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After California voters approved Proposition 8, same-sex couples who had been legally married in California sued the state and its officers claiming Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit both found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. First, the Family and Medical Leave Act of "FMLA" requires private employers who employed at least 50 employees on each working day during at least 20 calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year to grant qualifying employees time off to care for their sick spouse. Second, under the Internal Revenue Code "IRC" , an employee's gross income does not include employer-provided insurance coverage, including coverage for a "spouse.

Prior to Windsor , this meant that spousal benefits for employees in opposite-sex marriages were not taxed, while spousal benefits for employees in same-sex marriages were taxed. Employers were required to impute the value of an employee's same-sex spouse's coverage into the employee's income.

C of I Mock Supreme Court - Hollingsworth v. Perry

Therefore, if an employee's same-sex partner is considered a "spouse" under state law, the partner's benefits are not to be considered part of the employee's gross income and the IRS will not tax that partner's health benefits. Consequently, the employee's net income will decrease, resulting in a decrease in the amount of payroll taxes the employer and employee will be required to pay. Additionally, many employers have put into effect programs that reimbursed same-sex legally-married couples for the additional tax cost imposed upon such couples because of DOMA. Those employers should examine their programs to review continuing necessity or appropriateness.

Hollingsworth v. Perry - SCOTUSblog

The Supreme Court's decision in Hollingsworth will add California to that list. Employers with operations in multiple states will have to deal with a patchwork of state laws governing what constitutes a spouse. For example, unresolved issues include questions concerning claims for income tax refunds based on the recognition of spousal status, as well as Federal Insurance Contributions Act "FICA" tax refund claims by employees and employers and the rights to spousal benefits under pension and health plans.

Employers, with the assistance of counsel, should monitor any upcoming guidance from the IRS and U. Department of Labor that will direct how employers should address spousal benefits and any retroactive application of Windsor. Photos: Photos: Supreme Court cases that changed America. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Hollingsworth v. Perry : The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal over California's Proposition 8 on jurisdictional grounds. The voter-approved ballot measure barring same-sex marriage was not defended by state officials, but rather a private party.

This ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California to resume, but left open-ended the legal language of 35 other states barring same-sex marriage. Take a look at other important cases decided by the high court. Hide Caption. Supreme Court cases that changed America — United States v. Windsor : When her wife died in , Edith Windsor, 84, was forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes because her marriage was not recognized by the federal government's Defense of Marriage Act of The Supreme Court struck down the part of the law which denied legally marriage same-sex couples the same federal benefits provided to heterosexual spouses.

The decision determined how hundreds of millions of Americans will receive health care. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission : Activists rally in February to urge the Supreme Court to overturn its decision that fundamentally changed campaign finance law by allowing corporations and unions to contribute unlimited funds to political action committees not affiliated with a candidate. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Texas v.

Johnson : The Supreme Court overturned the decision that convicted Gregory Lee Johnson of desecrating a venerated object after he set an American flag on fire during a protest. The court ruled that Johnson at right with his lawyer, William Kunstler was protected under the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Nixon : When President Richard Nixon claimed executive privilege over taped conversations regarding the Watergate scandal, the Supreme Court ruled that he had to turn over the tapes and other documents. The ruling set a precedent limiting the power of the president of the United States. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Roe v. The court agreed with Roe and overruled any laws that made abortion illegal in the first trimester.

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Here, McCorvey, left, stands with her attorney Gloria Allred in Supreme Court cases that changed America — Miranda v. Arizona : Ernesto Miranda confessed to a crime without the police informing him of his right to an attorney or right against self-incrimination. His attorney argued in court that the confession should have been inadmissible, and in , the Supreme Court agreed.

The term "Miranda rights" has been used since. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Gideon v. Wainwright : The Supreme Court overturned the burglary conviction of Clarence Earl Gideon after he wrote to the court from his prison cell, explaining he was denied the right to an attorney at his trial. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Mapp v. Ohio : The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Dollree Mapp because the evidence collected against her was obtained during an illegal search.


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The ruling re-evaluated the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Brown v. Board of Education : Nathaniel Steward recites his lesson surrounded by white classmates at the Saint-Dominique School in Washington. In Brown v.

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Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to separate students based on race. Supreme Court cases that changed America — Korematsu v. The court ruled that the rights of an individual were not as important as the need to protect the country during wartime.

Supreme Court cases that changed America — Plessy v. The Supreme Court ruled that "separate but equal" facilities for blacks were constitutional, which remained the rule until Brown v. Board of Education in Supreme Court cases that changed America — Dred Scott v. Sandford : When Dred Scott asked a circuit court to reward him his freedom after moving to a free state, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress didn't have the right to prohibit slavery and, further, that those of African-American descent were not protected by the Constitution.

Supreme Court cases that changed America — Gibbons v. Ogden : This was the first case to establish Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce.

Constitutional Principle

The ruling signaled a shift in power from the states to the federal government. A married same-sex couple and a non-married same-sex couple filed an action seeking to compel state officials and their respective county clerks to issue marriage licenses notwithstanding the language of Proposition 8. The plaintiffs claimed that the language added to the California constitution by Proposition 8 violated their rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. Constitution and that they should be allowed to marry.

The state officials refused to defend Proposition 8, and the district court allowed a group of individual citizens — the group that supported Proposition 8 — to defend the language added as a result of the ballot initiative. The lower federal courts in California held that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, and the state officials were ordered not to enforce Proposition 8.

The state officials elected not to appeal the matter, but the individual citizens did appeal the decision, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit was unclear on whether the petitioners — the individual citizens who supported Proposition 8 — had standing to appeal. The federal appeals court certified the question to the California Supreme Court, which held that the proponents of the ballot initiative had standing under federal law to defend the constitutionality of the ballot initiative.

The Ninth Circuit heard the appeal and upheld the lower court on the merits. Rather, a five-judge majority determined that the opponents of marriage equality — the individual citizens — did not have standing to pursue the case. As a result, the decision of the lower courts stood.

Proposition 8 was held to be unconstitutional, and the county clerks in California were authorized to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Windsor and Perry sparked a national discussion about the rights of same-sex couples to marry. In the wake of those decisions, same-sex couples celebrated their eligibility for the many federal benefits available to married couples. At the same time, plaintiffs in many states challenged the validity of state constitutions and statutes that recognized only marriages between a man and a woman.

In Obergefell , an Ohio federal district court issued a temporary restraining order and ordered the Ohio registrar of death certificates not to accept a death certificate for John Arthur, a resident of Ohio, that did not record his status as married and did not record James Obergefell as his surviving spouse.

Obergefell v.


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Kasich , U. Ohio The district court issued a permanent restraining order on December 23, in Obergefell v. Wymyslo , F. Ohio the health department director was substituted for the governor as the named party. James Obergefell and John Arthur were in a committed relationship for 20 years, and were both Cleveland, Ohio, residents. Ohio specifically prohibited in the state code and state constitution the recognition of marriage of gay or lesbian couples.