(Huffington Post) WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday set the United States on a historic civil rights path, paving the way for the majority of Americans to reside in states where same-sex marriage is legal.
The court declined to hear appeals from five states that were challenging lower-court rulings legalizing same-sex marriage. By passing on that debate, the court gave a final legal stamp of approval to marriage equality in five states: Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin. It also set the stage for legalization in six other states that also fall under the lower courts’ jurisdiction: Colorado, Wyoming, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
When all is said and done in those states (which could happen in short order,according to the Associated Press), same-sex marriage will be legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
(The Hill) Groups on the left and right are uniting behind calls to end what they say is the rise of a “militarized” police force in the United States.
They say the controversial police tactics seen this week in Ferguson, Mo., are not isolated to the St. Louis County Police Department and warn the rise of heavily armed law enforcement agencies has become an imminent threat to civil liberties.
“What we’re seeing today in Ferguson is a reflection of the excessive militarization of police that has been happening in towns across America for decades,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU is aligned with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and groups on the right who are calling for an end to a controversial Defense Department program that supplies local police departments with surplus military equipment, such as armored tanks, machine guns and tear gas.
According to the Defense Logistics Agency, more than $4 billion in discounted military equipment has been sold to local police departments since the 1990s.
A rare moment of broad bipartisan agreement. We’ll see if it translates into action.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The FBI is investigating possible civil rights violations after a suburban St. Louis police officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager.
Cheryl Mimura, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s St. Louis field office, says the agency opened an investigation Monday into possible civil rights violations arising from the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police say Brown was shot multiple times Saturday in a scuffle with an officer in Ferguson.
Mimura says the FBI is monitoring the case and working with St. Louis County police.
MILWAUKEE — The latest count by The Associated Press shows clerks in 48 Wisconsin counties are issuing licenses to same-sex couples who want to get married. Hundreds of same-sex couples have wed in Wisconsin since Friday, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.
Wm. Glasheen, /The Post-Crescent (AP)
Same-sex couples and their supporters take a “selfie” photo at the Outagamie County Clerk marriage license office on Monday, June 9, 2014 in Appleton, Wis.
MILWAUKEE — The latest count by The Associated Press shows clerks in 48 Wisconsin counties are issuing licenses to same-sex couples who want to get married.
Twenty-four of the state’s 72 county clerks’ offices say they are not issuing licenses.
A few counties who had not been accepting applications for licenses started doing so late Monday after a federal judge did not order a halt to the issuing of licenses
Hundreds of same-sex couples have wed in Wisconsin since Friday, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.
Some county clerks say they are still in limbo because Crabb did not order a stop to the issuing of licenses, but she also didn’t order anyone to issue them.