supreme court

The United States Supreme Court opens a new term Monday, and, as always, many of the most contentious issues facing the country — including abortion, birth control coverage, public employee unions, affirmative action in higher education, voter participation — are likely to be before the court.

But there is a difference this term. Chief Justice John Roberts, despite his overall conservative record on the bench, has become a punching bag for candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

Kentucky's Gov. Steve Beshear says he's powerless to stop Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis from refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — something she has done for consecutive days, flouting rulings from federal courts that include the Supreme Court and prompting a motion to hold her in contempt of court.

Despite a Supreme Court ruling that compelled a Rowan County clerk in Kentucky to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis refused to comply once again on Tuesday morning by denying marriage licenses to everyone.

Ryland Barton, a reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, reports that Davis said she made the decision "under God's authority."

Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky who has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, lost her bid for a stay Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court denied her application.

As is often the case in such rejections, the decision came without comment: "The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied."

The court's one-line order did not mention whether any justices dissented.

My Make OU, 123rf Stock Photo

A preliminary hearing for the lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was held in Ashland Monday, but there was no ruling. Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, saying her religious convictions prevented her from doing so. 

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

  Kentucky’s Attorney General’s office said the state's same-sex marriage ban should stand, but that overturning it would grant gay couples the same legal protections as straight couples.  

The state made its defense of the ban today in response to a lawsuit brought by Gregory Bourke and Michael De Leon of Louisville, who were married in Canada nine years ago.  Assistant Attorney General Clay Barkley asked the judge to dismiss the case saying the men lack standing to challenge the law.  

Supreme Court DOMA Ruling Doesn't Affect Kentucky Law

Jun 26, 2013
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The U.S. Supreme's Court ruling Wednesday striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act does not impact Kentucky laws regarding the definition of marriage. Kentucky voters in 2004 approved an amendment to the state constitution defining a marriage as being between one man and one woman. 

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan over his corruption conviction. The justices turned away Ryan's appeal without comment yesterday. 

The former governor wanted them to reconsider his conviction based on a 2010 decision saying honest service fraud requires bribery and kickbacks. Ryan says the jury instructions at his trial were wrong, and that it was never proven that he took bribes. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn his conviction, and the high court refused to reconsider that decision.