Sunday, June 30, 2013


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wave of weddings were performed inSan Francisco City Hall on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decisions to restore same-sex marriages to California, as defeated backers of the state's gay marriage ban filed a last-ditch effort to halt the ceremonies.
Less than 24 hours after California started issuing marriage licensesto same sex couples, lawyers for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom filed an emergency petition to the high court Saturday asking it to halt the weddings on the grounds that its decision was not yet legally final. They claimed the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted prematurely and unfairly on Friday when it allowed gay marriage to resume by lifting a hold that had been placed on same sex unions.
The motion was filed as dozens of couples in jeans, shorts, white dresses and the occasional military uniform filled City Hall to obtain marriage licenses. On Friday, 81 same sex couples received marriage licenses.
Although a few clerk's offices around the state stayed open late on Friday, San Francisco, which is holding its annual gay pride celebration this weekend, was the only jurisdiction to hold weekend hours so that same sex couples could take advantage of their newly restored right, Clerk Karen Hong said.
A sign posted on the door of the office where a long line of couples waited to fill out applications listed the price for a license, a ceremony or both above the words "Equality=Priceless."
"We really wanted to make this happen," Hong said, adding that her whole staff and a group of volunteers came into work without having to be asked. "It's spontaneous, which is great in its own way."
The timing couldn't have been better for California National Guard Capt. Michael Potoczniak, 38, and his partner of 10 years, Todd Saunders, 47, of El Cerrito.
Potoczniak, who joined the Guard after the military's ban on openly gay service was repealed almost two years ago, was scheduled to fly out Sunday night for a month of basic training in Texas.
"I woke up this morning, shook him awake and said, 'Let's go,'" said Potoczniak, who chose to get married in his Army uniform. "It's something that people need to see because everyone is so used to uniforms at military weddings."
Also waiting to wed Saturday were Scott Kehoe, 34, and his fiance, Aurelien Bricker, 24. After finding out on Facebook that the city was issuing same sex marriage licenses Friday, the San Francisco couple rushed out to Tiffany's to buy wedding rings.
"We were afraid of further legal challenges in the state," Kehoe said.
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Proposition 8's backers lacked standing to defend the 2008 law because California's governor and attorney general have declined to defend the ban.
Then on Friday, the 9th Circuit appeared to have removed the last obstacle to making same sex matrimony legal again in California when it removed its hold on a lower court's 2010 order directing state officials to stop enforcing the ban.
Within hours, same sex couples were seeking marriage licenses. The two couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8 were wed in San Francisco and Los Angeles Friday.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks said on Saturday that the high court's consideration of the case isn't done because his clients still have 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider Wednesday's 5-4 decision.
Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to request a rehearing. While such requests are almost never granted, the high court said that it wouldn't finalize its judgment in the case at least until after that waiting period elapsed.
The San Francisco-based appeals court had said when it imposed the stay that it would remain in place until the Supreme Court issued its final disposition, according to Nimocks.
"Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed," he said. "On Friday, the 9th Circuit acted contrary to its own order without explanation."
Many legal experts who had anticipated such a last-ditch effort by gay marriage opponents said it was unlikely to succeed because the 9th Circuit has independent authority over its own orders — in this case, its 2010 stay.
While the ban's backers can still ask the Supreme Court for a rehearing, the 25-day waiting period is not binding on lower federal courts, Vikram Amar, a constitutional law professor with the University of California, Davis law school, said.
"As a matter of practice, most lower federal courts wait to act," Amar said. "But there is nothing that limits them from acting sooner. It was within the 9th Circuit's power to do what it did."
The city, home to both a federal trial court that struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional and the 9th Circuit, has been the epicenter of the state's gay marriage movement since then-Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered his administration in February 2004 to issue licenses to gay couples in defiance of state law.
A little more than four years later, the California Supreme Court, which is also based in San Francisco, struck down the state's one-man, one-woman marriage laws.
City Hall was the scene of many more marriages in the 4 1/2 months before a coalition of religious conservative groups successfully campaigned for the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to outlaw same sex marriages.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.
The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Wearing pink tennis shoes to prepare for nearly 13 consecutive hours of standing, a Democratic Texas state senator on Tuesday began her one-woman filibuster to block a GOP-led effort that would effectively close most abortion clinics across the nation's second-most populous state.
Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth began the filibuster at 11:18 a.m. CDT Tuesday. To derail a vote in the GOP-dominated Senate, she must keep speaking on the bill until midnight — the deadline for the end of the 30-day special session.

High Court Rejects Key Rule in Voting Rights Act
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require federal monitoring of elections.
The justices said in 5-4 vote that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that does not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.
The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But the justices did say lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington's approval, in advance, for election changes.
Chief Justice John Roberts said for the conservative majority that Congress "may draft another formula based on current conditions." 

Monday, June 24, 2013


Affirmative Action Survives The Supreme Court — Barely



By a 7-1 vote, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the use of race-based affirmative action must be held to a heightened scrutiny that allows it to be used only if it is the sole means of increasing diversity on campus. They sent the case of Fisher v. University of Texas back to the Federal Court of Appeals to be reviewed by that standard.
“The University must prove that the means chosen by the University to attain diversity are narrowly tailored to that goal. On this point, the University receives no deference,”Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “Strict scrutiny must not be strict in theory but feeble in fact.”
The case was built upon 2003′s landmark decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which held that race may be a factor in increasing diversity, though quotas may not be used. In her majority decision, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote, “The court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”

Sunday, June 23, 2013


There's a New Fascism on the Rise, and the NSA Leaks Show Us What It Looks Like

The power of truth-tellers like Edward Snowden is that they dispel a whole mythology carefully constructed by the corporate cinema, the corporate academy and the corporate media.


 
 
 
 
In his book, Propaganda, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."




Friday, June 21, 2013







  ENVIRONMENT  
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Tennessee Official Says Complaining About Water Quality Could Be Considered 'Act of Terrorism'

The claim was made during a meeting with residents who say the "cloudy, odd-tasting water" is making their children sick.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What we really need is a change of focus from victims of rape to perpetrators
ew hair

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Are the Young People That Shrinks Label as Disruptive Really Anarchists with a Healthy Resistance to Oppressive Authority?

la resistance

Wednesday, June 5, 2013




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