Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:40 pm
The standard by which a person is judged to be mentally competent enough to face execution for a crime will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed Monday to hear a Florida case revolving around that issue.
The capital punishment case, Hall, Freddie L. v. Fla., centers on the standard for judging mental disability and how state officials arrive at that judgment. The case will be argued in Washington early in 2014.
Florida filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court in a long-running battle with Georgia over water withdrawals that have damaged Apalachicola Bay, but it may be too late to help the Franklin County seafood workers who were already struggling to survive.
Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi followed through on an August announcement that Florida would seek injunctive relief so more water would flow to the bay, which collapsed last year in the face of a historic drought and dwindling releases of freshwater from Georgia.
While the Supreme Court decision knocking down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is getting a lot of attention Tuesday, there's another ruling that's going to be of high interest to property owners across the nation.
The dual victories the Supreme Court handed to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday seemed to temporarily shift the focus of the fight from Washington to the states.
For instance, one of the more notable reactions to the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court ruling that blocked California's Proposition 8 from taking effect came from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The benefits will be substantial for those who get them, but the beneficiaries of the U. S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act are just a small subset of Florida's LGBT population.
They are the couples with marriage licenses from states where same-sex marriage is legal. Until now, DOMA prevented them from receiving tax breaks, Social Security, pension considerations and myriad other benefits that the federal government extends to married couples.
The U.S. Supreme Court is finishing its year with rulings on three major cases: affirmative action in college admissions, the pre-clearance requirements of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the status of gay marriage (Prop 8 and DOMA.)
Join host Linda Wertheimer tonight with guests Ron Elving, Senior Washington Editor; Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent; Tom Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUSblog and Michael Fauntroy, Associate Professor of Political Science at Howard University for an hour-long special that will look at these rulings and reflect on the past year.
Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, when the court heard oral arguments in the case that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Plaintiff Edith Windsor of New York waves to supporters in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after the court heard arguments on her Defense of Marriage Act case.
Credit Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images
Michael Knaapen (left) and his husband, John Becker, embrace outside the Supreme Court after news of the justices' ruling. DOMA prohibited married gay couples from receiving the same federal benefits that straight couples are granted.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
The court also cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California. One of the attorneys in that case, David Boise (center), speaks as he's surrounded by plaintiffs in the case, couples Paul Katami (from left) and Jeff Zarrillo, and Sandy Stier and Kris Perry.
Credit Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
Brandon Benoit, Martha Acevedo (left) and Briana Castaneda celebrate the Supreme Court rulings at Equality California, a nonprofit civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of LGBT people.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
Allan Hoyle of North Carolina (center) protests gay marriage outside the Supreme Court.
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At San Francisco's City Hall, supporters of gay marriage celebrate the Supreme Court DOMA ruling.
Credit Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images
The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage, who cheered the ruling outside the court.