Lawyering Up Before Birth

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, there are laws in place that allow authorities to detain pregnant women for substance abuse. The Wisconsin fetal protection law, which was passed in 1998, allows child-welfare authorities to forcibly confine a pregnant woman who uses illegal drugs or alcohol – and who refuses to accept treatment – “to a severe degree.” Proponents of the law say that it is intended to protect mothers and babies. The first federal challenge of this law was filed this month. What could be wrong with this well-meaning law?

The law disproportionately affects …read more

Marriage Equality Prevails in Maryland

Yesterday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a proclamation confirming the results of the 2012 election, including the win for marriage equality. Same-sex couples may now obtain marriage licenses in anticipation of January 2013, when the law goes into effect.

Martin O’Malley, a staunch supporter of marriage equality, emailed constituents, “After months of hard work, we came together to pass a bill that treats everyone fairly and equally under the law while protecting religious freedom. We then became the first state ever to defend marriage equality at the ballot box.”

Great work, Maryland!

In national news, the Supreme Court put out …read more