Supreme Court

Courtesy Whitehouse press office

  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is backing Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Garland met with Whitehouse Wednesday. Garland is making his customary rounds, meeting with members of Congress as he seeks the judgeship.

Garland faces opposition from Republican lawmakers who say they will not allow his confirmation to proceed.

Whitehouse said he’s working to ensure that Republican members of Congress will properly vet Garland.

Gay rights activists are asking how to re-focus their movement now that same-sex marriage is legal across the country. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Emily Wooldridge spoke with several Ocean State residents to find out what they think. 

She filed this audio postcard with the voices of Newport native Rodney Davis and his partner Brian Mills, Anthony Masselli and Providence Wendy Becker and her 12-year-old son.

RIPR file photo

Gay rights groups in Rhode Island say the pending Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage could have local impact. The court is considering a landmark case that may determine whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

Rhode Island already recognizes same-sex marriage, but Sandra Richards, president of the local chapter of the LGBTQ support group known as PFLAG, says she is still looking for the high court to weigh in.

"There are a lot of implications to marriage equality that affect the daily lives of everyone, even just traveling," Richards said.

The US Supreme Court made two high-profile decisions this week, and civil liberties again made for a hotly debate subject at the General Assembly this year. The head of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steve Brown, stopped by our studios to discuss those and other issues.

While the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity is blasting the RI Labor Relations Board decision to move ahead with a vote on unionizing state-subsidized child care workers, it is difficult to question the labor panel’s reasoning.

Some history here:  Mike Stenhouse, ceo of the conservative Freedom & Prosperity group, asked the labor board to delay a vote until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a challenge to a somewhat similar union quest   in Illinois.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan offered rare behind-the-court insights Tuesday at a forum celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Rhode Island royal charter.

It’s hard to manage getting by these days without using email, but the Supreme Court of the United States does just fine without it, said Justice Elena Kagan. Speaking to about 500 people at Trinity Repertory Theatre, Kagan said they type everything on paper and have couriers deliver it.

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue Cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The US Supreme Court has decided not to hear the custody case of accused killer Jason Pleau.  Pleau had been fighting a transfer from  Rhode Island’s prison system to federal custody to stand trial for murder.
    
Stanford law professor Jeffrey Fisher worked with Pleau’s legal team.  Fisher is disappointed with the Supreme Court decision.

Supreme Court refuses to hear Jason Pleau case

Jan 14, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The U-S Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case of accused killer Jason Pleau.   This means the case against  Pleau can move forward in a federal court.  

Reacting to today’s decision by the Supreme Court, United States Attorney Peter Neronha says in a prepared statement “I am obviously pleased with the decision of the United States Supreme Court.”   Neronha goes on to state this means Rhode Island must surrender Pleau to stand trial in federal court.

Photo of US Supreme Court building
Mike Renlund via Flickr

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Attorneys for accused killer Jason Pleau  are hopeful that Friday is the day they will hear that the US Supreme Court will take their case. Pleau  is the subject of a debate as to whether Rhode Island has the right to refuse to hand him over to federal authorities. The legal wrangling centers on an agreement between states and the federal government when it comes to transporting detainees.