Black hole “chirp” has science bragging. Here are 6 SCOTUS opinions that did more than just "chirp"

Posted on 02-25-2016 by
Tags: LIT , Top Stories , Supreme Court , SCOTUS


About a billion years ago, two black holes collided. Fast forward to last September; that’s when the collision was finally heard and recorded, as announced this month by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

The sound was called “a fleeting chirp”.

Science freaked out… literally:

Word of LIGO’s success was met by hosannas in the scientific community ….

“I was freaking out,” said Janna Levin, a theorist at Barnard College at Columbia …. [from the New York Times]

Congrats science! But over here in the law, we don’t like to be outdone. Legal egos, ya’ know. So we see your one black hole chirp and raise you these six Supreme Court opinions that, after a collision of arguments and ideologies, have rippled  (and continue to ripple)  through the fabric of space and time.

1. Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 347 U.S. 483 (U.S. 1954)

“Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.”

2. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (U.S. 1963)

“[I]n our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth. … The right of one charged with crime to counsel may not be deemed fundamental and essential to fair trials in some countries, but it is in ours.”

3. Miranda v. Ariz., 384 U.S. 436 (U.S. 1966)

“[A}n individual held for interrogation must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation .... As with the warnings of the right to remain silent and that anything stated can be used in evidence against him, this warning is an absolute prerequisite to interrogation. No amount of circumstantial evidence that the person may have been aware of this right will suffice to stand in its stead.”

4. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (U.S. 1973)

“This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or … in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent.”

5. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (U.S. 2008)

“[T]he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded .... That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

6. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (U.S. 2015)

“[T]he right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. … [S]ame-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them.”

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