Friday, February 25, 2011

Legislation in the News Contest -- Week Five

This week I received a bumper crop of great pieces about legislation and statutory interpretation, including an ABC News story about a vote in the House of Representatives to ban government funding for Planned Parenthood; a New York Times story about an upcoming Supreme Court argument over the meaning of the federal law that allows the government to detain individuals who are suspected of terrorism as "material witnesses"; a Times editorial on whether Title VII applies to discrimination against the unemployed; pieces from Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal on the constitutional challenges to the Obama health care reform law; and an NPR story about a Supreme Court argument over the scope of Congress's power to enact criminal laws to implement international treaties.

The winning submissions this week focus on the announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department will no longer defend the provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages that are recognized by the state in which the couple lives. Here is an ABC News report on the announcement. The Administration's legal reasoning is laid out in a letter from the Attorney General to Speaker John Boehner, which can be found here.

Congratulations to Alex Banzhaf, Tommy Moore, and Christina Carvalho, who submitted the winning entries. Submissions for next week's contest are due next Friday, March 4, at 9:00 a.m.

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