The Supreme Court clocked back in today, starting a session packed with major cases relating to the LGBT community. While the decision to hear Prop 8 case Hollingsworth v. Perry and the DOMA-challenging Windsor v. United States have been widely reported, the SCOTUS has announced it will hear arguments on both cases on March 26 and March 27.
- Dating back to 1789, the Alien Tort Act gives American courts the right to hear human-rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct committed outside the US. The Lively trial, which began today in Massachusetts, is the first instance the act has been used regarding sexual orientation.
Though the particulars are different—the current case involves a subsidiary of Shell abetting human-rights violations in Nigeria—it doesn’t look like the justices particularly favor the Alien Tort Act: Both Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy questioned the U.S.’s jurisdiction in such matters during oral arguments.