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THE NOONER for June 29, 2015




As I wrote in June 10th's Nooner, I'm preparing to ramp up for the 2016 election season. As part of that, I'm working on much more robust election analysis on the district pages. Detailed analysis will be available for Nooner paid subscribers. I'm also raising the subscription price for new subscribers to $49.99 effective July 1 (exisiting paid subscribers can renew at $39.99 through December 31).

I still want to provide The Nooner free to those who want to read it but can't afford to support it, and I thank our great advertisers for allowing that. However, as the cost of subscribing to all of the newspapers to bring the news to you goes up, I need to have more subscription dough roll in.

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BEWARE: Set down the mouse and step away from the 'puter Tomorrow is both a federal and state fundraising deadline, so your email box will be subject of a deluge. 

BLURRED LINES: Steve Knight (R-CA25), you may exhale. The Supreme Court held this morning that Article I, Section 4 and the implementing statutes do not prohibit states from using redistricting commissions. [Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Indepent Redistricting Commission decision]

Speaking of Knight, it's probably time for him read that book on House rules: Freshman House Republican pays back taxpayers $1,000 [Scott Wong @ The Hill]

Anyway, the three decisions this morning put the SCOTUS term in the can. The nine Supremes return in October.

SUPREME IDIOCY: Following the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage, presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz is calling on retention elections for Supreme Court justices. I'm pretty certain that Cruz knows that it has zero chance of approval be 2/3 of the states, making it an easy bullet point to add to the platform.

Cruz knows a bit about the Supreme Court, having served as a clerk to William Renhquist, and having argued nine cases before the Court while attorney general of the Lone State state. And, hailing from Texas, he's quite familiar with judicial elections--judges from county judge to the Texas Supreme Court run. However, unlike California where judges must stand for "retention" elections, Texas judges are elected in partisan elections.

I don't care for California's retention elections. California voters routinely are asked to vote to retain judges about whom they have no knowledge. Judges are retained unless their mug is seen in the crime section of the paper, or when they have an ethnic-sounding name and lose to a sometimes attorney bagel shop owner.

The only consequential judicial retention defeat in my lifetime was the 1986 election that removed Rose Bird, Joseph Grodin, and Cruz Reynoso (appointees of Jerry Brown) from the Supreme Court of California, ostensibly about the death penalty, but equally about labor, firearms, and general business regulation. 

I frequently disagree with decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. However, I read decisions and understand the rationale used by the majority. Anyone with a legal education can understand, whether they agree or not, the Court's five-justice majority in the same-sex marriage case. As I wrote on Friday, once the door opened with same-sex marriage in one state, the Equal Protection clause became a problem for same-sex marriage opponents. Even if applying a "rational basis" review of the differentiation between the treatment of heterosexual and homosexual couples, the burden was high.

That said, not many voters understand the levels of scrutiny to be applied in such cases. Voters are fueled by passion for their own political affinity. The last place our judicial system should be is within the election system. We have an impeachment process for those that abuse their office. Having Supreme Court justices raising money from interests that may be before them is an awful idea.

Ted Cruz, you know better.



CALIFORNIANS, A SUSPECT CLASS: Antonin Scalia doesn't heart California -- or get us, either [Patt Morrison @ LAT] - "In a display of judicial temperament right out of People vs. You Kids Git Off My Lawn, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dissented spectacularly and cholerically from Friday's same-sex marriage ruling with the declaration that the court — his own court — doesn’t represent the grand geographic sweep of America, that it has 'not a single South-westerner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner.' Then, parenthetically, he delivered this: 'California does not count.'"

WAITING GAME: GOP will have a long wait for congressional gains in California [Thomas D. Elias @ Daily News] - "The party's problem is simple: In order to win in most parts of California, it will have to become more tolerant of undocumented immigrants and same-sex marriage, more environmentally conscious and less hard-line in opposing changes to the Proposition 13 property tax rules."

TICKET (AND PRICE) TO RIDE: Disney works to stop Anaheim gate tax [Jodie Tillman and Joseph Pimentel @ OCR] - "Anaheim has never charged taxes on Disney tickets. But the 1996 deal that spelled out that policy expires next year."

LUNCH! VIDEO: Shark selfies trending as local great whites become celebrities [Laylan Connelly @ OCR] - "As word spreads about the resident sharks – about 10 have been hanging around just where the water breaks for the past few months – curious beachgoers like Trucksess are heading to the area to get a first-hand look."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Wilk chief of staff Matt Dobler, Long Beach USD board member Megan Kerr, Assemblymember Henry Perea, UC's Larry Salinas, Planned Parenthood's Raquel Simental, Pacific Crest's Richard Wiebe, and Assemblymember Das Williams!





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California Drought Resurrects Old Population Growth Concerns | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @
Advocacy group airs ad blaming immigration for lack of water

Berkeley Prof: Why Is Marriage Supreme? - Sfgate Blog
UC Berkeley Law Professor Melissa Murray is delighted with the result of the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, and she doesn't want to rain on anyone's Pride parade. But in the course of...

Catholics See Same-sex Marriage Ruling In Disparate Lights
The U.S. Supreme Court 's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide makes sense to Marcelino Victorio. The 43-year-old Catholic said he believes that as long as there is love, the couple's genders shouldn't matter.

Religious Liberty Is Rallying Cry After Gay Marriage Ruling | The Sacramento Bee
Now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, religious conservatives are focusing on preserving their right to object. Their concerns are for the thousands of faith-based charities, colleges and hospitals that want to hire, fire, serve and set policy according to their religious beliefs, notably that gay relationships are morally wrong.

Top U.S. Senate Candidates Run Quietly, For Now
Watching the U.S. Senate race in California makes you yearn for one of those childhood gizmos that magically makes invisible ink visible. Without one, the race has been hard to see.

Arnold Terminates Marriage-equality Opponent
By Josh Richman Saturday, June 27th, 2015 at 6:04 pm in Arnold Schwarzenegger, same-sex marriage.

New Rules Try To Spotlight Hidden Retirement Debt | Calpensions
An accounting board best known for requiring the calculation and reporting of the debt owed for retiree health care promised government workers, which often turned out to be shockingly large, is having another moment.

Supreme Court Rules On Arizona Redistricting Commission: Why It Matters For California
In one of its final decisions this term, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the legality Arizona’s citizen redistricting commission, which is responsible for redrawing congressional and legislative district lines. The case was closely watched by legal and political experts in California, some of...

Blink And Everything Changes | The Sacramento Bee
More than 210,000 children are raised by same-sex couples

Supreme Court Upholds Creation of Arizona Redistricting Commission
Ruling against the Republican-led legislature, the justices said a referendum that stripped lawmakers of the power to map congressional districts was constitutional.

Texas Will Give Legal Help To Officials Who Refuse Same-sex Couples On Religious Beliefs
The Texas attorney general told local county clerks and other officials that if they refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or perform weddings because they conflict with their religious beliefs the state will help them fight their case if they face lawsuits.

Christie's nothing-left-to-lose campaign
The New Jersey governor's campaign is far less ambitious than anyone could have predicted a year ago. But that also makes him an unpredictable force in the GOP presidential primary.

L.A. Council Members Look To Tighten Gun Safety Measures
Los Angeles lawmakers have been mulling new rules that would require residents to lock up their handguns or disable them with a trigger lock when they are not being used.

Bay Area Reacts To The Same-sex Marriage Supreme Court Decision | News Fix | Kqed News
Starting at 7 a.m. thousands of people poured out into the streets to celebrate — and some to protest — the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn same-sex marriage bans on Friday.

What Catalyzed Scotus Gay Marriage Decision « Calbuzz
Hank Plante @
By Hank Plante Palm Springs Bureau Chief

David Ryu, L.A.'s First Korean American City Council Member, Is Sworn In
David Ryu, the Los Angeles City Council ’s first Korean American member, was officially sworn in Sunday during a ceremony on the south lawn of City Hall.

After Marriage, Lgbt Activists Prepare For Next Challenge - San Francisco Chronicle
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2015 Bet Experience: Black Lives Matter Takes Center Stage
At the end of a week full of celebratory moments -- Supreme Court decisions affirming marriage equality, public housing and affordable healthcare and the removal of Confederate flags in pockets of the South -- political commentator Marc Lamont Hill cautioned a panel audience Saturday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center not to rejoice just yet.

Law Enforcement Seeks To Bar Release Of Video Showing Gardena Police Shooting
Organizations representing police chiefs and officers from around the state have filed legal briefs supporting an effort to bar the release of videos that recorded Gardena police fatally shooting an unarmed man and seriously wounding another.

Political Calculus: No Guarantee That Redistricting Verdict Will Help Democrats
Nonpartisan commissions, approved by the Supreme Court, may be more fair, but Democrats can benefit from gerrymandering just as the G.O.P. does.