domingo, 27 de março de 2011

Legal English: Obama's DOMA Policy - Review Exercise (Holder's letter)

The President has made the _____ that, under _____ review, Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and _____ the Equal Protection rights of same-sex couples legally married under state law. Therefore, _____ to the applicable US Code provisions, the Attorney General has informed Congress that the President has _____ the Department of Justice (DOJ) to no longer defend the _____ in the courts.

pursuant – violates – direct – determination – statute – stricter

This policy _____ has been prompted by cases brought against DOMA in _____ where there is no _____ _____ on the appropriate _____ of review for determining the constitutionality of laws involving classifications based on sexual orientation.

jurisdictions – binding – shift – standard – precedent

While the Administration had been defending Section 3 in ¬¬¬¬¬_____ where circuit courts have already _____ that classifications based on sexual orientation are subject to rational basis review, the new lawsuits will require the DOJ to take an affirmative position on the _____ of review, or level of _____, that must be applied in testing the constitutionality of the DOMA _____.

standard – jurisdictions – provision – scrutiny – hold

The U.S. Supreme Court has not _____ on this issue, but it has _____ decisions that _____criteria for determining whether a legislative classification of individuals is _____, thus, requiring heightened _____. Those criteria, when applied to the DOMA challenges in question, lead the President and the DOJ to conclude that indeed a stricter _____ of review is required.

suspect – render – set forth – scrutiny – rule – standard

Under _____ _____, the DOJ can only defend Section 3 by _____ the legislative _____ underlying the passage of DOMA. The _____, however, contains numerous expressions of moral disapproval of homosexuals and their family relationships, precisely the kind of prejudice the Equal Protection Clause is designed to _____.
record (2) – heightened – guard against – scrutiny – invoke

Notwithstanding the President’s _____, Section 3 will continue to _____ by the Executive Branch. To that end, the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to _____ with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive’s obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress _____ Section 3 or the judicial branch _____ a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality. This course of action respects the actions of the prior Congress that enacted DOMA, and it recognizes the judiciary as the final arbiter of the constitutional _____ raised.

comply – enforce – repeal – determination – claims – render

segunda-feira, 21 de março de 2011

Legal English: Health Care Reform - Review Exercise (FLA v. US DHHS)

Florida v. US DHHS ________ the constitutionality of an Act of congress. It ________ by the Attorneys General and/or Governors of twenty-six states, two private citizens, and the National Federation of Independent Business. At issue is whether that federal law falls ________ or without the________ powers ________ to the federal government by the constitution.

grant – challenge – within – enumerated - bring

The plaintiffs ________ that the “individual mandate” ________ in Section 1501 of the Act, which requires that everyone ________ federally-approved health insurance, or pay a ________ penalty, violates the Commerce Clause, the ________ of the Constitution Congress relied on in passing the law.

set forth – provision – purchase – monetary – allege

The plaintiffs also challenge the Act ________ that it ________ the Medicaid program to include individuals under the age of 65 with ________ up to 133% of the federal poverty level, and that it ________ the states responsible for the actual provision of health services ________.

amend – to the extent – render – incomes – thereunder

They ________ that the law violates the Spending Clause and principles of federalism protected ________ the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. The plaintiffs ________ a ________ judgment that the act is unconstitutional and an ________ against its ________.

injunction – declaratory – under – seek – enforcement – claim

While the ________ dispute numerous facts, both sides have filed ________ for summary judgment, seeming to agree that the dispute ultimately ________ pure issues of law. The Judge ________ a lengthy hearing and oral argument, and numerous organizations and individuals ________ leave to file amicus curiae ________ (sixteen total) in support of the arguments and ________ at issue.

motions – come down to – hold – briefs – parties – claims – grant

The states ________ that they cannot afford the new Medicaid costs and ________ imposed by the Act, and that it violates the constitutional spending principles ________ in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203, 107 S. Ct. 2793, 97 L. Ed. 2d 171 (1987), and in other cases. The Judge ________ that the Act plainly ________ the first three of Dole’s spending restrictions, as well as the fourth as long as there is no other required ________ that would be independently unconstitutional. Thus, the only real issue, as framed in the ________, is whether the Medicaid provisions are ________ coercive and effectively ________ the states. (the coercion theory)

activity – burdens – impermissibly – set forth – meet – pleadings – argue – find – commandeer

A ________ of the legal ________ revealed that there was “very little support for the plaintiffs’ coercion theory argument” as every single federal Court of Appeals ________ to consider the issue has ________ the coercion theory as a ________ claim.

rejected – survey – landscape – viable – called upon

It is apparent that existing case law is ________ to support the state plaintiffs’ coercion claim. In short, while the plaintiffs’ coercion theory claim was ________ enough to survive ________, upon full consideration of the ________ law and the Constitutional principles involved, and ________of the numerous disputed facts ________ to above, the Judge concludes that this claim cannot succeed and that the defendants are ________ to judgment as a matter of law.

in light – plausible – relevant – dismissal – entitled – inadequate – alluded

For the individual mandate claim, the plaintiffs ________ that it exceeds Congress’ power ________ the Commerce Clause. To date, three district courts ________ on this issue on the ________. Two ________ that the individual mandate is a proper ________ of the commerce power.

exercise – merits – under – rule – contend – hold

At issue here, as in the other cases decided so far, is the ________ that the Commerce Clause can only reach individuals and entities ________ in an “activity”; and because the plaintiffs ________ that an individual’s ________ to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, “inactivity,” the individual mandate ________beyond the Commere Clause and is unconstitutional.

engaged – assertion – failure – go – maintain

The defendants ________ that activity is not required before Congress can ________ its Commerce Clause power, but that, even if it is required, not having insurance ________ activity. The defendants also ________ that the individual mandate is ________ for the “second reason” that it falls________ the Necessary and Proper Clause.7

constitute – within – exercise – contend – sustainable – claim

domingo, 13 de março de 2011

Legal English: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)


DOMA Section 3

In Policy Shift, President Orders Halt to Legal Defense of Marriage Law

Attorney General Eric Holder letter to House Speaker John Boehner
Second Circuit Cases

DOJ Files DOMA Defense in First Circuit Cases

DOJ Letter to US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

The DOJ DOMA Defense brief in the First Circuit:

The District Court Rulings:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services et al

Gill  et al v. Office of Personnel Management et al


Justice Will No Longer Defend Marriage Law

Gay Couples Challenge Defense Of Marriage Act

DOMA Defense FAQ

sexta-feira, 4 de março de 2011