Wednesday, July 12, 2017

UK Supreme Court Ruling on Pension Rights for Same-Sex Married Couples

In the case of Walker v Innospec Limited, the UK Supreme Court "disapplied" part of the Equality Act which allowed Walker’s former employer to refuse to pay a pension on his death to his husband on the grounds that the act was incompatible with European Union law. You can hear the judgment summary (judgment of 12 July) read by Lord Kerr here. 6 min 34 sec, no transcript, but a two-page press summary is available here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The End of the U.S. Supreme Court OT 2016

The end of June means the end of the U.S. Supreme Court term which traditionally is when the decisions on hard cases, left to the last, are announced. This year, because the Court had only 8 justices for most of the term, not as many controversial cases were heard.

If you want to hear the results for the cases we have talked about in this blog --

You can find the decision in the Slants case  here  (previously presented here and here), The Court held the group could use the name the Slants.

You can find the answer to the question asked in Trinity Lutheran - can the state of Missouri refuse to help a Lutheran preschool rubberize its playground - here. No it can't.

You can hear the result of the shot across the border case here. The Court said it was wrong to grant the border patrol agent qualified immunity from suit and sent the case back to a lower court.

Another decision of interest is about a citizenship rule which distinguished between unmarried mothers and unmarried fathers who had to reside for much longer before being eligible to transmit their citizenship.

Coming up next term, with a full complement of justices, are cases about President Trump's travel ban,  whether a baker can refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, and gerrymandering.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Divorce Tourism"

Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s program, The Law Report, has a discussion about international aspects of divorce law, or what they call "divorce tourism". The program examines question of whose family law applies, or more exactly which court system will have jurisdiction. 28 min, transcript available.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

More on Loving v. Virginia

On NPR's Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviews the author of a book about the appropriately named U.S. Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia, which was handed down 50 years ago this month and which struck down a Virginia law forbidding interracial marriages. 42 min, 57 sec, transcript available. The story has also recently been told in a film, Loving. June 12th, the day the decision was announced, has been designated as  Loving Day. There's even a special song to commemorate the occasion -- with a tutorial to help you play it on your own guitar.
BBC's Law in Action is Back with a New Series

The first program can be found here. Rather than talk about British news in an election week, in this episode Joshua Rosenberg turns to U.S. news - the appointment of a special prosecutor to examine the link between the Russians and Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Also in the program, news about a recent Indian Supreme Court decision and a report of the debate in South Africa about its membership in the International Criminal Court. Next Tuesday's episode will talk about the results of the British election.

Monday, May 29, 2017

More on The Slants and Free Speech in the Supreme Court

NPR’s planet money has a story about the effort of a group called The Slants to obtain a trademark for their name. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to give its stamp of approval, saying it was disparaging to people of Asian descent.. The group, composed of Asian Americans, is invoking their right of free speech and their case will be decided soon by the Supreme Court. 2O min, transcript available.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Presidential Power in the U.S.

NPR’s All Things Considered of May 16 look at the legal questions around President Trump’s use of executive power and its challenges in the courts can be found here. Various law professors give their views on the issue. 3 min 47 sec, transcript available.