Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was one of the most awaited decisions of the year. The Supreme Court had to balance the interests of freedom of religious expression vs. anti-gay discrimination.
In Carpenter v. United States, the Court had to grapple with modern technology and expectations of privacy in a world of shared data. Some called this decision “the most consequential privacy decision of the digital age”.
Trump v. Hawaii was one of the most divisive decisions of the Supreme Court during the 2017 term. President Trump’s Proclamation No. 9645 called for temporary travel restrictions to the United States for aliens from eight countries (Chad, Iran, Lybia, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen). The media called it the “Muslim ban”. But was it? And did it fall within presidential authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and did it violate the Establishment Clause?
One of the most interesting cases decided this year by the US Supreme Court was Gill v. Whitford. The case concerned redistricting and gerrymandering. It was a unanimous decision by the court (9 to 0). In the opinion of most analysts, the Supreme Court wasted a historic opportunity to correct a wrong that cannot otherwise be solved by a political process.
Did you know? Code of Hammurabi (around 1792 BCE) is one of the oldest and most complete written collections of law. Hammurabi was the soxth king of Babylon.
The prologue to the Code expresses its purpose: “that the strong might not oppress the weak, that justice be given to orphan and widow”
Code has 252 separate provisions, arranged by subject (debts, family, personal injury, etc). Laws vary based on crime and social status of offender and victim.
The most famous principal of the Code is “an eye for an eye”.
Did you know? The Code of Ur-Nammu, written around 2100 BCE, is the oldest found legislative code. It later influenced the code of Hammurabi.
It’s the first time when a schedule of predetermined consequences for violating rules of conduct was written. Most penalties were monetary: 15 shekels for perjury, 5 shekels for deflowering a man’s slave, 10 shekels for breaking a man’s bone. Yet murder and rape (of a free woman) were punishable by death.