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October 12, 2013 | By Robert Hilburn
Johnny Cash's life in the 1960s is mostly remembered as a time of glorious achievement - from the landmark prison albums at Folsom and San Quentin to the launch of the ABC-TV series featuring such guests as Bob Dylan and the Doors that led to his becoming a giant figure in popular culture, a symbol to millions, no less, of the best of American social values. But Cash also experienced excruciatingly dark times in the decade, fueled by drugs and guilt over the breakup of his marriage.
November 13, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A bizarre act of revenge against a romantic rival was the unlikely genesis of an important debate in the Supreme Court last week about federal power, states' rights and the conduct of U.S. diplomacy. The justices were asked to overturn the conviction of Carol Anne Bond, an immigrant from Barbados who was convicted of trying to poison her best friend after she learned that the woman had been impregnated by Bond's husband. Bond stole a dangerous chemical from the laboratory where she worked and smeared it on the other woman's car door, mailbox and doorknobs.
August 31, 2000
Re "Arguing the Primacy of States' Rights--Sometimes," Opinion, Aug. 27: I agree with Edward P. Lazarus that states' rights led to a shameful history of slavery and discrimination. However, Lazarus should take note of how the problem was solved: The 13th Amendment outlawed slavery and the 14th Amendment outlawed discrimination by state law. If the Constitution is to be changed so that other rights are taken from the states, it should be done by amendment. This process is much more durable and democratic than hoping that we can elect a president who will appoint Supreme Court justices who will alter the Constitution on their own. RICK SMETS West Hollywood In his article of Democratic Party propaganda regarding states' rights, Lazarus notably failed to mention the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
March 30, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court heard two powerful arguments last week about marriage for gay and lesbian couples, and the path the justices choose could determine not only whether gay marriage will become the law nationwide, but how soon. One argument spoke to the principle of equal rights. Denying federal benefits to legally married gay couples "cannot be reconciled with our fundamental commitment to equal treatment under law," the Obama administration's top courtroom lawyer told the justices, as he urged the court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. The other argument spoke to the traditions of states' rights and letting people, rather than the courts, decide the great social issues of the day. Debate over same-sex marriage is "roiling throughout this country," said a lawyer defending the California ballot measure that barred gays from marrying.
January 17, 2000
Breathing life into the Constitution's guarantees of equality and due process--first articulated in another age--is clearly the major accomplishment of 20th century law and politics. The process by which we have come to agree that states are not free to arbitrarily treat one group of people differently has been slow and often marked with bloodshed. That painful journey makes last Tuesday's U.S. Supreme Court's ruling throwing out claims of age bias in three lawsuits particularly troubling.
September 3, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
The White House plans to create an entity within the federal government charged with protecting states' rights, a balm for state officials who complain that the Bush administration has not met its promise to return power to state governments. Within a month, aides say, President Bush will issue an executive order designed to shift some power from the federal government to the states.
January 11, 2001 | From the Washington Post
In a 1996 speech to a conservative group, Interior secretary-designate Gail A. Norton likened her struggle to preserve states' rights to the cause of the Confederacy, saying "we lost too much" when the South was defeated in the Civil War. Norton, then Colorado's attorney general, described slavery as the kind of "bad facts" that can undermine an otherwise powerful legal case.
October 5, 1997 | Herman Schwartz, Herman Schwartz is a professor of constitutional law at American University and author of "Packing the Courts: The Conservatives' Campaign to Rewrite the Constitution."
The U.S. Supreme Court returns tomorrow and, so far, it has only one high-profile matter on its calendar: the Piscataway, N.J., school board's decision to retain a black high school teacher over an equally qualified white instructor in order to promote academic diversity. Though seen primarily as a civil-rights case, it also involves state and local rights, which, in recent years, have become one of the court's primary concerns.
August 16, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica and its owner discriminated against members of a Jewish organization at a charitable event two years ago, a jury in Santa Monica determined Wednesday. The case was brought by young leaders of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, who had gathered on the afternoon of July 11, 2010, at the Art Deco hotel. Soon after their party got underway around the pool, hotel staff and security guards began telling group members to remove their literature and banners, to get out of the pool and hot tub, and to stop handing out T-shirts, according to legal documents and testimony.
June 26, 2012 | By Paul West
SALEM, Va. - Previewing his response to this week's expected decision on the nation's healthcare law, Mitt Romney told supporters in southwestern Virginia on Tuesday that healthcare is a matter of “states' rights” and “personal responsibility” and that he'd block the federal plan if the Supreme Court doesn't. Romney, whose individual health insurance mandate in Massachusetts was a model for the provision at the heart of  the current debate, said that if the court strikes down the federal law later this week, “then the first three-and-a-half years of this president's term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people.” Alternately, if the justices uphold the law, “we're going to need a president--and I'm that one--that's going to get rid of Obamacare.
May 22, 2012
Re "Gay marriage clause added to defense bill," May 19 Conservatives recently pushed legislation through the House that would prohibit same-sex marriages from being performed at military chapels. This prohibition would even apply to chapels that are located in states where same-sex marriage is otherwise recognized. In 2009, conservatives overturned regulations that banned firearms in national parks. The logic was that people should be permitted to carry firearms in national parks located in states where it is otherwise legal to carry them.
March 25, 2012 | By David G. Savage and Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
Ever since the Democratic Congress passed President Obama's healthcare law, critics have focused their ire on the requirement that all Americans have health insurance beginning in 2014. But some legal experts believe - and progressives worry - the Supreme Court's conservatives will instead target another mandate in the new law: the requirement that states expand the Medicaid rolls and provide subsidized healthcare for as many as 17 million more low-income people. On Wednesday, the third day of oral arguments on the law, 26 Republican-led states will argue that the federal pressure to expand Medicaid to all low-income Americans violates states' rights.
February 29, 2012 | By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
  With his presidential aspirations riding on support in the Deep South, Newt Gingrich opened his final one-week dash to the crucial Georgia primary on Wednesday with a states' rights appeal laden with racial symbolism. His setting was the ornate chamber of Georgia's House of Representatives, where Gingrich told lawmakers that he would fight for a "very strong" states' rights platform at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. "I want to return power back home to an extraordinary degree," said Gingrich, a former U.S. House speaker who represented Georgia in Congress for 20 years.
December 28, 2011 | By David G. Savage and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Federal judges have blocked strict new immigration laws adopted by conservative legislatures in half a dozen states, including a ruling last week that said South Carolina may not set up a "street-level dragnet" to stop and arrest illegal immigrants. But immigrant rights advocates who have cheered those rulings may soon find their luck has run out as those rulings head for the Supreme Court. Legal experts believe the high court's conservative majority will take a sharply different approach.
November 18, 2011
States' rights is one of those high principles that Republicans are willing to fight for — except when they aren't. So we have to give credit to Rep. Dan Lungren, California's former attorney general and now a congressman from Gold River, because he was the sole GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee to live up to his party's constitutional ideals by voting against a recent bill that steps on state gun regulations. The bill, known as the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, was approved in the House on Wednesday by a 272-154 vote, with 43 Democrats siding with 229 Republicans in the "yes" column.
November 16, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
The House gave gun rights advocates their first legislative win of the year in a move that some saw as a Republican back flip on protecting states' rights: Approval of a federal regulation that would require states that issue concealed-weapons permits to honor such permits from other states. The GOP-led chamber approved the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, intended to allow gun owners to travel more easily from state to state without worrying about whether their permit to carry a concealed weapon is valid.
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