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Prior Cases

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DeBoer v. Snyder was a federal-court challenge to Michigan laws that prohibited the state from recognizing as a marriage any union other than that between a man and a woman.  

De Leon v. Perry was a federal-court challenge to discriminatory marriage laws in Texas that prohibited same-sex couples from marrying.

On February 23, 2011, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Williamsons, upholding their right to sue Mazda in state court and continuing a recent trend by the Court to reject preemption claims premised on the assertion that the state law represents an “obstacle” to the objectives of federal law. CAC’s argument that the entire doctrine of “obstacle” preemption is inconsistent with the federal/state balance established by the Constitution was adopted by Justice Clarence Thomas in his concurring opinion.

On July 16, 2012, Constitutional Accountability Center filed a brief in support of Supreme Court review of Delling's petition for certiorari to ensure that states respect the rights of criminal defendants to due process of law and to be free of cruel and unusual punishments.

As CAC argued in its brief, the Due Process Clause rejects criminal laws that “offend [a] principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked fundamental.” Similarly, “the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment embraces, at a minimum, those modes or acts of punishment that had been considered cruel and unusual at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted.” The overwhelming historical and modern consensus that fundamental norms of justice prohibit criminal punishment of the legally insane demonstrates that a state’s failure to allow an insanity defense violates the Constitution’s guarantee of due process of law and prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.