Tennessee Supreme Court to rule about faith healing as child abuse

Once again, religious shield laws rear their head in the case of charges brought against the caregivers in a child’s death. The mother is trying to get out of her conviction of child neglect. One point glossed over in the story — the child died of painful bone cancer and the mother was charged with a misdemeanor.

Supreme Court will review case involving prayer vs. medicine in caring for sick child | Columbia Daily Herald.

The Tennessee Supreme Court may soon provide clarity to the murky issue of when parents can legally put their faith in prayer rather than medicine to heal a sick child.

The state’s high court has agreed to hear an appeal in a 12-year legal battle in Loudon County that pitted mother Jacqueline Crank’s religious freedom rights against state authorities who deemed her choice of prayer over medicine to be child abuse.

Jacqueline Crank’s daughter, Jessica Crank, died at the age of 15 in September 2002 from a rare form of bone cancer. Her mother, acting on the advice of alleged cult leader and Jessica’s “spiritual father” Ariel Sherman, spurned treatment in favor of prayer. After years of legal wrangling, both Crank and Sherman were convicted of misdemeanor child neglect.

Written by Sharon Hill.  To read the full article, click here.  For more information on family law and divorce matters in San Diego and/or Riverside county, please visit our website at www.jwbrookslaw.com, and follow us everywhere @jbwrookslaw.

Piercing the corporate veil

The unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court in Petrodel Resources Ltd v Prest led to a media circus. Now the dust has settled, we have more clarity on the repercussions of the case for those involved in family and company law. Even we were surprised by the rasp of admonition from the Court of Appeal last year in Petrodel Resources Ltd v Prest. Rimer and Patten LJJ identified a particular practice followed in the family courts, which Moylan J at first instance had adopted when giving judgment in the financial claims on divorce between Michael and Yasmin Prest (pictured). That practice was: where a spouse was the only shareholder of a company, which held assets but did not have third-party creditors, those assets could be transferred directly to the other spouse in settlement of his or her claims. Allowing the companies’ appeal, Rimer LJ described Moylan J’s reasoning as ‘heretical’; Patten LJ thundered that the practice ‘must now cease’. The unintended effect was of a Victorian maiden aunt impressing on some unruly charges the need to behave with rectitude and sobriety henceforth.

Written by Nicholas Bennett. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Reuters/Ipsos poll: Views on gay marriage still divided after court ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the dust settled on two major Supreme Court rulings this week that advanced gay marriage, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that while about a third of Americans oppose the decisions, a majority are either in favor or had no strong opinion.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the court’s decision to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to that between a man and a woman. The poll of 410 people who were asked separate questions about each ruling was conducted from Wednesday, the day of the rulings, and Friday.

Written by Lawrence Hurley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Both Sides on Same-Sex Marriage Issue Focus on the Next State Battlegrounds

With the expected addition of Californians after Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling, some 30 percent of Americans will live in states offering same-sex marriage.

Now the two sides of the marriage wars are gearing up to resume the costly state-by-state battles that could, in the hopes of each, spread marriage equality to several more states in the next few years, or reveal a brick wall of values that cannot be breached. There is wide agreement from both sides on where the next battlefields will be.

Proponents of same-sex marriage were already energized by victories in six states over the last year, bringing the total number authorizing such unions to 12 states, before California, and the District of Columbia. They are hoping for legislative victories this fall or next spring in Illinois and possibly New Jersey and Hawaii.

Written by Erik Eckholm. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Let’s Divorce Marriage from the Government

As a kid, I remember watching a rerun of the 1952 I Love Lucy Show episode in which Lucy finds her marriage license while cleaning out a closet. She discovers, to her horror, a typo that refers to husband Ricky’s last name as Bacardi rather than Ricardo, which causes her to question the legality of her marriage.

The ensuing hijinks are the makings of sitcom legend. I’ve thought about that episode in the years in which the contentious battle over gay marriage has unfolded, as it touches on a key part of the public-policy question embodied in the Supreme Court’s two big decisions this week. How important is the approval of the state — epitomized by the marriage license — in sanctioning a marriage?

In 2013 rather than the 1950s, a technical error on a marriage certificate wouldn’t cause anyone consternation. But let’s say, for some reason or another, the government invalidated my marriage. Would it matter?

Written by Steven Greenhut. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Justices appear hesitant as they hear arguments over same-sex marriage

Washington (CNN) — As partisans argued pointedly over same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court, justices inside hinted at their disparate views on the hot-button issue — though it’s far from clear how they will rule.
The stakes, though, are decidedly clearer. In the case argued Tuesday and another to be heard on Wednesday, the nine justices could fundamentally alter how American law treats marriage.
On one extreme, the court could extend a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to wed in all 50 states. On the other, it could deal a major setback to the gay rights movement. And then there are options in between.
“This was a deeply divided Supreme Court, and a court that seemed almost to be groping for an answer here,” said CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Written by Bill Mears and Michael Pearson. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Pro/Con: Same-Sex Marriage

EDITORS NOTE: In lieu of the Champion’s weekly “From the Desk” article, we present a debate on the topic of same-sex marriage. Along with the recent Supreme Court deliberation of the Defense of Marriage Act has come credible arguments from both sides. Though both of this article’s contributors are members of the Champion staff, the views presented are solely their own and do not reflect the official viewpoint of the newspaper or Liberty University itself.
Christians are called to love, not to judge
With the recent news that two same-sex marriage cases made it to the Supreme Court, people have been angrily voicing their opinions on both sides of the debate.
As a Bible-believing Christian, I feel much pressure from my conservative friends to begin protesting against the “atrocity” of homosexual marriage.
However, as an independent thinker, my mind leads me elsewhere.
I support same-sex marriage. While this notion might get me shunned in certain circles that would otherwise welcome me with open arms, I stand firm in my opinion.
Before you gather your pitchforks and quote the Bible, let me explain.
Believing that homosexuality is correct and allowing two people to sign a contract claiming that they will not separate are two different matters.

Written by Kyle Harvey, Tabitha Cassidy. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

DOMA and Prop 8: The Supreme Court Could Punt On Gay Marriage

Another day of the Supreme Court issuing rulings on cases, another opportunity to not issue a decision on the two most anticipated cases of the year.

Despite the Court’s decision in the highly anticipated Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case regarding race conscious decision-making in university admissions, there is still no word on decisions for the duo of same-sex marriage cases that have been eagerly anticipated since the cases were argued earlier this year. Instead, the Court has announced that it will return Tuesday and Thursday mornings to — presumably — issue a ruling on both cases (likely on Thursday).

In preparation of what promises to be an onslaught of intense media coverage and irrational Facebook back-and-forths here is a quick rundown on the gay marriage cases the Court is set to rule on.

In US v. Windsor the Court addresses whether or not the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates federal law by not allowing same-sex couples to have access to federal programs and laws.

Written by Derek Miles. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

On civil rights, a mix of backlash and progress

Jasmyne Cannick didn’t join the folks in West Hollywood celebrating the gay marriage victory handed down by the Supreme Court this week.

She was too busy mourning the assault on minorities’ voting rights the court unleashed the day before.

Cannick is a lesbian. She’s also black. “And I didn’t feel like dancing for joy,” she said.
She’s not alone in feeling conflicted. For many people, including me, the high court’s flurry of recent rulings feels like one big step forward on civil rights, and a whole lot of shuffling back.

The day before the court expanded gays’ rights to marry, it gutted the Voting Rights Act. That gives new life to old efforts to suppress minority turnout by freeing Southern states with a history of voter discrimination from strict federal oversight.

In the weeks before that, the court toughened standards for college affirmative action programs that promote diversity; made it harder for employees to challenge workplace discrimination, harassment and firings; and narrowed constitutional protections against self-incrimination, extending law enforcement’s reach.

Written by Sandy Banks. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Why Both Sides Want Gay Marriage Settled By The States

The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn’t reach the court any sooner.

They didn’t want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.

With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.

“People forget that durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Denial, a recent memoir about growing up gay. “We are winning the right to marriage in a bigger, deeper way by winning it in the court of public opinion.”

After losing political battles in a majority of states, gay marriage supporters have won a number of legislative victories and ballot measures in recent years. Sensing momentum is in their favor, it may not be surprising that they’re glad they’ve had time to make their case to the public.

Written by Alan Greenblatt. To read the full article, click here.