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San Francisco Chronicle: The denial of insurance coverage to the same-sex spouse of a federal court employee in San Francisco was an act of discrimination, the court’s chief judge has ruled in an order that entitles the employee to compensation for the costs of private insurance.
LA Times: The voluntary poll would come in response to a law that seeks to gauge the size of LGBT populations and whether they are being adequately served. But some question how the data would be used.
Advocates for Faith and Freedom at the Christian Newswire: Yesterday, a trial court in Riverside County, California, heard arguments why the prosecution’s case should be dismissed in the case of People v. Brett Coronado. Advocates for Faith & Freedom are defending Pastor Brett Coronado and Mark Mackey on misdemeanor charges after they were arrested in front of a California DMV while Mr. Mackey was reading the Bible out loud.
CNN: A federal immigration court judge in San Francisco put a deportation proceeding on hold Friday for a gay California man who is an undocumented immigrant and married to a U.S. citizen, the couple’s attorney said.
Religion Clause Blog: Annenberg TV News yesterday reported that in Los Angeles, California, the Council on Islamic American relations has filed a lawsuit challenging the city of Lomita’s refusal to grant a permit for a renovation project for the South Bay Islamic Center.
SanLuisObispo.com: A San Luis Obispo atheists group is challenging the constitutionality of the City Council’s decision to not charge for parking downtown until church services have concluded on Sunday mornings.
Volokh Conspiracy: An orthodox rabbi [Moshe Zigelman] who refused to testify before a federal grand jury, saying his religious beliefs prohibit informing on fellow Jews, was ordered jailed Friday by a District Court judge for contempt of court … [u]ntil he chooses to testify ….
Religion Clause Blog: U-T San Diego reported last week that California’s Attorney General has issued an Opinion (March 7, 2012) (full text) concluding that it would violate the “No Preference” clause (Art. 1, Sec. 4) of the California Constitution for the California Department of Parks and Recreation to permit the city of Encinitas to install the “Surfing Madonna” mosaic on state property at Moonlight State Beach.
San Francisco Chronicle: A day after Senate leaders ended a deadlock blocking Obama administration judicial nominations from moving forward, the Senate this afternoon approved Michael Walter Fitzgerald to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
UTSanDiego.com: Federal government wants review of 9th U.S. Circuit ruling that Mount Soledad landmark is unconstitutional
Hurt ‘feelings’ not enough for federal case: Mt. Soledad Memorial dispute based on ‘offended’ observer
DF senior counsel Joseph Infranco said public monuments “to honor those who gave their lives in service to our nation should not be torn apart based on the subjective ‘offense’ of a litigious few.” “Allowing that to happen places the future of these beloved memorials into the hands of activists whose sole concern is furthering a divisive, political agenda, no matter the cost,” he said. [more quotes and from the ADF brief]
The Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to review a lower court’s decision that declared the Mt. Soledad Veterans’ Memorial cross in San Diego, Calif., unconstitutional.
Michael J. Boskin and John F. Cogan at the Wall Street Journal: California’s rising standards of living and outstanding public schools and universities once attracted millions seeking upward economic mobility. But then something went radically wrong as California legislatures and governors built a welfare state on high tax rates, liberal entitlement benefits, and excessive regulation. The results, though predictable, are nonetheless striking.
Robert Knight at the Washington Times: As the American Civil Liberties Union prowls the land to muzzle public prayers, rip out Ten Commandments monuments and terrify small towns over Nativity scenes, help may be on the way from the U.S. Supreme Court.
LA Times: Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum is nipping at Mitt Romney’s heels in the California Republican primary race, while President Obama is well-positioned to win the general election in the state, according to a recent poll.
One News Now: California attorney expects opponents of traditional marriage to lose in The Golden State if the Proposition 8 case is heard by the full panel of judges on a federal appeals court.
Charlie Butts at One News Now: William Becker of the Los Angeles-based Becker Law Firm is an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) ally representing Coppedge. He says JPL’s action is illegal discrimination. “Employees shouldn’t be threatened with termination and punished for sharing their opinion with willing co-workers just because the view being shared doesn’t fit the prevailing view in the workplace,” Becker contends. “Mr. Coppedge has always maintained that intelligent design is a scientific theory, but JPL has illegally discriminated against him on the basis of what it deems to be ‘religion.’”
Glendale News-Press: William Becker, an attorney with the nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund who is representing Coppedge, said his client was disciplined for his Christian beliefs. “They don’t have a policy against discussing religion and politics, so they essentially singled him out. He was forbidden from doing something everybody else was allowed to do,” Becker said . . . “Throughout the scientific and academic worlds in this country, if you dare insert what somebody perceives to be your evangelical Christian values — if they think you’re doing that — heads roll,” Becker said.
CNA: “Employees shouldn’t be threatened with termination and punished for sharing their opinion with willing co-workers just because the view being shared doesn’t fit the prevailing view in the workplace,” said Coppedge’s attorney William Becker, who is allied with the Alliance Defense Fund.
SCOTUS Blog: UPDATED 7:20 p.m. This post has been updated with the filing of a second brief opposing en banc review, by the city and county of San Francisco. That brief, too, is linked in the post.
Mary Nurrenburn at Pasadena City College Courier: Does any one group or person have the right to dictate who is allowed to get married? Religious organizations such as The National Organization for Marriage and Alliance Defense Fund wants the public to believe that same sex marriage is unconstitutional. On the ADF website it states that it stands, “to protect the freedoms our forefathers intended” and that it aims to “preserve marriage as being between one man and one woman.”
F.E. Cornejo at Pasadena City College Courier: DOMAWatch.org, a site devoted to providing legal information to uphold the tradition of marriage states . . . Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the Christian based legal counsel institution that represents Protect Marriage, has a clear stance. “With God’s grace, ADF and our allies will continue to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary, to uphold marriage as the union between one man and one woman.” This past weekend, ADF established National Pray for Marriage Day . . .
LifeSiteNews: Teenagers are directed to a website, TeenSource.org, where, after filling out the request form, they can have a free package of ten condoms along with lubricant and sex-ed literature mailed to their home addresses in a plain yellow envelope.
San Francisco Chronicle: Support for same-sex marriage in California has never been higher, with 59 percent of the state’s voters backing the legalization of gay nuptials, according to a new Field Poll.
ADF Attorney Austin R. Nimocks at Townhall: Throughout the push for the judicial overthrow of California’s marriage amendment, arguments were made about how it was time to quit peeking into people’s bedrooms, or allegedly singling out those who practice homosexual behavior. Sexuality was a private matter, some argued, and that shouldn’t affect public decisions, or so the argument went. However, that was then, and this is now. The Administration Office of the Courts in California is now making sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench . . .
Three high school students who were ordered to remove their American flag clothing to avoid offending students celebrating their Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo in 2010 filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Wednesday.
LifeNews: On Friday, Sen. Christine Kehoe proposed a bill in the California Senate that would greatly expand who can be an abortion provider in California. Apparently, there is current confusion in California over exactly who can perform abortions.
Weekly Standard: In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation. The announcement was made in an internal memo sent to all California judges and justices.
AP: But prosecutors say being a trusted source also allowed her to lure them into unwittingly helping her build a baby manufacturing business spanning two continents that netted millions.
One News Now: “The people of California deserve to have their marriage amendment defended before the full appeals court. The panel’s ruling mischaracterized the purpose of marriage, failed to faithfully and fairly interpret the Constitution, and disregarded every relevant appellate and Supreme Court precedent in American history,” Raum comments. “Marriage is too valuable to be redefined by two San Francisco judges in a case funded by Hollywood millionaires.”
Fox News: The Alliance Defense Fund filed suit Tuesday on behalf of Geneva College, a Christian-affiliated school in Pennsylvania. The ADF also filed suit over the weekend on behalf of Louisiana College, a private Baptist institution. Separately, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed suit on behalf of four groups . . .
Cal. Catholic Daily: The people of California deserve to have their marriage amendment defended before the full appeals court,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum. “The panel’s ruling mischaracterized the purpose of marriage, failed to faithfully and fairly interpret the Constitution, and disregarded every relevant appellate and Supreme Court precedent in American history. Marriage is too valuable to be redefined by two San Francisco judges in a case funded by Hollywood millionaires.”
SCOTUS Blog: Giving gays and lesbians a higher level of constitutional protection against discrimination, a federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on federal benefits as it applied to a same-sex couple who are legally married in California. The 43-page ruling . . .
Stanford Law Review Online: The Ninth Circuit’s Perry Decision and the Constitutional Politics of Marriage Equality
Concurring Opinions: The Stanford Law Review Online has just published an Essay by Yale’s William N. Eskridge Jr. entitled The Ninth Circuit’sPerry Decision and the Constitutional Politics of Marriage Equality. Eskridge provides an accessible summary of the opinion and defends the judgment against detractors who claim it went too far—or didn’t go far enough
Religion Clause Blog: In the case, former high school student Chad Farnan claimed that in his sophomore Advanced Placement European History class, teacher James Corbett violated the Establishment clause by making statements that were hostile toward religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Boston.com (AP): “Generally speaking, we think the 9th Circuit as a whole deserves the chance to basically fix this because the decision is such an outlier, it’s really not representative of what the 9th Circuit’s thinking on this issue has been,” Pugno said.
NYTimes.com: Therese Stewart, a lawyer for San Francisco, which joined the lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, said there was a lot to like about Judge Reinhardt’s approach. “We’ve got a victory,” she said. “It not only lessens the likelihood that the court feels compelled to take the case, but it also gives the court an alternative route to rule in our favor.”
Law.com: Less is known about his opponents’ fee arrangements. Folsom solo practitioner Andrew Pugno, lawyer for ProtectMarriage.com said he couldn’t disclose information about his firm or Washington, D.C., boutique Cooper & Kirk, except to say “the rates are discounted in a manner consistent with private firms working for nonprofit clients.” He said “thousands” of hours have been donated by counsel, and the Alliance Defense Fund, co-counsel for the proponents of Prop 8, donated all of its lawyers’ time.
Christian Post: No court should presume to redefine marriage,” says ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum, “or undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people. Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing the definition of marriage. Sixty-three million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63 percent voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.”
Inquirer Global Nation: “No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people,” said Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal aid group based in Arizona that helped defend Proposition 8, told the AP. “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court,” he said.
LifeNews.com: ADF Senior Counsel Steven Aden says Americans should not be compelled to pay for other people’s elective abortions. “No one should be forced to violate their conscience by paying for abortions, but that’s precisely what ObamaCare does,” he explained. “ObamaCare requires that employees enrolled in certain health plans pay a separate insurance premium specifically to pay for other people’s elective abortions and offers no opt-out for religious or moral reasons. Such a mandate cannot survive constitutional scrutiny.”
Christian Post: Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Brian Raum said the group has not yet decided what to do but will make a decision in “due time.” Federal law allows them 90 days to appeal the decision to a higher court.
Dale Carpenter at LaTimes.com: What potentially dooms Proposition 8 as it nears the Supreme Court is not necessarily the distinct whiff of prejudice but a lingering impression of incoherence.
Asian Journal: “No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people,” said Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal aid group based in Arizona that helped defend Proposition 8, told the AP.
ADF Attorney Austin R. Nimocks appeared on several shows to discuss the ruling. | KKSF Newstalk 910 AM San Francisco with Rosie Allen – MP3 audio 9:13 | Talk 107.3 FM Baton Rouge with Matt Kennedy - MP3 audio 5:03 mins | WMUZ 103.5 FM, The Light the Bob Dutko Show - MP3 audio 8:53 mins.
Dale Schowengerdt on the Hugh Hewitt Show: Could the Presidential election affect the course of the Prop. 8 litigation?
TheAge.com.au: An Australian gay couple have had their six-year-old son taken from them by child protection authorities in Los Angeles while the FBI and Queensland police investigate allegations that they are members of an international paedophile ring.
Jason Mazzone at Balkinization: By finding Proposition 8 to violate the Equal Protection Clause solely on the ground that it withdrew the right of marriage that gays and lesbians previously possessed in California (as a result the earlier state supreme court’s decision), Perry v. Brown produces a curious result. It appears to leave Proposition 8 partially intact.
The Editors – National Review Online: It’s not a good sign when a 77-page judicial opinion contains a falsehood in its first sentence. Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the most notorious liberal activist on the oft-overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, begins his opinion for the 2–1 majority in the California same-sex-marriage case, Perry v. Brown, thus . . .
Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy: In contrast to Judge Walker’s maximalist opinion striking down Prop 8, it’s generally accepted that Judge Reinhardt’s opinion was minimalist. There’s a commonsense way in which the opinion is not at all minimalist.
Joe Infranco and John Eastman on Ave Maria Radio with Al Kresta: Analyzing the 9th Circuit Prop. 8 ruling
ADF Attorney Dale Schowengerdt appeared on several radio shows to discuss the Prop. 8 ruling. | The Drew Mariani Show - MP3 audio 11:40 mins | WSHO in New Orleans with Kathleen Benfield – MP3 audio 16:13 mins | The Victoria Taft Show - MP3 audio 7:56 mins
Inside Bay Area: Austin Nimocks, a senior lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, one of the groups defending the law, would not reveal the strategic considerations, but promised: “We will do something. I can guarantee that.”
Sacramento Bee: roposition 8 backers are already dismissing the ruling as the work of a liberal appeals court. As Brian Raum, a lawyer for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, said in a statement, “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage – tried in San Francisco – turned out this way.” But before they engage in the usual stereotyping of the 9th Circuit, Proposition 8 proponents might want to carefully examine the legal precedents the appeals court relied upon in handing down its decision.
Pueblo Chieftain: Brian Raum, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund that helped defend Proposition 8 in court, noted, “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court.”
Daniel B. Wood at Christian Science Monitor at Yahoo! News: The Alliance Defense Fund, which helped to defend Prop. 8 in court, has not divulged its plans, but senior counsel Brian Raum has said the group expects to make a decision “in due time.”
Baptist Press (includes video of Alan Sears): Alliance Defense Fund attorney Dale Schowengerdt said that while the decision’s outcome was more narrow than Walker’s, its reasoning in striking down Prop 8 was broad. “It’s not a narrow ruling in many regards,” Schowengerdt told Baptist Press. “The court basically said there’s no legitimate reason to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The court said Proposition 8 was supported by nothing but animus.”
San Francisco Chronicle (Bloomberg): “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way,” Brian Raum, an attorney for proponents and senior counsel at the legal group Alliance Defense Fund, said in an e-mail. “But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court.”
NCRegister.com: till, whenever marriage has been put to a vote, Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing its definition. Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum said that “63 million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63% voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.”
News from The Associated Press: A nonprofit legal firm, Liberty Institute in Washington, D.C., planned to file its petition Thursday . . .
Education News: A bill sponsored by California Assemblyman Tony Mendoza that makes it easier for school districts to block charter schools has passed through the Assembly.
NY Daily News: The lesbians who became the poster couple for gays seeking to marry in California are now doing what countless straight couples have done before them — they’re splitting up.
Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy: Today’s Ninth Circuit decision striking down California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage is unpersuasive because it claims that the law fails to meet even minimal “rational basis” scrutiny. Eugene Volokh does a good job of explaining why.
Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy: I have no idea what the Supreme Court might do in the Perry case. But my own sense is that Judges Walker and Reinhardt are not quite as clever as some people seem to think. Or, at the very least, the reasoning of their opinions don’t really matter very much.
CBS News: Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich on Tuesday decried the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for striking down California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage — both of them targeting the judiciary system for invoking what Gingrich described as a “radical overreach” of power.
Santorum: Prop. 8 ruling hurts ‘foundation of our society’; “rogue” 9th Circuit should be “abolished”
The Hill: “Today’s decision by the 9th Circuit is another in a long line of radical activist rulings by this rogue circuit – and it is precisely why I have called for that circuit to be abolished and split up,” Santorum said in a statement Tuesday. “Marriage is defined and has always been defined as ‘one man and one woman.’ We simply cannot allow 50 different definitions of marriage.”
College Times – Arizona State University (McClatchy): Brian Raum, a lawyer for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, a supporter of Proposition 8, said in a prepared statement, “We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court.”
Cal. Coast News: The court allowed time for proponents of the ban to file an appeal before the decision takes the force of law. Spokesmen for one such group, the Alliance Defense Fund, said an appeal would be forthcoming to the 9th Circuit’s full complement.
OneNewsNow.com: Thomasson expects the case to land in the nation’s highest court, with Justice Anthony Kennedy casting the deciding vote. In fact, Alliance Defense Fund says it will do exactly that (see accompanying video of ADF general counsel Alan Sears). [Brian Raum also quoted]