Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Las Vegas Review Journal: When Leon, 26, checked into Spring Valley Hospital on July 20 with complications in her pregnancy, she assumed that her partner Simonelli, 41, could make any necessary medical decisions if she suffered unforeseen problems. But that’s not what happened, they said. An admissions officer told them the hospital policy required gay partners to secure power of attorney before making any medical decisions for each other.
National Review: Try this thought experiment. Imagine that someone grows up in poverty, works his way through law school by holding the night shift as a Capitol Hill policeman, and spends all but two years of his career as a public servant. Now imagine that this person’s current salary — and he’s at the top of his game — is $193,400. You probably wouldn’t expect him to have millions in stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Wisconsin Gazette: A federal court for Nevada will hear a lawsuit filed by eight same-sex couples demanding the freedom to marry in the state. The couples, represented by Lambda Legal, are challenging Nevada’s law banning gay marriage.
Las Vegas Review Journal: Cafferata and Jenkins, who have been together for 15 years, are among the 3,780 couples in Nevada who have entered into domestic partnerships under a 2009 state law. This partnership gives them most of the rights and privileges of heterosexual married couples, although it has a few shortcomings. It doesn’t give them something they really want – a legal marriage.
Las Vegas Sun: A local libertarian think tank’s recent email blast to 12,000 teachers encouraging them to drop their union membership has further inflamed tense relations between the Clark County School District and the local teachers union.
AP: The Service Employees International Union . . . Target states include Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia – each considered crucial for an Obama victory.
Mohave Daily News: Of Nevada’s 25 delegates elected Sunday to go to the national convention, 22 openly support Paul and three back Romney. The state’s three other delegates are state party officials.
Anna Cuevas at Huffington Post: Is there a correlation between divorce and foreclosure? Does foreclosure increase the likelihood of divorce, or does divorce increase the risk of foreclosure? The answer is both are probably true.
Mesquite Citizen: Millions will answer the call to prayer on May 3 and organized events will be held in thousands of public venues throughout the nation from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii. Nevadans in large and small communities create their own events led by volunteers who share information and post unique events on the website provided by the National Day of Prayer Task Force www.NationalDayofPrayer.org
Las Vegas Sun: Lambda attorneys in the suit highlighted what they suggested was a contradiction in which the state’s Constitution limits marriage to couples composed of a male and a female, while at the same time the Legislature in 2009 created Nevada’s Domestic Partnership law. | Lambda Legal press release and documents
Las Vegas Sun: Organizers of one of two competing anti-abortion petitions decided Tuesday to pull their initiative, hoping to present a united front behind the so-called personhood initiative being circulated for signatures now.
Rasmussen: Incumbent Republican Dean Heller holds a seven-point lead over his likeliest Democratic challenger, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the U.S. Senate race in Nevada.
Religion Clause: As previously reported, the Nevada Republican Party yesterday scheduled an evening caucus to accommodate Orthodox Jews who could not attend Saturday daytime caucuses for religious reasons.
Religion Clause Blog: In Martinez v. Clark County, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5313 (D NV, Jan. 18, 2012), a Nevada federal district court, while dismissing claims against the state attorney general, refused to dismiss claims against the county and county officials challenging the constitutionality of Nevada’s statutes limiting who may perform marriage ceremonies
Judge James E. Wilson granted an injunction to stop a group called Personhood Nevada from going forward with its initiative petition, the so-called personhood amendment. Wilson said he expects his ruling to be appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Reno Gazette-Journal: ackers and opponents of two proposed ballot initiatives in Nevada to ban abortions were resolute Wednesday in their efforts a day after voters in conservative Mississippi defeated a similar ballot measure there.
The Hill: The Iowa Republican Party officially set its caucuses for Jan. 3, guaranteeing a standoff between New Hampshire and Nevada for timing of their early primary elections and pushing the primary season up against the holidays for the second consecutive presidential campaign.
American Civil Liberties Union: A group of registered Nevada voters today filed the first of two lawsuits this week challenging two proposed ballot initiatives that could ban vital health services by granting legal protections to fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. | Related Personhood USA press release
Christian Post: The ACLU brought suit in March on behalf of two members of the American Humanist Association, Raul Martinez and Michael Jacobson, who said they were denied certificates to perform marriages because they are not affiliated with a religious organization.
The Hill: Republican Mark Amodei coasted to victory Tuesday, delivering an all-out defeat to Democrat Kate Marshall in Nevada’s first special House election since the state entered the union, according to election results compiled by The Associated Press.
NPR (includes audio): The latest episode in Sister Wives is playing out in the courtroom, not on cable. On Wednesday, the Brown family — the husband, four wives, and 16 children who star in the reality TV show — plans to file a lawsuit in federal court in Utah. The family members say the state’s anti-bigamy law is unconstitutional and that Supreme Court precedent backs them up.
WSJ.com: —The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld a Nevada state law barring local lawmakers from voting on matters in which they are judged to have a conflict of interest.
AP: A Nevada judge ruled Thursday that political parties can pick who will represent them on the ballot for the Silver State’s first special election to fill a vacant U.S. House seat.
AP: The Nevada Supreme Court is hosting an interactive Law Day Live forum linking courtrooms in Las Vegas, Carson City, and Winnemucca around an American Bar Association theme honoring the legacy of the nation’s second president, John Adams.
Las Vegas Review Journal: Senate Bills 368 and 331, which would outlaw transgender discrimination in housing and public accommodations, were approved on votes of 13-8 and 11-10.
AP: Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada is turning in his official resignation letter Friday, a day after announcing he would step down amid a developing ethics probe he feared would result in further “wear and tear” on himself and his family.
Washington Post: The question is whether Carrigan should even have participated in an application for a new casino in this boomtown near Reno. It has turned into a major constitutional showdown with national implications for how states may police public officials who face a potential conflict of interest in conducting the people’s business.
Las Vegas Review Journal: “Members voted 29-13 for Assembly Bill 211, which would prevent discriminating against people based on their gender identity or expression.”
AP: epublicans have moved quickly to convert November election gains to legislative advances in the states. A look at some GOP successes, and setbacks, in the first months of the new order . . .
Las Vegas Review Journal: Senate Commerce and Labor Committee members voted 4-3 for Senate Bill 331 that would make it unlawful for hotels and motels to discriminate on the basis of one’s gender . . . The committee also backed Senate Bill 368, which forbids discrimination through refusal to rent, lease or sell a home, apartment or property to a transgender person.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday’s Las Vegas Sun reports that the ACLU of Nevada has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state of Nevada and Clark County (NV) challenging the constitutionality of the state law that limits the issuance of state certificates to perform marriages to clergy, judges and commissioners and deputy commissioners of civil marriage.
Washington Post: “Ensign, who was first elected to the Senate in 2000 after two terms in the House, is the third Republican to announce his retirement in this year. He follows Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) to the sidelines. Four Democrats, as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, are also retiring in 2012.”
AP: “Burbank and her husband, John Clark, epitomize the dreadful economic situation these days in Nevada, where a once-mighty construction boom has given way to a historic recession and a record 14.9 percent unemployment in Las Vegas.”
Breitbart (AP): “U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took aim at the world’s oldest profession Tuesday, telling state lawmakers the time has come to have an adult conversation about Nevada’s legal sex trade if the state hopes to succeed in the 21st century.”
AP: “The court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal from two newspaper companies, the American Civil Liberties Union and a Nye County brothel called the Shady Lady Ranch.”
Boston Herald: “Nevada union members plan to rally in Las Vegas and Carson City to show their support for public workers in Wisconsin fighting to keep their collective bargaining rights.”
“The Nevada Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a group seeking a constitutional amendment to ban abortions. The court rejected the arguments of Personhood Nevada, which wanted a question on the election ballot this past November.”
OneNewsNow: “The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is trying to encourage two locales that anti-religious groups have no constitutional standing to remove Christian aspects from Christmas . . . ‘Teachers can’t wish students “Merry Christmas;” they have to use the generic “Happy Holidays.” All religious displays or Christmas displays that say “Merry Christmas” have to be taken down, and even Christmas trees have to be referred to as “holiday trees,”‘ the attorney reports.”
Gather: “Virgin Valley High School won’t be having a Merry Christmas this year. Alliance Defense Fund Attorney [David Cortman] said an agreement was reached between the school and the Nevada ACLU disallowing Christmas activities. Employees and teachers are banned from saying “Merry Christmas”, but are they?”
Fox News Radio: “‘Employees, including teachers, can’t even say the words, “Merry Christmas,” in the school,’ [David Cortman] told Fox News Radio. Students, however, are still permitted to use the traditional holiday greeting.”
Charisma Mag: “‘It’s ridiculous that people have to think twice about whether it’s OK to publicly celebrate Christmas. An overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas and are opposed to any kind of censorship of it,’ says ADF Senior Counsel [David Cortman]. ‘The misguided attacks on Christmas by the ACLU and its allies expose an even larger, more aggressive attack on anything and everything Christian.’”
he Alliance Defense Fund and its allied attorneys sent letters Friday to local governments in Nevada and Indiana encouraging them not to give in to baseless threats that Christmas expression is somehow a violation of the First Amendment. The letters instead explain that stifling Christmas expression is what truly violates First Amendment protected rights.
Mesquite Local News: “Representatives from the ACLU met with school officials in May of this year after complaints were filed with the group over charges of ‘proselytizing’ or promoting religion at the school. As a result of that meeting, the school has clamped down on teachers or staff members saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or other statements that could be deemed as religious in nature.”
Washington Examiner Editorial: “[A]n internal e-mail from a Reid campaign operative to a Harrah’s executive strongly suggests the Reid ground game depended at least in part on breaking the law . . . ”
Sylvia R. Lazos, Justice Myron Leavitt professor at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, and Chris W. Bonneau, professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh, writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Nevadans are voting on whether to amend their constitution to provide for the appointment of Supreme Court justices and District Court judges. Here are the reasons why Nevadans should vote no on Question 1 . . . the system that is being proposed — initial appointment by the governor based on a recommendation from a commission — will result in a less open system run by elites who are closely connected to those in power.”
Politico: “O’Connor did not indicate what she did to authorize the group to do with her recording. The group did not identify who gave it permission to use O’Connor’s voice or what convinced them that it was OK to do so in automated phone calls. The group, which is backing a ballot measure to do away with judicial elections in Arizona, has blamed a programming glitch for the late-night calls and said no more robocalls are planned . . . Whelan, a longtime critic of O’Connor, has not been dissuaded [from his opinion that O'Connor's involvement runs afoul of ethics rules].”
Renew America: “Democrats in Nevada have been accused of using strong-arm tactics best symbolized in recent years by the likes of ACORN and SEIU, so as to steal the election for Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid. The ‘funny business’ started when voters in Boulder City (near Las Vegas) showed up to cast their (early voting) ballot for Reid’s Republican opponent, Sharron Angle. Within five minutes, they reported that Senator Reid’s name had already been checked.”
The Blog of LegalTimes: “But [Jeffrey Shaman, a judicial ethics expert and professor at DePaul University College of Law], along with another top judicial ethics expert, New York University’s Stephen Gillers, don’t see anything ethically wrong with what O’Connor has done in the first place in relation to the Nevada initiative. ‘She has a special expertise about these matters, and I don’t see anything wrong with her speaking out about a matter of public concern like this,’ said Shaman, who asserts that O’Connor’s advocacy falls in the category of speech about the administration of justice that the canons permit.”
Ed Whelan writing at National Review Online / Bench Memos: “Do the ethics rules governing federal judges really permit a federal judge to robocall voters in support of a ballot initiative? That question is raised by the apparent decision by former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor—who has retired from the Supreme Court but who, rightly or wrongly, maintains that she now has senior status and can still sit on lower-court cases—to authorize use of her voice on robocall messages to Nevada voters in support of Question 1 (which would alter the state’s method of selecting its judges).”
Center for American Progress: “The Family Equality Council finds that only six states have laws or policies that expressly prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian adoptions (California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York). The Florida appeals court’s ruling now decreases the number of states that expressly restrict adoption by same-sex couples to three—Michigan, Mississippi, and Nebraska . . . Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) recently introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act . . . ”
Associated Press: “U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle told a crowd of supporters that the country needs to address a ‘militant terrorist situation’ that has allowed Islamic religious law to take hold in some American cities.”
Associated Press: “The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that U.S. Senate candidate Scott Ashjian’s name should stay on the November election ballot despite challenges to his qualifications.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal: “A majority of Nevadans say they believe it is time to revive a proposed constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, according to a new poll. And in a measure of how residents feel about Uncle Sam these days, a majority either support or would not rule out letting states repeal federal laws if two-thirds of the legislatures agree.”
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: “An unusually large contingent of female Republican candidates with strong anti-abortion views is heating up debate on the issue and could change the political equation in the next Congress.”
The Reno Gazette-Journal: “Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor continued her push Wednesday to change the way Nevada selects its district judges and Supreme Court justices. O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, is backing Ballot Question 1, which would end Nevada’s system of electing judges and replace it with a system where judges would first be appointed by the governor after a review by a judicial committee.”
Sify: “Nevada Religious Freedom and Unity Day event in Reno (Nevada, USA) on September 19 had Hindu invocation. After event coordinator Reverend Neal T. Anderson, Minister of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada, launched the event at City Plaza, Hindu leader Rajan Zed read from ancient Hindu scriptures Rig-Veda and Upanishads.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal: “The construction sector, restaurants and professional firms all added jobs in the month, but declines in Census jobs and other public-sector cuts offset that hiring to push statewide unemployment to an all-time high of 14.4 percent, the state Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation said this morning. That’s up from 14.3 percent in July and 12.5 percent in August 2009.”
Associated Press: “An administration official said Tuesday seven states suing the federal government are among 16 already approved for subsidies to help with the health care costs of early retirees. The seven are Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of Tuesday’s official announcement.”
Las Vegas Sun: “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto finds herself potentially stuck between the governing documents on the issue of gay marriage. And those on both sides of the volatile debate say she should wade into the legal fight in their favor.”
Rasmussen: “The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state shows Democratic Senator Harry Reid and his Republican challenger Sharron Angle tied with 47% of the vote each. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and two percent (2%) are undecided.”
Reuters: “The U.S. Senate’s senior Democrat broke with President Barack Obama on Monday over the proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque in New York City, with Senator Harry Reid saying it should be built elsewhere.”
Associated Press: “Tax revenue figures for the 2009 fiscal year collected by The Morning Call of Allentown show Pennsylvania took in nearly $1.1 billion from its nine casinos. That outpaces the $878 million collected by Indiana and the $831 million by Nevada.”
Las Vegas Sun: “Citing a lack of support for the U.S. military and ‘demonstrated hostility’ toward gun rights, Sen. John Ensign said Friday he will vote against the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
LifeNews: “The national pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List issued a round of endorsements today for pro-life candidates in Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Nevada. SBA List backed two women and two men who face opposition from pro-abortion women in their races for Congress.”
Las Vegas Sun: “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle describes her motivation for seeking elected office as a religious calling. … [A]lthough many Americans view the separation of church and state as one of the keys to the nation’s success as a multicultural society, Angle believes that religion has an expansive role to play in government. And, she has repeatedly said anyone who opposes that based on the claim of separation of church and state misunderstands the Constitution’s ban on ‘establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’”
AP: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has banked $19.2 million for his re-election campaign but will need to speed up his fundraising to reach his goal of hitting $25 million for the Nevada race.”
Central Chronicle: “City Council of Boulder City (Nevada, USA), known as ‘Home of Hoover Dam’, opened with Hindu prayers reportedly for the first time on June 22 evening.”
Mercury News: “A Muslim advocacy group representative accused the FBI on Monday of wrongly questioning five Muslim men in the Los Angeles area about praying in a shopping center parking lot in southern Nevada six months ago.”
Reno Gazette-Journal: “Nevada’s teen pregnancy rate is among the highest in the United States, and Lyon County’s is among the highest in Nevada. . . . the Lyon County School Trustees voted on June 8 meeting to form a new committee to re-evaluate the district’s sex education program. . . . The LCSD requires students to have active permission from their parents each year in order to take sex education courses. The District’s current sex education program is an abstinence-only program called ‘Worth the Wait.’”