June 25, 2014

Lower courts almost overshadow SCOTUS on #gaymarriage and #WarOnTerror

Two big rulings today, from two different appellate courts, each almost as big, relative to the level of the court, as the Supreme Court's cellphone privacy ruling.

First, a federal district court judge in Oregon said the no-fly list is unconstitutional because it violates due process of the Fifth Amendment:
Previously the government has argued that because other modes of travel on land and sea are available, there is no right to travel by air and no need to change the no-fly list procedures.

“Such an argument ignores the numerous reasons that an individual may have for wanting or needing to travel overseas quickly, such as the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, a business opportunity or a religious obligation,” District Judge Anna J. Brown wrote. “A prohibition on flying turns routine international travel into an odyssey that imposes significant logistical, economic and physical demands on travelers.”

Now, Team Obama's likely response, if it loses this case at both appellate and Supreme Court level? Expand this to a no-train, no-bus zone, I'm sure. Given that Dear Leader is a Bushie or worse on privacy rights and the War on Terra, what else would you expect?

More seriously, given that an appellate court remanded this back to district court after saying it was improperly dismissed, I'm sure the Justice Department is working up a tweaked version of the no-fly list, so that The Most Transparent Administration in History™ will make it easy to get their names removed if they are there inadvertently.

Oh, was that not serious enough, either?

And, the first appellate court to rule on the matter says that Utah's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. The 10th Circuit, in Denver, upheld the district court's ruling.

This is what I'm sure Anthony Kennedy, in his hair-splitting ruling on California's Proposition 8 and the feds' Defense of Marriage Act all of a year ago was hoping to avoid ... a stampede toward gay marriage bans being tossed.

But, it's happening.

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