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THE NOONER for February 15, 2016
I hope that you're able to enjoy the weather on this Presidents' Day. Bill Maher was great last night at the Sacramento Community Center theatre.
Some California activists are calling on Barack Obama to appoint Kamala Harris to the Supreme Court vacancy. While it would be historic to appoint a woman of color (born of Indian and Jamaican parents), it's not going to happen. While a non-judge would not be unprecedented, it just doesn't seem likely in this political environment.
The other name being floated is California Supreme Court justice Mariano-Florentino "Tino" Cuéllar, the former Stanford professor who has degrees from Harvard (BA), Yale (JD), and Stanford (PhD.). It would put Republicans in a pickle with Latinos in an election year (Cuéllar was born in Mexico), while Republicans would be very unhappy confirming a 43-year-old who could serve on the Court for decades.
Anyway, we're likely to have a 4-4 Court for awhile, which means that controversial cases will stand as ruled on by Courts of Appeal. It also means a patchwork of law among the varouis circuits. As Dan Walters writes, this has a benefit for some:
CONSEQUENCES: Scalia’s death likely saves teachers union in dues case [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - “Scalia’s death from natural causes on a hunting trip in Texas, however, changes everything about the case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, both legally and politically. With the eight remaining justices tied 4-4 on Friedrichs, therefore, the federal appeals court ruling on the case – upholding the union dues law – would remain intact.”
Analyst estimates $100 million more in Prop. 47 savings than Brown [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - “The initiative required the savings be used for mental health, drug treatment, truancy and victim services. In a report issued Friday, the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that the first deposit should be about $100 million more than what the state Department of Finance has accounted for.”
ENFRANCHISEMENT: Move would let 16-year-olds vote in some California races [Melody Gutierrez @ SFChron] - “Supporters of ACA7 by Gonzalez say studies show that 16- and 17-year-olds are mature enough to make political decisions and that allowing the younger teens to cast ballots would increase the likelihood they will vote when they are 18 and above. But opponents argue that the legislation is little more than a stunt by Democrats looking to boost their support in the state.”
MONEY MATTERS: California public universities consider tuition hikes you can count on [Alexei Kosoff @ SacBee] - “The University of California and California State University are now looking beyond the end of their budget deal with Gov. Jerry Brown, which will hold costs flat through next summer. UC has tentatively proposed at least two years of increases beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, and CSU launched a discussion about the future of its financial stability last week at a meeting of its governing board.”
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to CA Business Properties Association's Rex Hime!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Legislature Poised To Pass Replacement Tax On Health Care Plans
Jessica Calefati and Tracy Seipel @ mercurynews.com
If lawmakers approve the tax in a series of votes scheduled for this week, it would replace an existing tax on health care plans that brings in about $270 million less and is set to expire in July because it doesn't comply with new Obama administration rules dictating how states may levy those types of taxes.
How Scalia's Death May Save Teachers Unions -- For Now
The weekend death of U.S Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia could deal a major blow to a California case that had been widely expected to weaken the financial muscle of teachers unions.
Property Tax Increase Proposed For Sacramento Levee Fixes | The Sacramento Bee
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
Sacramento River levees need $1.6 billion in work
Birth Control Pills Without Prescriptions, Coming Soon To California Under New Law
California will become the third state to permit pharmacist-issued birth control once a 2013 law gains regulatory approval.
Who Obama Might Nominate To Replace Scalia On Supreme Court - Sfgate
Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States Srikanth Srinivasan testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill April 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated Sirnivasan to be circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A significant number of Supreme Court appointees were previously D.C. Circuit Court judges.
Gov. Brown 'had No Plans' To Intervene, His Aide Said Before Coastal Panel's Vote To Fire Charles Lester
Two members of the California Coastal Commission met with Gov. Jerry Brown's top advisor nearly two weeks before the panel voted to fire its executive director and were told the governor did not plan to intervene, the chairman of the commission said Saturday.
Presidential Campaign: With Death of Antonin Scalia, an Already Volatile Campaign Erupts
An unpredictable election that had pitted grass-roots activists against traditional party leaders is suddenly erupting into a rare battle royale for control of every branch of government.
Airlines Make It Too Hard To File A Complaint, Lawmaker Says
Air travelers may be more upset about airline service than we know.
Strategic Memo To Hillary: Call For “real Progress”
Hillary Clinton is clearly the most qualified person running for president in either party but she has a problem: She has no strategic message, no over-arching statement that illuminates her values, purpose or direction.
How the Supreme Court Became a Hot-Button Issue
In the old days, few voters made the selection of justices a key issue in presidential politics. All that has changed with ScaliaâÂÂs death.
L.A. Gas Leak Plugged, But California Pipelines Regularly Leak - San Francisco Chronicle
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Srinivasan, Lynch fit Obama's formula for nominees
In pushing candidates through a reluctant Senate, he has emphasized demographic firsts and cooperation with GOP.
Political Calculus: Supreme Court Vacancy Looms Over Five Key Senate Races
Why Veteran Teachers Aren't Surprised Young People Are Shunning The Profession
Judging from my email, a lot of California public school teachers are demoralized and questioning their career choices.
Vietnam Vets Blame 'jet Guns' For Their Hepatitis C - The Orange County Register
LILY LEUNG @ ocregister.com
• 10,937: veterans who receive some kind of VA disability benefit in connection to hepatitis C
Bush, Clinton tap family to boost campaigns
America's struggling political families put their former presidents on the trail to secure a win in South Carolina.
Prosecutors Cry Foul Over Jerry Brown’s Ballot Measure | The California Report | Kqed News
The court is closed until Tuesday.
The Ad Campaign: Ted Cruz Ad Goes After Donald Trumpâ
s campaign is trying a new line of attack against Mr. Trump for his generally favorable view of Planned Parenthood.