Proposition 8 Overturned


Huffington Post

A federal judge overturned California’s gay-marriage ban Wednesday in a landmark case that could eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed.

The ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker touched off a celebration outside the courthouse. Gay couples waved rainbow and American flags and erupted with cheers in the city that has long been a haven for gays.

LA Times

 Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the judge’s decision. “Because a judge had the courage to stand up for the constitution of the United States, prop 8 has been overturned!” the mayor wrote on Twitter.

“This ruling marks a victory for loving, committed couples who want nothing more than the same rights and security as other families,” added Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, minutes after Walker’s ruling was released. “From the start, this has been about basic fairness.”

New York Magazine

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on Wednesday that the California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional, in a case that will almost certainly go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Walker ruled that Proposition 8 is “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses.” The court, therefore, “orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement.” Two key sentences from the ruling:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.

Update: Good As You has a PDF of the decision.

They’re Not Embarrassed | Video Cafe


Crooks & Liars 

The Democrats need to use this footage for some campaign ads this year. Rachel Maddow lays out how the Republicans have continually flip-flopped on their own campaign issues once Democrats decide to embrace them whether it be health care reform, campaign finance reform, aid to small businesses or cap and trade. As she said in the clip of this rank hypocrisy, they’re just not embarrassed. But then since the media largely gives them a pass on this kind of stuff, why should they be?

Late Night/Early Morning Blog Roundup 8-4-2010

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Still more proof Sarah Palin is toxic outside her bubble

The Plum Line

Okay, here’s still more evidence, as if you needed it, that Sarah Palin is increasingly toxic to voters who reside outside the Palin Nation bubble.

Pew Research just released a new poll finding that more than twice as many Americans see a Palin endorsement as a negative for a Congressional candidate than view it as a positive.

The numbers: Thirty eight percent say they are less likely to back a Congressional candidate if Palin “campaigns on their behalf.” Less than half that amount, 18 percent, say they are more likely to do so. Forty two percent say it would make no difference, only slightly more than see it as a downer.

No one is contesting the fact that Palin is a major draw among GOP primary voters. But the larger story here — one that goes directly to the heart of her presidential aspirations — is that she’s successfully tightening her emotional grip on her devoted legions of supporters at the expense of just about everyone else. Far more see her as a turn-off than as a turn-on.

Palin supporters get very, very angry when you point this out. But the evidence is overwhelming at this point:

* A recent NBC/WSJ poll reached the same conclusion as today’s Pew poll: It found that a majority of adults nationwide would look negatively on candidates endorsed by Palin.

* A recent Gallup poll noted a striking disconnect in public attitudes towards Palin: While her favorability rating is far higher among Republicans than that of all the other 2012 GOP contenders, she’s also far and away the least liked of all the 2012 hopefuls among Americans overall.

* A recent poll of New Hampshire voters from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling found that 51 percent say they’re less likely to back a Palin-endorsed candidate. Tellingly, among moderates that number jumped to 65 percent.

* Multiple other polls have found her negatives on the rise with the broader electorate.

This all supports what I’ve argued here before: That Palin is better off staying in her current role of celebrity quasi-candidate. This has allowed her to insulate herself from direct media cross-examination and to communicate directly to the Palin Nation mob, which is growing more transfixed. But the rest of the world continues to sour on her. It’s hard to see how she’ll succeed if she ever steps outside the bubble she’s crafted for herself.

There’s a tremendous amount of media discussion about whether Palin will run for president and about how much of a political “rock star” she has become. It’s odd that the larger and arguably more important story about what she has wrought for herself never enters into the conversation.

Reid and Sanders blast the “Dred Scott Republicans”

Daily Kos DiaryJoan McCarter

Bernie Sanders rightly pegs the constitutional revisionism on immigration from the Republicans for what it is.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist, said the amendment “deserves discussion” but that Republicans are demagoging the issue ahead of the midterm elections.

“If you think it’s a coincidence this is coming up three months before the election, you are mistaken,” he said on ABC’s “Top Line” webcast.

It does deserve discussion, in order to expose the Republicans. That’s precisely what Harry Reid did today.

Reid (D-NV) quoted extensively from a column written by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson on Friday. Reid read this portion from the podium of his press conference:

The authors of the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed citizenship to all people “born or naturalized in the United States” for a reason. They wished to directly repudiate the Dred Scott decision, which said that citizenship could be granted or denied by political caprice.

They purposely chose an objective standard of citizenship — birth — that was not subject to politics. Reconstruction leaders established a firm, sound principle: To be an American citizen, you don’t have to please a majority, you just have to be born here.

Then Reid said of Republicans pushing the issue, “They’ve either taken leave of their senses or their principles.”

It’s charitable for Reid to suggest that they’ve possibly taken leave of their senses, when he knows as well as Bernie Sanders that it’s their principles that are lacking.

McConnell Refuses To Detail GOP Agenda

I wonder why the GOP refuses to detail their agenda?  Could it be that the party of “No” has no agenda?  

Think Progress

After spending months using gimmicks and “flimsywebsites attempting to convince voters they have fresh and substantive policy ideas, Republicans have all but conceded they don’t have any. Last month, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said that Republicans shouldn’t “lay out a complete agenda” because it could become a “campaign issue.” Just days later, the heads of the Republican congressional campaign committees — Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) — failed to name a single specific policy they support on NBC’s Meet The Press, instead suggesting that Americans intuitively “understand what Republicans stand for.”

This morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on Bloomberg to discuss policy and the GOP agenda. But he didn’t have much to say either:

HOST: Do Republicans need to articulate what you would do in power, as opposed to simply campaigning against what the President’s done?

MCCONNELL: I think we clearly do need to make sure Americans know what we would do and we’re gonna make that announcement in late September so the voters will have an opp…

HOST: But you have an opportunity right here to spell it out.

MCCONNELL: Yeah but I think I won’t scoop myself. We’ll be making that announcement in late September.   Watch:

It’s unclear why the GOP needs to wait months to announce their policies when it has been working on overcoming its branding as the “Party of No” since last year. In fact, the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), suggested that his committee be eliminated because other “solutions groups” were duplicating its work. Yet the GOP still has no coherent policy agenda – last month, RedState founder and staunch conservative Erick Erickson even told the party to “stop lying” and admit that it’s the “Party of No.”

But it’s not like the GOP has no ideas whatsoever. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) thinks that “all [Republicans] should do is issue subpoenas” if they win the House this fall. And House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who “doesn’t need to see GDP numbers or talk to economists” to determine policy, instead had lobbyists help him come up with a “new policy agenda.” More recently, the House Republican Study Committee issued a jobs plan that is a “huge doubling down on the Bush agenda” and “won’t effectively create jobs.”

Considering the total lack of smart, new ideas in the Republican party, it’s not a surprise that they need a lot more time to announce their agenda while their members are trying to duck scrutiny.

Lou Dobbs Opposes GOP Push To Repeal The 14th Amendment Over Immigration (VIDEO)

Huffington Post

The growing chorus of Senate Republicans urging repeal of the 14th Amendment as a means of denying citizenship to the children of immigrants received a rebuke Tuesday from, of all people, notorious immigration foe Lou Dobbs.

Appearing on Fox News, the former CNN host defended the constitutional amendment which provides birthright citizenship.

“The idea that anchor babies somehow require changing the 14th Amendment, I part ways with the Senators on that because I believe the 14th Amendment, particularly in its due process and equal protection clauses, is so important,” Dobbs said. “It lays the foundation for the entire Bill of Rights being applied to the states.”

That even Dobbs opposes the GOP push to repeal the 14th Amendment is a measure of just how radical the effort is. Some Republicans who signaled their support for the move as recently as Monday, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have already backtracked from their earlier support for broad review of the law.

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee wasn’t one of them. “The Constitution is not as clear as it first appears,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.) told reporters Tuesday. “I continue to hear good Americans explain to me they think it makes no sense.”

Sessions said “we definitely should look at” repealing birthright citizenship, and “I think hearings is a good way to do it.”

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