Category Archive: California Proposition 8

Nov 26 2012

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Rule on California Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage This Week?

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yeson8bumpersticker Voter Approved California Proposition 8 Outlawing Gay Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Appeals Court

My bet is that the Justices will punt the decision until after they rule on the Defense of Marriage Act.

But, who knows?

Now, the justices must decide whether to hear an appeal from the defenders of California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that limited marriage to a man and a woman.

At the same session Friday, the court will sift through several appeals to decide whether legally married gay couples have a right to equal benefits under federal law. Appeals courts in Boston and New York have struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies such a right, and the justices are almost certain to take up a case to resolve that question.

The Proposition 8 case, known as Hollingsworth vs. Perry, presents justices with the more profound “right to marry” question.

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Apr 04 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 4, 2012

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Santa Monica, California

Good Wednesday morning!

The California Legislature is adjourned for Spring/Easter break and will resume on April 9, 2012.

On to today’s California headlines:

Santa Monica College to probe campus police use of pepper spray on students

Santa Monica College officials plan to launch an investigation into a clash in which campus police used pepper spray on a group of disgruntled students outside a Board of Trustees meeting, a college spokesman said today.

About 30 students were treated for pepper spray exposure outside a board meeting room Tuesday evening, and three people were taken to hospitals, said Capt. Judah Mitchell of the Santa Monica Fire Department.

More than 100 students converged Tuesday evening on the meeting room where the trustees and several college administrators were discussing a two-tiered system of fees due to go into effect this summer, significantly increasing the cost of attending the college, said Patty Del Valle, a counselor at the college.

The meeting room was too small to hold all the students expected to attend, so an adjacent overflow room was opened, equipped with a closed-circuit video link, said college Public Information Officer Bruce Smith.

But the students wanted to express their displeasure in person, and when some of them attempted to get into the board meeting room, police used pepper spray on them, he said.

The pepper spraying and what led to it will be the subject of an investigation, according to Smith, who said officials of the two-year college probably would issue a statement and possibly hold a news conference today.

Campus police tried to limit the number of students inside the board meeting room to about 12 or 13 people, Del Valle said. Some students shouted “Shame on you,” and “Let us in.”

“The crowd was very spirited . There was some degree of turmoil,” Smith said, adding that no arrests were made.

Mitchell estimated about 200 students came to the meeting to protest. Smith put the number at a little over 100.


Proposition 8 campaign architect leaves Sacramento firm

Sacramento political consultant Frank Schubert, who guided Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage to victory in 2008, announced today that he is leaving the firm he founded.

Schubert suggested his advocacy for conservative causes — opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage — was hindering Schubert Flint Public Affairs’ work with corporate clients.

Schubert was back in the news this year with the release of “Question One — The Battle for Same-Sex Marriage in America,” a documentary about his work on the Maine ballot measure to repeal a same-sex marriage law passed by the Legislature in 2009.

Schubert said his new company — Mission: Public Affairs LLC — will work on national “conservative and social issues.”

Besieged California marijuana advocate vows to ‘fight on’

A day after federal agents rousted him from his apartment and seized his famed Oakland cannabis college, a renowned California marijuana advocate said Tuesday he knows “they can indict me any day” and “arrest me any time.”

So Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University and the architect of an unsuccessful 2010 ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California, hid in plain sight Tuesday.

He quietly pushed his wheelchair to the base of San Francisco City Hall, where hundreds of people, waving signs reading “Cannabis is Medicine,” barely noticed him as speakers made fiery condemnations of a months-long U.S. government crackdown on medical marijuana businesses in the state.

The rally, scheduled before Monday’s raid of Lee’s properties, was staged to protest property forfeiture letters targeting landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco. Members of the city’s Board of Supervisors promised to expedite permits for marijuana stores seeking to reopen in new locations if they are closed by the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, the crowd, which later marched on the nearby U.S. courthouse here, chanted, “Stop the war on Oakland!”

California: Brad Sherman Leads Howard Berman in Internal Poll

An internal poll for California Rep. Brad Sherman found him ahead of fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman by 27 points in a potential general election matchup that is expected to be a close race as November nears.

Sherman took 52 percent to 25 percent for Berman, while 23 percent remained undecided in the poll conducted by the Feldman Group. In the top-two primary, Sherman led with 40 percent, followed by Berman with 17 percent and Republican businessman Mark Reed with 12 percent. Another Democrat, two Republicans and a Green Party member totaled 13 percent, while 20 percent were undecided.

The survey of 500 likely primary voters was conducted March 26-28 and had a 4.4-point margin of error. The results were similar to a Feldman Group poll conducted for Sherman in August.

“Sherman remains better known and more popular in the San Fernando Valley, especially in the portion of the district that he represents now, which has almost double the number of voters as Berman’s current district,” Diane Feldman said in a polling memo.

Sherman currently represents just more than half of the redrawn 30th district, which includes the homes of both members of the Foreign Affairs Committee. They opted not to run in neighboring districts to avoid the matchup, and both are likely to advance beyond the June 5 all-party primary and continue the contentious campaign through November.

Enjoy your morning!

Lastly, Dan Walter’s discusses all of that California Lottery money going to California schools:

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Feb 21 2012

California Proposition 8 Supporters Seek En Banc 9th Circuit Review

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Most court observers and political pundits figured that the Proposition 8 supporters (California’s initiatve law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman) would directly appeal to the United States Supreme Court. But, I guess not.

Charles Cooper, the lead attorney for the proponents of Proposition 8, tells Metro Weekly that the proponents of the California marriage amendment will be asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to review the three-judge panel decision issued on Feb. 7 holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Although Cooper, of Cooper and Kirk PLLC, told Metro Weekly the filing has not yet been made, the filing is expected later today as today is the deadline for the filing to seek en banc review.

The move almost guarantees that the U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the case before this November’s presidential election.

Usually, en banc review involves all of the active judges on the court, but the Ninth Circuit — due to the more than 20 active judges on the circuit — has adopted a unique “limited en banc” procedure in which all the active Ninth Circuit judges vote whether en banc consideration will be given but only 11 judges hear the en banc consideration. That will be the request made by today’s filing by the proponents.

This is an interesting development in gay marriage litigation and takes the issue away from the U.S. Supreme court during an election year. Since it is likely there will be a continued stay in the case, gay marriage will not be legal in California for at least a few more years.

Read the comments over at the Volokh Law Blog here where they discuss the probable rationale by the Pro- Proposition 8 supporters and possible scenarios in the case.

Stay tuned…

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Dec 08 2011

California Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage Back in Court Today

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Actually, there will be two hearings today at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Proposition 8 is back in the news as three federal appellate judges in San Francisco hear arguments in not one, but two cases related to the gay-marriage ban.

The first case involves the appeal of a ruling to allow the release of videotapes made during the original trial. That hearing starts at 2:30 p.m.

In the second case, Proposition 8 backers had wanted a lower court to overturn Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision declaring the measure unconstitutional, and their argument was this: Walker should have been disqualified from hearing the case because he was in a same-sex relationship. Their motion was denied. They’re appealing that decision. The hearing starts at 3:30 p.m

Note that the Justices of the three judge appellate panel are not hearing the main appeal of Judge Walker’s decision to declare California Proposition 8 unconsititutional. If you recall, Walker invalidated Prop. 8 which was a California State constitutional amendment (passed by the California voters) which defined marriage: “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Stay tuned……

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Nov 18 2011

Flap’s California Morning Collection: November 18, 2011

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The Mustang at Los Angeles Auto Show

Behind the wheel of a new Ford Mustang at the Los Angeles Auto Show Media Day yesterday

The California Legislature is not in session.

On to today’s headlines:

California Supreme Court says proponents can defend gay-marriage ban

In a major lift for supporters of California’s same-sex marriage ban, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday that proponents of ballot initiatives can defend their measures in court when the governor and attorney general refuse to do so.

The California Supreme Court’s ruling sets the stage for the continuation of a legal battle over gay marriage that is drawing national attention and is widely expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the wake of the opinion, the federal appeals court that is considering the legality of the state’s gay marriage ban is expected to rule on constitutional questions at the heart of the measure.

The ban, Proposition 8, was approved by voters in 2008 but was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last year. Legal arguments over the measure’s constitutionality had been on hold for months as the federal appeals court awaited this ruling.

NOTE: A unanimous decision

Initiatives target California law requiring gay history in schools

Foes of a new law requiring California public schools to teach students about the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have filed two proposed initiatives to challenge the statute.

One proposed initiative would repeal the section of Senate Bill 48 mandating LGBT history, leaving in place new requirements that students learn about the role of disabled individuals and members of different cultural and ethnic groups. A second would give parents the ability to opt their children out of instruction related to “social science and family life” that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Both measures were filed with the state attorney general’s office by Richard Rios, who is listed online as the president of the Yorba Ranch branch of the conservative California Republican Assembly. Calls for comment to the phone number listed on the initiative proposal and Rios’ home were not immediately returned.

California school year might be trimmed by a week, report warns

California’s economic recovery is so sluggish it will likely force automatic budget cuts that could shave up to a week off the school year, according to a report Wednesday from the legislative analyst’s office.

The report projects a $3.7-billion hole in the current budget due to declining tax revenues. That gap is enough to trigger automatic reductions in spending on education and social services — $100 million from the budgets of the University of California and the Cal State systems each, as well as more than $1 billion in cuts to K-12 districts. The state would forbid those districts from laying off teachers but give them authority to cut the school year by one week.

The cuts are not a done deal. They will happen only if both the legislative analyst’s office and the state’s Department of Finance project a severe shortfall. The forecast from the Department of Finance is due next month. Legislators could try to make a last-ditch attempt to change the composition of the cuts, though Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed one such attempt in September.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown’s budget gimmick falls short

Jerry Brown sought his second stint as governor last year by promising to balance the deficit- riddled state budget without gimmicks.

“Our state is in a real mess, and I’m not going to give you any phony plans or snappy slogans that don’t go anywhere,” Brown said in one ad. “We have to make some tough decisions.”

After winning, Brown conducted some showy public conferences and then proposed a budget that split the deficit between spending cuts and taxes requiring voter approval.

Sheriff’s Department reopens Natalie Wood case

Thirty years after Natalie Wood died off Santa Catalina Island, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday that it was reopening the investigation into one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries.

Wood, 43, was boating off the island on Thanksgiving weekend 1981 with her husband, Robert Wagner, fellow actor Christopher Walken and others when she somehow went overboard and died. Officials at the time ruled her death an accident, but there has been much speculation since over whether there was more to the story.

Enjoy your morning!

Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner during Look Magazine Party at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills, February 14, 1979 — WireImage

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