Weekly News Update

USSC Gay Marriage Comic

*The biggest news of the week came when the Supreme Court allowed federal appellate rulings to stand, granting same-sex marriages in five states—a major surprise that could signal the inevitability of the right of same-sex marriage nationwide. Nearly two-thirds of same-sex couples in the United States will soon live in states where they can marry. [NY Times]

*A New York appellate court will soon consider whether chimps should have the same rights as human beings. The extraordinary proceeding is the result of a lengthy battle by animal-rights activists who argue that animals with human qualities are entitled to human protections, including freedom from captivity. [New York Post]

*Potential suits against the Dallas hospital that sent home a patient later diagnosed with Ebola face long odds in the face of state medical malpractice laws. Texas tort-reform measures have made it one of the hardest places in the United States to sue over medical errors, especially those that occurred in the emergency room, according to plaintiffs’ lawyers and legal experts. [Huffington Post]

*Abortion-rights lawyers are predicting “a showdown” at the United States Supreme Court after federal appellate judges allowed full implementation of a law that has closed more than 80% of Texas’ abortion clinics. [Washington Times]

*The United States Supreme Court temporarily blocked gay marriages in Idaho and Nevada after a last-minute appeal by Idaho state officials. Hours later, the stay was lifted for Nevada. [USA Today

*Abortion doctor Steven Brigham’s decades of disciplinary trouble came to a head this week when the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners yanked his last remaining medical license. The board cited Brigham for doing late-term abortions that began in New Jersey and ended in Maryland, violating the laws of both states. [Philly.com]

*Mayor Bill de Blasio has made no secret of his distaste for the NYPD’s demographics unit, saying as a candidate that he was “deeply troubled” by the unit’s tactic of surveilling mosques. However, in a 79-page brief filed this week, the city argued that the unit’s monitoring in New Jersey did not cause material damage to several individuals and groups there. [NY Times]