The United States Census is reporting in an upswing in both the number of same-sex couples and the number of same-sex couples who indicated that they are married. The Washington Post reports that the number of same-sex couples identified by the Census increased 80 percent over the 2000 census, and 1 in 5 of those 646,000 couples now report that they are legally married, even in states where there marriage would not be legally recognized. An independent study found that around 10 percent of same-sex couples did not identify themselves on the census, and many researchers believe the number of married couples is almost certainly higher now with New York becoming the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Rhode Island is set to become the latest state to enact a DREAM Act, allowing undocumented immigrants to attend state universities at in-state tuition rates. Politico reports that Rhode Island out-of-state tuition is nearly three times the in-state rate. Rhode Island joins 11 other states in offering the option to undocumented immigrants, including Texas, home state of Presidential candidate Rick Perry, and Maryland, discussed previously on this blog.
Salon.com has published an excerpt from an upcoming posthumous book by Harvard Law School Professor Bill Stuntz, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice. In the excerpt, Stuntz indicates that both the country’s incarceration rate and the crime rate are at near historic highs, indicating that something in the system is not working. Stuntz believes that at the root of the problem are the collapse of the rule of law, the rampant discrimination against minorities, and the pendulum effect from an overly lenient justice system in the middle of the last century.
In the New Republic, Harvard Law School Professor Carol Steiker and University of Texas Law Professor Jordan Steiker argue that despite the recent tragedy in the case of executed Georgia inmate Troy Davis, death penalty opponents are doing better than they think at moving the country toward abolition. They point to the increasing rarity of executions in the United States, recent political changes, and reluctance to continue the practice by some members of the Supreme Court. However, at Beacon Broadside, David R. Dow of the University of Houston Law School argues that Troy Davis is just another poster boy in a movement that has not seen much change in opinion in the last ten years.