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Afternoon News Roundup

U.S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia
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Senator Robert Byrd Dies at 92:  The Office of Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia released a short notice today that the Senator passed away this morning at Inova Fairfax Hospital.   Senator Byrd was the longest serving U.S. Senator to date serving a total of 9 consecutive terms in the Senate (remember a Senate term is 6 years) meaning he has been in the Senate representing West Virginia for more than 54 years!  While his past isn’t free of scandal, Sen. Byrd was very accomplished not only in his long and distinguished record of service, but also in his passion for the institution in which he served.  For more information on Senator Byrd’s long career in the Senate you can go to his Office’s website which has several documents of interest including statements made by several of Senator Byrd’s colleagues

SCOTUS in the News: Today the released several contriversial decisions before it recessed for the Summer. Among these rulings comes two high interest cases, the first being the decision to uphold  UC Hasting’s right to deny formal recognition to the Schools Christian Legal Society because of its discriminatory membership practices.  According to the AP:

“The court on Monday turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards ‘unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle’ as being inconsistent with that faith. But Hastings said no recognized campus groups may exclude people due to religious belief or sexual orientation. The court upheld the lower court rulings saying the Christian group’s First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college’s decision.” (via Towleroad)

The second controversial issue was the 5-4 ruling made on Chicago’s handgun ban, the Court voted to overturn this ban taking Justice Alito’s position that that the right to bear arms “applies equally to the federal government and the states” (via Vanity Fair). While this ruling nullifies the Chicago ban, gun control advocates say they see some glimmers of hope for reasonable gun control regulation.

Kagan Confirmation Hearings Underway: Watch hear on C-SPAN3

IL Gov. Signs Anti-Bully Legislation (via 365gay.com)

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