They are purposefully depriving him of this opportunity (to shave) so he looks unkempt.Lawyer Victor Acevedo • Discussing the treatment of his client, teacher Mark Berndt, who stands accused of doing unspeakable things to his Miramonte Elementary School students. (Trigger warning on that link.) Berndt pleaded not guilty today in court, and his lawyer says that Berndt’s disheveled appearance prevented him from going in front of court with dignity. Acevedo also complained that his jailers identified Berndt as a child molester over the jail’s loudspeaker. “We cannot have the sheriff’s department deputies acting in such a way to essentially put a bull’s-eye on his head,” he told reporters after the hearing. The sheriff’s office took the claim seriously, investigating the complaint, which was denied by jail officials.
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.