The Week in Headlines: The Supreme Court's Big Debate
What happened this week? Lots. And our friends at theSkimm have you covered with a run-down of the top headlines. (Want them delivered daily to your inbox? Sign up at theskimm.com)
Here Comes the Bride (And Bride)?
The Supreme Court will hear two cases this week that could lead to big decisions for gay marriage. Yesterday, it was all about California’s ban on it, and then today, a challenge to a part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
What Are They Deciding On?
SCOTUS will think over whether or not the federal government can refuse to recognize gay marriage and whether or not states can even ban it to begin with. The main question: Does the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection allow for legal differences between straight and gay couples?
What is This Prop 8 Business?
This case is the one to watch. In 2008, California approved gay couples’ right to get married. Thousands did so. Then California voters passed Proposition 8, which defined marriage in the state as only between a man and a woman. It ended up at an appeals court, which said once a right (or punishment) like marriage is granted, it can’t be taken away by voters. Defenders of Prop 8 want the Supreme Court to reverse this and ban gay marriage. Gay marriage supporters and opponents of Prop 8 want the court to recognize a constitutional right to marry. The court’s ruling is expected to decide a fundamental issue: Do same-sex couples have a right to get married?
And the Other One?
A case challenging a section of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA if you’re cool. DOMA is a 1996 federal law that prevents the federal government from recognizing gay marriage in states where it’s legal. Former President Clinton signed DOMA into law; now Bubba says no to DOMA, yes to gay marriage. This case is more limited than Prop 8, as it’s about whether or not legally married gay couples can get the same federal benefits that straight couples can.
The Why (Do I Need to Skimm?)
Tides are turning. Nine states (plus DC) have OK’d gay marriage and several more allow civil unions. There is a maze of possible outcomes, but a ruling would likely come right around summer break. This is the first time the highest court in all the land is taking a serious look at same-sex marriage, debating probably its biggest civil-rights fight in decades. Whether you’re for Carol marrying Susan or want Carol back with Ross, it’s a big effing deal.
Repeat After Me
What to Say While Trying to Negotiate
I want in but I don’t want to pay. This only works if you’re Warren Buffett. Buffett and Goldman Sachs reached a deal that will make Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, one of Goldman’s biggest shareholders. The amazing part? Berkshire Hathaway will be spending zip. Zero. Stingy with dinero. The two companies have reportedly agreed on a plan that would settle the major investment Berkshire made into Goldman during the ’08 financial crisis. Instead of using his right to buy lots of shares, Buffett went the Costco route and took home a deal. The deal, worth around $1.5 billion, is a win-win for both sides. Berkshire scored big and Goldman gets to avoid a potentially dilutive stock sale. Hey, Mr. Buffett, can you negotiate for us?
What to Say When Your Co-Worker Takes the Credit
Your recollection seems to be a bit off. A member of SEAL Team 6—yeah, the one that killed Osama bin Laden—has a bone to pick with “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden.” A few months ago, the unidentified shooter described in detail to Esquire the moment he confronted bin Laden: face-to-face with a gun “within reach” of the terrorist. Now another member on that team is telling CNN that’s not quite how things went down, calling it “complete B.S.” Lessons learned: There’s no “I” in team and bin Laden is still dead.
What to Say While Debating "Leaning In"
President Obama appointed Julia Pierson as the first female director of the Secret Service. Pierson was previously the agency’s Chief of Staff. The last time you heard about the Secret Service could have been when several of its agents were let go (or, er, decided it was a good time to leave) after allegations that they got real friendly with prostitutes in Colombia while prepping for the president’s arrival. Don’t mess with a woman who speaks in code and can take you out.
What to Say When You Get Lost
Grrr! I could eat you, Apple! The computer giant, which has been criticized for its bad and sometimes just plain wrong direction abilities, has decided to work on its ability to make sure you can find your way around—inside. Apple bought startup WiFiSLAM in order to add location ID technology for when you’re inside a building. There goes your afternoon snack break cover. This is part of Apple’s plan to try to improve its Maps presence as it competes with Google. Instead of relying on the big G’s mapping software, Apple introduced its own last year, which didn’t work out too well. iMStillLost
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Photo of Supreme Court courtesy of Shutterstock.
About The Author
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