Judge Reinhardt does not hold there is a right to same sex marriage, only that CA had no rational reason to take away the label of marriage for use by gay and lesbian couples after the state had had already given it. By crafting the argument in this way, and making the case that the only reason for passing Prop. 8 was anti-gay animus, Judge Reinhardt has given Justice Kennedy a way to decide the case without embracing a major holding recognizing a right to same sex marriage generally.Rick Hansen • Regarding the nature of the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling on Proposition 8 earlier today. Hansen is suggesting that Judge Reinhardt cast the ruling in an intentionally narrow sense so as to make it easier for Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court’s most notorious swing voter, to uphold it on appeal. The distinction we made earlier could thus affect the future of gay marriage in California. In short, court rulings often possess a strategic, as well as a legal, foundation. source (via • follow)
A quick note about today’s prop 8 ruling: While the court did rule in favor of gay marriage, the court did not assert that gay marriage is a fundamental or constitutional right. That’s not the angle the court was coming from, and in fact, it intentionally deferred answering that question. Rather, the ruling rested on two assertions. One, the notion that US Constitution requires a “legitimate reason” for states to pass laws that treat “different classes of people differently.” Two, the fact that “under California statutory law, same-sex couples had all the rights of opposite-sex couples, regardless of their marital status.” Because of this fact, Proposition 8 serves only and exclusively to “lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.” The court ruled that this isn’t “legitimate reason,” and therefore, is unconstitutional. As we’ll explain later, this nuance has significant implications for future court rulings. source
» And parents were protesting outside: Roughly three dozen parents and supporters protested outside the L.A.-area school Monday, which has been rocked by two shocking but unrelated allegations of sexual molestation. The first case, involving a former teacher accused of doing unspeakable things to his students (note: trigger warning), was shocking enough; the second case, involving a teacher active until last week, only worsened things, as the allegations against him came out only as a result of the first case. The initial allegations did not lead to parents keeping their children home en masse (as the school had over 90 percent attendance throughout last week), but the second case, however, did. Low attendance hurts the school’s funding, so this hurt financially, but the school will also close Tuesday and Wednesday for emergency staff meetings, so the pain could go even deeper for the school. And things might go deeper: A third allegation at a different school in the region led to the arrest of a janitor.
Whenever journalists are arrested/detained for reporting the news, everyone’s freedom is at risk.KGO Radio reporter Kristin Hanes • Discussing her arrest late Saturday as the Occupy Oakland protests flared up. She and Gavin Aronson of Mother Jones were among the over 200 people placed into custody Saturday night, as the Oakland protests reached a new breaking point — including the burning of an American flag. Both mayor Jean Quan and the police were quick to pin negative attention on the protesters: “The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground,” Quan said in a statement. However, it’s important to keep in mind the nature of the police actions — including violence towards protesters and the use of tear gas grenades. An OpenSalon writer has a pretty informative first-person piece worth reading, which describes both the nature of the protesters (not as bad as reported) and why things flared up Saturday. source (via • follow)
We can’t afford to wait. We have to act on these issues now. Our projections show continued growth in population and vehicle miles traveled, which will affect air quality for years to come.Mary Nichols, the chairman of the California Air Resources Board • Discussing why new ‘Clean Car’ regulations are necessary. California’s new bill, which would require vehicles to cut down on pollutants by 75 percent, would start in 2015, and the rules would tighten further by 2025. This could be a step in the right direction for such a smog-ridden state, but opponents say that it would hurt consumers and car manufacturers, claiming it raises the price of a new vehicle by $3,200. The new standards could inspire other states to follow suit. source (via • follow)