Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Letters to the Editor

June 22, 2014

POINT OF VIEW:

The United States Supreme Court and federal appeals courts decide important cases impacting the constitutional rights of everyone, the responsibilities of businesses toward consumers and the relationship between government and citizens. States, including Indiana, have a stake in these questions, but how do states make their legal arguments known to the Supreme Court if they are not plaintiffs or defendants in the lawsuit the Court hears?

The answer is that Indiana and other states file amicus briefs, also called friend-of-the-court briefs, with the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. If not a party to the lawsuit, a state can submit an amicus brief, a thoroughly researched legal document explaining the state’s interest in the case and legal argument for the judges to consider as they formulate their ruling.

As state government’s lawyer, I have an obligation to defend the laws passed by the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature. My office defends Indiana statutes from current legal challenges in court, but we also must anticipate future challenges. By participating in amicus briefs in other states’ lawsuits, we both sharpen Indiana’s legal arguments in preparation for our own later cases and ensure that our views are understood by the judges who create the precedents that may guide — or even control — our future cases. Filing amicus briefs to explain a state’s legal interests is intrinsic to the job description of a state attorney general.

Cooperating with AG’s offices in other states, my office since January 2009 has authored or co-authored 29 amicus briefs that other states joined, or signed on to; and we joined another 113 briefs that other states authored. Of the briefs Indiana participated in at the U.S. Supreme Court, 34 were filed at the “cert petition” stage, where justices consider whether to accept an appeal from a lower court; and another 79 were filed at the “merits” stage after the Court accepted a case. The rest were filed with other courts.

Text Only
Letters to the Editor
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results