
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Military Funeral Protesters

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families. The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral. Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas church known for its vehement anti-gay po...

Published: 02/25/11

Montana Lawmakers and Others Flex Their States' Rights Muscles

By  Michael Ames - Politics Daily
Montana Lawmakers and Others Flex Their States' Rights Muscles

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has never been shy about giving the federal government a piece of his mind. But the new state legislature is taking it a step further. It is considering a dozen bills that aim to nullify various federal laws within Montana's borders -- bills Schweitzer considers "un-American." Montana certainly isn't alone in challenging Washington. In the wake of health care reform passed a little less than a year ago and midterm elections that installed conservatives at all levels of government, the states' rights movement is enjoying a Renaissance. The recharged anti-federal c...

Published: 02/5/11

11 California Students Charged for Heckling Israeli Ambassador

By  Hugh Collins - AOL News
11 California Students Charged for Heckling Israeli Ambassador

Eleven University of California students were charged on Friday with misdemeanors for disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States last year. Ambassador Michael Oren visited the UC Irvine campus on February 8, 2010. Students, believed to be members of the Muslim Student Union, repeatedly interrupted his speech, accusing him of such things as propagating murder and being a war criminal. Orange County's district attorney says that the students planned the protest and he has hit them with charges that could send them to jail for up to six months, according to The Orange Co...

Published: 02/2/11

Judge's Ten Commandments Display in Courtroom Ruled Unconstitutional

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
Judge's Ten Commandments Display in Courtroom Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled unanimously Wednesday that a local trial judge in Ohio has no constitutional right to hang in his courtroom a poster of the Ten Commandments along with his own pointed comments about "moral relativism" and the rule of law. In a 17-page order, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the presence of the poster in the courtroom of Richland County Common Pleas Court Judge James Deweese violated the First Amendment rights of lawyers and litigants appearing before him. Asserting that the judge's "secular" justification for the written message was "a sham,...

Published: 02/1/11

Health Care Scorecard: Two Federal Judges for the Law, Two Against

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
Health Care Scorecard: Two Federal Judges for the Law, Two Against

Ten months after its historic passage, four federal trial judges have evaluated the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The two Republican appointees who have looked at the health care reform law have deemed it unconstitutional -- an unlawful overextension of congressional power. But the two Democratic appointees who have looked at the law have declared it constitutional -- a rational expression of Congress' authority to regulate a form of commerce. How could the same statutory language and legal precedent generate such disparate conclusions? The best likely explanation is the...

Published: 02/1/11

Opinion: Health Reform Will Survive in the Courts

By  Ian Millhiser - AOL News
Opinion: Health Reform Will Survive in the Courts

As America struggled to emerge from the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt threw his reputation behind a sweeping new safety net for seniors called Social Security -- and the courts quickly rebelled. The law was unprecedented, wrote U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Scott Wilson. Worse, said Wilson, it seizes power that rightfully belongs to the states and lodges it with big-government reformers in Washington. If Social Security is allowed to stand, Wilson concluded in his opinion declaring it unconstitutional, there will be no limits to what Congress can force people to do. Just over o...

Published: 01/31/11

Judge Throws Out Health Care Law, Calls Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
Judge Throws Out Health Care Law, Calls Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Florida voided the entirety of the nation's new health care law Monday, declaring that the Congress overstepped its constitutional authority last year when it mandated individual health insurance coverage by 2014. For the Obama administration, it was the second adverse ruling from the federal courts in just the past seven weeks and presaged a new round of legal appeals and political wrangling over the controversial health care initiative. In a 78-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, a 1983 appointee of President Reagan from the Northern District of Florida, wrot...

Published: 01/31/11

Donna D'Errico to Climb Mount Ararat in Search of Noah's Ark

By  David Moye - AOL News
Donna D'Errico to Climb Mount Ararat in Search of Noah's Ark

Former "Baywatch" star Donna D'Errico has enjoyed a pretty amazing career arc. But the 42-year-old actress, who recently turned down a spot on "Dancing With the Stars," is now focusing on Noah's ark. D'Errico, 42, is in training to fulfill a lifelong dream of climbing Mount Ararat in Turkey to search for the frozen remains of Noah's ark. According to Biblical legend, the ark was built centuries ago to protect Noah's family and two of every kind of animal during a flood lasting 40 days and 40 nights. After the great flood, the ark supposedly landed atop the mountain. Many believers have bee...

Published: 01/23/11

Professor Scalia Comes to Capitol Hill: Here Is His Constitutional Lesson Plan

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
Professor Scalia Comes to Capitol Hill: Here Is His Constitutional Lesson Plan

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, described just last week by a Washington law professor as "the first real celebrity justice" for his controversial public pronouncements, will come to Capitol Hill on Monday to lecture about constitutional law to some earnest members of the House of Representatives. He was invited to do so by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and tea party activist in Congress, as part of her effort to educate lawmakers about the nation's founding legal documents. Although Justice Scalia has been criticized in some quarters for accepting the invitation...

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