Federal Judge Rules Oklahoma Wrong On Same-Sex Marriage


A federal judge invalidated Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage late Tuesday, finding that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. In a ruling that is the culmination of ten years of litigation, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern rejected Oklahoma’s stated child-rearing and moral reasons for banning same-sex marriage as “so attenuated” that exclusion cannot survive even the most basic level of court review. Kern writes:

Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed. It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights. The Bishop couple has been in a loving, committed relationships for many years. They own property together, wish to retire together, wish to make medical decisions for one another, and wish to be recognized as a married couple with all its attendant rights and responsibilities. Part A of the Oklahoma Constitutional Amendment excludes the Bishop couple, and all otherwise eligible same-sex couples, from this privilege without a legally sufficient justification.

Rep. Joel Kleefisch Reacts To Political Heat

It is always interesting to see what a little heat can do when applied to the backside of a politician who has done something that is just plain wrong.

Such is the case with Republican State Representative  Rep. Joel Kleefisch who authored a highly controversial bill that would reduce child-support payments for wealthy individuals.  Many across the state blasted the idea including this blog.  Last week I gave my impression of the matter.

First of all no one should be aiding fathers who need to be carrying their full weight when it comes to child support payments.  What is even more particularly gross about this story is that the father in question is wealthy and can afford to pay for his spawn.  Shame on his attempt to evade full responsibility.

Second, doing political favors for donors is something that always needs to be viewed from the way it looks to the public as a whole.  While donors often have ideas of worth (that was not the case with this story) it needs to be noted by the elected official that the role of a public servant is not to play to the monied interests but those  he/she really represents when being elected.

Based on the solid disapproval from one end of the state to the other Kleefisch is withdrawing the bill.

What allows for otherwise smart politicians to do such stupid things (as in the case of this proposed legislation where a wealthy campaign donor helped craft self-serving legislation) is simply beyond me.  That it takes a loud statewide “BOO” to bring a legislator back into focus is a good reminder of the power of public participation in the political process.

I conclude with the novel idea that if Wisconsin businessman Michael Eisenga who is at the heart of this bill feels he does not have enough money to pay for his kids he might then reconsider the amount of cash he gives to political figures in the GOP.  Records show Eisenga, president of American Lending Solutions in Columbus, has donated $3,500 to Kleefisch over time and $7,500 to his wife, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in 2010. He gave another $15,000 to Gov. Scott Walker.

Perhaps the man just needs to get his priorities in order.

‘The Newsroom’ Ending Series On HBO With Third Season

One week ago James and I started to watch (via rentals from the library) HBO’s show The Newsroom .  We are still on season one and I am already loving it.  James is much enjoying the program, too.  My loving it probably comes as no surprise for those who know me or read this blog.  The whole concept is right up my alley.  That combined with the fact it is an Aaron Sorkin production means it meets and exceeds all my expectations.  (Was The West Wing not one of the best shows of all time?) Tight writing and acting and compelling thoughtful dramatic story lines in The Newsroom makes it a hit in this home, as it was in so many across the nation.

Today I read the third season will be the last for this series.

“The Newsroom” debuted in 2012 to mostly negative reviews. The second season followed the “News Night” staff as they reported (and then retracted) “Operation Genoa,” a fake story about a U.S. military operation that was inspired by a similar situation at CNN, “Operation Tailwind,” in the late 1990s.

Must Read Article On Gov. Chris Christie

This article is the best one yet I have read during the past week about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.   I post the last paragraph.

Character is destiny, and politicians usually get the scandals they deserve, with a sense of inevitability about them. Warren G. Harding surrounded himself with corrupt pols and businessmen, then checked out, leading to the most sensational case of bribery in American history. Ronald Reagan combined zealotry and fantasy, and Oliver North acted them out. Bill Clinton was libidinous and truth-parsing but also cautious, while George W. Bush was an incurious crusader who believed himself chosen by God and drove almost the entire national-security establishment into lawlessness without thinking twice. Christie, more than any of these, is reminiscent of the President whose petty hatefulness destroyed him—which is why, as NBC’s newscaster said when signing off on an early report on that long-ago burglary, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.