I do not know the last time, if ever, that a newly elected President has been compared or contrasted with other highly regarded U.S. Presidents. For the second time in a week, Barack Obama is featured on the cover of a major news magazine with a much-loved former leader. This week Newsweek has Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. Several days ago Time magazine featured Obama as the new FDR. It does make one very proud of the decision we made as a nation in November.
This is the news we were hoping to hear, (kind of) although there is reason for concern over the dissent of Justice Kennard, and no reason to be pleased with the refusal to allow gay marriages to continue during this time of review.
The state Supreme Court plunged back into the same-sex marriage wars Wednesday, agreeing to decide the legality of a ballot measure that repealed the right of gay and lesbian couples to wed in California.
Six months after its momentous ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the court granted requests by both sponsors and opponents of Proposition 8 to review lawsuits challenging the Nov. 4 initiative.
The vote was 6-1, with Justice Joyce Kennard dissenting.
However, the court refused, 6-1, to let same-sex marriages resume while it considers Prop. 8’s constitutionality. Justice Carlos Moreno cast the dissenting vote.
Approved by 52 percent of voters, Prop. 8 restored the definition of marriage – a union of a man and a woman – that the court had overturned May 15. Both Kennard and Moreno voted with the majority in that 4-3 ruling.
The court agreed Wednesday to review two arguments by opponents of Prop. 8 – that the measure exceeds the legal scope of a ballot initiative by allowing a majority to restrict a minority group’s rights, and that it violates the constitutional separation of powers by limiting judicial authority.
The justices also asked for arguments on whether Prop. 8, if constitutional, would nullify 18,000 same-sex weddings performed between when the court’s marriage ruling took effect in mid-June and Nov. 4. Attorney General Jerry Brown, who will defend Prop. 8 as the state’s chief lawyer, contends those marriages are legal, but sponsors of the initiative disagree.
The justices asked for written arguments to be submitted by Jan. 21. The court could hold a hearing as early as March, with a ruling due 90 days later.
Possible trouble for opponents
While both sides cheered the court’s decision to take up the cases, Kennard’s lone vote to deny review could spell trouble for opponents of Prop. 8.
Kennard is the court’s longest-serving justice, having been appointed in 1989, and has been one of its foremost supporters of same-sex couples’ rights. Without her vote, the May 15 ruling would have gone the other way. But she wrote Wednesday that she would favor hearing arguments only about whether Prop. 8 would invalidate the pre-election marriages, an issue that would arise only if the initiative were upheld.
“It’s always hard to read tea leaves, but I think Justice Kennard is saying that she thinks the constitutionality of Prop. 8 is so clear that it doesn’t warrant review,” said Stephen Barnett, a retired UC Berkeley law professor and longtime observer of the court.
For those seeking to overturn Prop. 8, “I would not think it would be encouraging,” said Dennis Maio, a San Francisco lawyer and former staff attorney at the court.
Anyone care to change their bets on what President Bush will do with pardons prior to leaving office? I do not think there is any way Bush will not have blanket pardons for a number of those who served in ‘Bush and Company’. And with news like this today,I am more certain of it than ever. I think it important that justice be served to those who misused their offices and misled the nation through unconstitutional measures.
A grand jury in south Texas indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on separate charges related to alleged prisoner abuse in federal detention centers, Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra told CNN Tuesday.
On the southern tip of Texas, Willacy County is on the United States-Mexico border.
Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. is also charged in the indictment. Michael R. Cowen, an attorney for Lucio, issued a statement calling Guerra a “one man circus.”
“In the March 2008 Democratic Primary, 70 percent of the Willacy County voters elected to remove Juan Guerra as Willacy County District Attorney,” Cowen said in a statement. “Now, with only a few weeks left in his term, Mr.Guerra has again chosen to misuse his position in an attempt to seek revenge on those who he sees as political enemies.”
Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell said, “The vice president has not received an indictment.”
The Associated Press reported that the indictment stems from Cheney’s investment in the Vanguard Group — an investment management company that reportedly has interests in the prison companies in charge of the detention centers. It also charges Gonzales halted an investigation into abuse at the detention centers while he was attorney general.
Just like the statue of Saddam Hussein.
At the start of the Iraq War many of us wanted ‘regime change’ here in America. It took a long time, but finally we are almost to the point where George Bush will no longer be President. It is time to observe and celebrate the end of eight very corrupt and unconstitutional years of Republican rule by Bush and Company. As such, all are invited to a cathartic moment this Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin.
On November 22, at 2:00 P.M. a statue of George Bush will be pulled down at the Wisconsin State Capitol, the State Street corner. Needless to say this will be a celebratory mood so bring your noise makers and be prepared to feel good about the future, even though it will be tough to repair the past.