Articles Posted in Civil Rights


COVID-19, 2019-nCOV, Coronavirus

On February 26, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of community spread of COVID-19 in the United States. Since this patient had not traveled to Wuhan City, China or come in close contact with a known patient with COVID-19, this infection raised the possibility that COVID-19 was spreading undetected in the United States.

Two weeks later, any hope of that the UC Davis Medical Center patient was an isolated case vanished with the steady rise in COVID-19 confirmations that forced our county to implement increasingly restrictive measures. On March 9, 2020, Santa Clara County required the cancellation of mass gatherings of more than 1,000 persons. The San Jose Sharks played one more away game before the National Hockey League (NHL) postponed the remainder of the season.


Last week, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, Exec. Order No. 13,769, 82 Fed. Reg. 8977 (Jan. 27, 2017).1 This order included several controversial provisions that may alter American immigration policy.

First, paragraph 3(c) of the Executive Order suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States from countries referred to in 8 U.S.C. § 1187(a)(12) for 90 days “to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals.” The countries affected by this suspension include

  • Iraq and Syria;



Same-sex marriages are legal in the United States, but you would not know that if you only consulted the state codes. Last June, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015). In Obergefell, the Court considered two questions: (1) did the Fourteenth Amendment require states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex; and (2) did the Fourteenth Amendment require states to recognize a same-sex marriage that was lawfully licensed and performed in a different state. On both questions, the Court answered in the affirmative.

So, what happens when a court holds that a state law is unconstitutional? I wanted to see if state legislatures updated their state codes in the face of adverse United States Supreme Court precedent so I looked up the marriage laws from the states that were the subject of this litigation: Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

Posted in: Civil Rights