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Supreme Court declines to rule on DC same-sex marriage, Guantanamo habeas cases

The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] declined Tuesday to rule on a DC same-sex marriage referendum and a Guantanamo detainee appeal but granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in a consolidated case involving Medicaid reimbursement rates. In Jackson v. DC Board of Elections and Ethics [docket], the court denied certiorari without comment in a case over whether to allow a public referendum over Washington, DC's same-sex marriage law [JURIST news archive]. The order leaves in place the decision [JURIST report] of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals against the referendum. The Board of Elections and Ethics [official website] has contended [WP report] that allowing such a referendum would violate the District's Human Rights Law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Supreme Court had previously denied an emergency appeal [JURIST report] to prevent the same-sex marriage law from taking effect.

The court also denied certiorari in al-Adahi v. Obama [docket], an appeal by a Yemeni detainee seeking reinstatement of a previous order that he be released from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The US District Court for the District of Columbia had held that the US did not present sufficient evidence to justify further detention of the accused al-Qaeda supporter, but it was reversed [JURIST reports] by a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The government has argued that Mohammed al-Adahi, detained since 2002, was a supporter or member of the Taliban and/or al-Qaeda, claiming that al-Adahi had acted as an instructor at al Qaeda camp al Farouq, had familial ties to both the Taliban and al Qaeda, and had been employed as a bodyguard for Osama bin-Laden, and that al-Adahi's story lacked credibility. Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the decision to deny certiorari. It is unclear whether she will participate in any of the impending Guantanamo habeas cases.

The Court granted certiorari in a consolidated case over the issue of whether the Supremacy Clause preempts Medicaid recipients and providers from bringing a suit challenging a California state law that reduces reimbursement rates. The court consolidated three cases that raised the issue: Maxwell-Jolly v. Independent Living Center of Southern California [docket; cert. petition, PDF], Maxwell-Jolly v. Santa Rosa Mem. Hosp. [docket; cert. petition, PDF], and Maxwell-Jolly v. California Pharmacists Association [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. Medicaid providers—doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies—are angry over a series of cutbacks [LAT report] by the California Legislature reducing reimbursement payments in an attempt to handle the state's financial crisis. Lawyers for the state argue that the the providers have no right to challenge the reimbursement rates and that they do not have any right to a particular rate of reimbursement.

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