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Court says rule too rigid for execution exemption over mental ability

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out Florida's standard for determining when someone's intelligence level renders them exempt from execution.

In a 5-4 decision, the court followed up on a 12-year-old ruling that said it is unconstitutional to execute people who have mental disabilities. The new ruling said states must use more than an IQ test to determine whether inmates whose scores fall between 70 and 75 should be disqualified from capital punishment because of mental disability.

Rulings on same-sex marriage called 'mistake,' 'travesty of justice'

The 1996 Pennsylvania law that recognizes marriage between one man and one woman is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in the state.

Reaction to the ruling in the Catholic community was swift and strong.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia in a statement called the decision by U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III to strike down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act "a mistake with long-term, negative consequences."

Arkansas to appeal ruling that strikes down ban on same-sex marriage

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Arkansas took center stage in the same-sex marriage debate May 9 when a state judge overturned a 10-year constitutional amendment that banned same-sex unions in the state.

The morning after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza handed down his ruling, the Carroll County Clerk's Office in Eureka Springs began issuing marriage licenses. In all, 15 licenses for same-sex couples were issued. On Monday, couples lined up at courthouses in Pulaski, Washington and Saline counties to get licenses.

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July 18-31, 2014

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