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THE NOONER for June 26, 2013
TWEET DU JOUR: @paulmitche11 - "Went from years of "we're not getting married until everyone can" to "shit, we gotta get married before all the locations get booked!"
OH L'AMOUR: If you just woke up, the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act and ruled the proponents of Proposition 8 did not have standing to defend the law. Here's the essence of the Prop 8 case from two sentences in the opinion:
"We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here."
The opinion in Perry was written by Chief Justice Roberts, who was joined by Scalia, Breyer, Ginsburg and Kagan. What? Nobody would have predicted those five coming together, even though many people thought they might take that route. Sacramentan Anthony Kennedy wrote the dissent, while also writing the majority's opinion in the DOMA case.
Getting out ahead of Prop. 8 proponents who are likely to argue that the case only applies to the original plaintiffs, Attorney General Kamala Harris has issued a letter and Jerry Brown stands behind it that counties "can and should" begin issuing licenses as soon as the Ninth Circuit formally vacates the opinion.
However, we could very well have further litigation when conservative counties balk at granting licenses, and its possible that a court could find that it applies only to the original plaintiffs or Alameda and Los Angeles counties.
Andy Pugno is promising to continue the fight for Prop. 8 as counsel for protectmarriage.com. UC Davis law professor Vik Amar wrote in April that, if the court was to find based on standing, both the Ninth Circuit AND District Court decisions should be vacated and the original plaintiffs should be granted a default judgment for lack of a defendent. Gay marriage supporters should be happy with the disposition the Supreme Court provided, which doesn't suggest this outcome -- "671 F. 3d 1052, vacated and remanded."
The Legislature should just put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to formally repeal Proposition 8. It would pass next November.
The actual legal doctrine, something the fodder of constitutional law classes, used for the Prop. 8 case could equally cut at liberal causes.
Imagine a California initiative that prohibited drivers' license checks at DUI checkpoints, as proponents believe they are being used to target and harass undocumented workers. Assume the initiative passes, but is then challenged in federal court by Tim Donnelly as interfering with federal immigration law. It's 1995, and Pete Wilson is governor and Dan Lungren is attorney general, and neither are willing to defend the initiative in court. Under Perry, the proponents couldn't step in to defend the law, although proponents going forward are likely to insert in the initiative that they have the right to defend if the state does not.
Anyway, the rulings comne two days before the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. They also come 5 days before the semi-annual fundraising deadline for state and federal candidates, so your e-mail box is likely full of messages with witty and obnoxious subject lines.
SHIP OF FOOLS: From Justice Scalia's dissent in the DOMA case: "[W]e have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America."
Scalia yesterday joined the opinion gutting the Voting Rights Act, which was approved by a far greater vote of Congress than the Defense of Marriage Act.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE: I believe the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, and that Congress is to blame, as it has failed to update the Section 4 formula or justify its continued application. Instead of complaining, members of Congress should update the formula.
MAKE ME SMILE: The governor has until tomorrow to act on the budget and most trailer bills.
VICTIM OF LOVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger works to reinvent himself [James Rainey and Mark Z. Barabak @ LAT] - "His image hurt by economic crises and an affair, the former governor is strikingly absent from California politics. But climate-change activists worldwide laud him. "
I LOVE SATURDAY: Merced County was also subject to preclearance for redistricting, in addition to Kings, Monterey and Yuba. The county emerged from the preclearance requirement last year. My bad.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Taxpayers group fears impact of gay marriage ruling on unrelated ballot measures
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Fearing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in California could hobble the proponents of other, unrelated ballot initiatives, the president of a taxpayers group said today he is considering an effort to enshrine in the state constitution the authority of initiative proponents to defend their measures in court.
High Court: Prop. 8 Backers Lack Standing - Sfgate
The justices ruled 5-4 that the sponsors of Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, could not represent the state or its voters in appealing lower-court rulings that held the initiative unconstitutional. By finding that the sponsors lacked standing to appeal the rulings, the high court reinstated an August 2010 decision by then-Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco that the California measure was an irrational act of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. In another 5-4 decision, the court struck down the central provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denies joint tax filing, Social Security survivor payments, immigration sponsorship and more than 1,000 other federal benefits to same-sex couples who are married under state law. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, there are 114,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, including 18,000 who wed in California in the months before voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage in November 2008.
Senate Approves Changes To Enterprise Zone Program
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The state Senate late Tuesday passed a compromise version of Gov. Jerry Browns proposal to retool Californias enterprise zone program in a way the governor hopes will encourage manufacturing and job growth.
Gov. Jerry Brown Struggles To Revamp Enterprise Zone Tax Break
Marc Lifsher @ latimes.com
A vote on replacing the enterprise zone program with other business tax incentives is delayed multiple times as the governor musters support.
White House launches healthcare outreach campaign
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration moved anew Monday to demonstrate its progress in implementing the president’s 2010 healthcare law, announcing new call centers and a new website to help consumers find insurance coverage next year.
Obama 'deeply Disappointed' With Court Ruling On Voting Rights Act
David G. Savage @ latimes.com
President Obama and civil rights lawyers sharply criticized the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act Tuesday.
A Dominant Federal Voting Law Bites The Dust
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The VRA's dominance on redistricting, however, may have come to an end. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that the static 1965 formula cannot be applied 48 years later and that Congress should devise a new one.
Inmate Health Care Facility To Add Jobs In Stockton
Rich Ibarra @ capradio.org
The State of California has taken a big step toward compliance with federal court orders to improve medical and mental care for prison inmates. The new California Health Care Facility in Stockton will provide medical and mental health care for the state's prison inmates.
Prop. 8: Gay marriages to resume in California
David Lauter @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- Same-sex marriages will resume in California in a matter of weeks, lawyers who challenged the state's Proposition 8 said.
Pelosi, Boxer Lead Democratic Chorus Of Condemnation Of Voting Rights Act Ruling
HANNAH JEFFREY @ blog.sfgate.com
Pelosi, Boxer lead Democratic chorus of condemnation of Voting Rights Act ruling
Feds Try To Halt Civil Suits Against Former CalPERS Officials To Focus On Criminal Case
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
Federal prosecutors are trying to bolster their case against the two men charged in the CalPERS bribery scandal by attempting to halt to a series of lawsuits that could interfere with the criminal case.
Did Steinberg Bawl Out Yee In Public-Records Flap?
Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
Did state Senate Democratic leaders call Sen. Leland Yee on the carpet behind closed doors last week after Yee spoke out against their proposal to water down the California Public Records Act?
Three California Counties Affected By Voting Rights Ruling - Capradio.org
Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson says the issues in the California counties date back to the 1972 presidential election.
Jerry Brown names former Schwarzenegger aide to agency post
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Marybel Batjer, one of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's former Cabinet secretaries, to oversee state procurement, information technology and human resources under a government reorganization taking effect Monday.
Halle Berry Tells Lawmakers Paparazzi Terrify Her Daughter
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Actress Halle Berry painted a portrait of a life under siege Tuesday as she testified in favor of legislation that would increase limits on paparazzi.
Prop. 8: Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California
David G. Savage @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court opened the door for same-sex marriages in California Wednesday as the justices, in a procedural ruling, turned away the defenders of Proposition 8.
Bart Workers Vote To Authorize A Strike - Sfgate
SEIU members, who include mechanics, maintenance workers and a variety of BART professionals, voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, with 98.5 percent of its voting members approving the move, while 99.9 percent of ATU workers - train operators and station agents - approved a strike vote. Bay Area transportation officials are making plans to boost alternative transit and to encourage carpooling if a strike occurs. The agency has said it needs employees to pick up a share of their pension contributions, to increase their health insurance costs and to approve rule changes that would reduce overtime. Two police unions, one for rank-and-file officers and one for sergeants and lieutenants, cover 256 people, but are prohibited from striking.
Prop. 8: Obama calls to congratulate California gay marriage plaintiffs
President Barack Obama has telephoned his congratulations to the plaintiffs in a California's Proposition 8 gay marriage case before the Supreme Court.
Gov. Jerry Brown Appoints Three To His Cabinet
Anthony York @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown capped a massive, two-year reorganization of state government agencies on Tuesday by naming three new members of his Cabinet.
Jerry Brown tells California counties to issue gay marriage licenses
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling undercutting California's same-sex marriage ban, the Brown administration told county officials this morning the ruling applies statewide - with all 58 counties required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once a lower court stay is lifted.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Works To Reinvent Himself
James Rainey and Mark Z. Barabak @ latimes.com
His image hurt by economic crises and an affair, the former governor is strikingly absent from California politics. But climate-change activists laud him.
Senate immigration overhaul advances with border 'surge'
WASHINGTON – Tacking a costly plan to secure the border onto the immigration overhaul led to robust Republican support during a key vote Monday, all but assuring passage of the sweeping legislation and its path to citizenship for immigrants later this week.