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THE NOONER for February 8, 2012

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  • CD01 (Northeast): added Sam Aanestad (R)
  • AD10 (Marin): added businessman Joe Boswell (N)
  • AD32 (Kings): added Kern Supervisor Jon McQuiston (R)
  • AD32 (Kings): added Delano councilmember Pedro Rios (R)
  • AD59 (South LA): remove Raul Claros (D)
  • AD65 (Fullerton): added social worker Gregg Fitchie (D)
  • AD72 (Seal Beach): removed Tyler Diep (R)
  • AD72 (Seal Beach): added Los Alamitos councilmember Troy Edgar (R) (from CD47)
  • AD72 (Seal Beach): updated analysis

NEXT UP FOR GAY MARRIAGE: With yesterday's 2-1 Ninth Circuit ruling that California's ban on gay marriage violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and with Andy "" Pugno promising to appeal "one way or another," let's assess where we are.

Proponents of Prop. 8 could petition for an en banc 11-judge panel (chief judge and 10 random) from the Ninth Circuit. (The Ninth is unique in that not all judges participate in en banc because of its size.) Or, proponents could appeal to the United States Supreme Court. A majority of the Ninth could order en banc, and four votes are needed to grant cert for a SupCt review.

I actually believe a Ninth Circuit en banc review is more likely to be granted, even though the outcome might be more likely to favor supporters of gay marriage. While there are clearly four votes on the U.S. SupCt that likely don't support gay marriage per se, it's essential to look at the legal issue that would be before them.

The issue is not whether there is a constitutional right for same-sex couples to wed, but rather whether there was a legitimate governmental reason for withdrawing a right from a class of citizens once it had been provided. In this case, the right, as defined by the court is the use of the word "marriage," and both sides conceded that, in California, the word did not confer additional benefits. Thus, the narrowly written opinion centers only on whether there is a legitimate governmental interest to deny the use of the word "marriage" to same-sex couples.

This is important in looking at whether the SupCt would grant cert because it means that the ruling is only applicable in California and not throughout the entire Ninth Circuit. The court specifically used only the narrowest possible constitutional criteria to decide the case, using an argument submitted by intervenors the City and County of San Francisco and not the primary defenders of Prop. 8. No other state in the Ninth has added and then taken away the right. By denying cert, the SupCt would delay dealing with an issue I believe it would prefer not to tackle and neither side wants to put the burden on or roll the dice on swing vote Anthony Kennedy, who was born and raised in California.

Anyway, that's my $0.02, and it's been a long time since I was sitting in Con Law class.

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$$$: Putting money where her mouth is, Molly Munger added $100,000 to her education tax campaign, bringing her total to $900,000.

PROTECT THE CAUCUS: California Campaign Contributions Raise Troubling Questions for Speaker Perez & Assembly Democrats [Marta Evry @]

HO-HUM: Bill introductions continue, but few noteworthy ones yet. The deadline for introduction is February 24.

PUBLICCEO: Orange County Public Administrator Agrees to Resign, Again

COINCIDENCE: @DLeonhardt - "Streak continues: Romney has won every state Hillary did in '08 (NH, FL, NV) and lost all those she lost (IA, SC, MN, MO, CO)."

GO JEW OR GO HOME! No, it's not the DCCC's campaign theme in CD30, but the name of a wireless access point seen at my house. Guessing it's those college kids across the street. 

REMEMBER HIM WHEN: The Bee's Dale Kasler reports that Senator John McCain is going after the fees charged by Howard Dickstein, the lawyer who represents many gaming tribes. Dickstein, who worked small gigs for tribes before gaming, is specifically criticized for a deal in which he gets 2% of the net distribution profits from Thunder Valley casino.

Federal Court Overturns Ban On Same-sex Marriage
John Howard @
A federal appellate court today overturned Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved law that bans same-sex marriage, saying the 2008 initiative violated constitutional guarantees to equal protection and due process.

Proposition 8 Lawyer Vows To Appeal 'One Way Or The Other'
David Siders @
The fight over California's same-sex marriage ban has been presumed for years to be destined for the U.S. Supreme Court, and a lawyer for Proposition 8 backers confirmed today that they'll appeal this morning's decision "one way or the other."

Democrats Gear Up To Fight Part-time Legislature Measure
A Democratic political strategist and a former Democratic assemblyman will help lead opposition to a proposed ballot initiative that would reduce California's Legislature to part-time.

Dissenting Prop. 8 Judge Says 'optimal Partnership' Is Man, Woman
Carol Williams @
The social divide over same-sex marriage rights was apparent even in the opinion issued Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional in California.

California Was Ahead Of The Curve On Gay Marriage -- For A While
Scott Gold @
California's early granting of same-sex marriage licenses led to the backlash culminating in Proposition 8, banning the unions. Meanwhile, other states have passed the state by on the rights issue.

Jerry Brown Affirming More Releases Of Killers Than Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is far more likely to allow the release of paroled killers from prison than either of California's two previous governors, newly released records show.

LAO Wants To Redirect QEIA Funds
Kathryn Baron @
Nearly 30 percent of California schools funded under the Quality Education Investment Act, or QEIA, may be expelled from the program at the end of this academic year for not meeting one or more of the requirements. That could leave up to $140 million in QEIA funds on the table – money the Legislative Analyst says the state should use to fill in the gaps in other educational programs.

Brown And Friends Put The Squeeze On Initiatives :: Fox&hounds
Molly Munger and I are not in the same corners when it comes to ballot measures proposed for the November ballot but we do have one thing in common: Governor Brown and his allies are trying to knock both of our initiatives out before they make the ballot.

Shaky Grounds For Prop. 8 Ruling
Debra J. Saunders @
Two of three judges on a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Tuesday found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Judge Stephen Reinhardt stipulated that the ruling skirted the larger issue of whether same-sex couples...

Sen. McCain Takes Aim At Fees Earned By Sacramento Lawyer Advising Indian Tribe
Dale Kasler @
U.S. Sen. John McCain is complaining to federal Indian gaming officials about the millions earned by Sacramento attorney Howard Dickstein, the lawyer for Thunder Valley Casino and its tribal owner.

See SEIU Local 1000 political action committees' 2011 spending
Jon Ortiz @
This is the first in a series of posts that will detail the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.

Valley Community Colleges Will Stay Open This Summer
Eddie Jimenez @
State Center Community College District trustees on Tuesday dropped a proposal to eliminate summer school in June, opting instead to make budget trims that will preserve summer classes.

Prop. 8 Ruling: White House, GOP candidates react
Kathleen Hennessey @
President Obama's reaction to the Proposition 8 decision was much like the president's stance on gay marriage -- somewhat unclear.

Republican Barbara Ortega to run for 8th Assembly District
Torey Van Oot @
Sacramento Republican Barbara Ortega announced today that she will run to represent the 8th Assembly District in the state Assembly, a swing seat that is expected to be a top legislative target this year. Ortega is the fifth candidate to enter the race for a vacant East Sacramento County seat.

Dan Morain: Marriage equality gets Wall St. talk, not money
As the 9th Circuit Court was striking down Proposition 8, the chairman of Goldman Sachs, probably the nation's most powerful investment bank, was taking an out-front stand in favor of same-sex marriage.

California was ahead of the curve on gay marriage — for a while
Scott Gold @
California's early granting of same-sex marriage licenses led to the backlash culminating in Proposition 8, banning the unions. Meanwhile, other states have passed the state by on the rights issue.

Evans: No pink dome support this year, despite Komen actions
Torey Van Oot @
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's efforts to diffuse controversy surrounding its funding dispute with Planned Parenthood hasn't improved the breast cancer charity's standing with the California Legislative Women's Caucus.

Proposition 8 Ruling Is Aimed At U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
Dan Walters @
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has a hard-won reputation for issuing sweeping, precedent-setting and liberal rulings that are often overturned by the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

Reid, Senate Dems Accuse GOP Of Seeking To Derail Economic Recovery
Ian Swanson @
Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday accused Republicans of trying to derail the national economic recovery for political purposes after talks to extend the payroll tax holiday hit a wall.

Prop. 8 decision cheers gay marriage supporters as Supreme Court awaits
In a landmark victory for gay rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled California's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

California immigration crackdown campaign to enlist American Legion members
Continuing a 93-year fight to control immigration, American Legion leaders are rallying military veterans to convince California voters they should require police to enforce federal immigration law.

Realtors Biggest Campaign Givers To Californians In Congress
Jim Puzzanghera @
The National Assn. of Realtors is the largest campaign contributor to members of Congress from California, according to a study released Tuesday that shows the nation as a sort of United States of Special Interests.