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USA Today: In a move that could signal the end of a key restriction on political giving, the Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will consider a case challenging the limit on how much individuals can donate directly to federal candidates and political parties.
Oregon Public Radio: Oregon voters could decide next year whether to legally recognize same-sex marriages. Supporters of gay marriage submitted an initiative Monday aimed at putting such a question on the Oregon ballot in November of 2014.
National Review Bench Memos: North Carolina is an important front in the ongoing battle over our nation’s state courts, as I’ve written about before. Last Thursday, Republican North Carolina state senators Jerry Tillman and Thom Goolsby presented legislation to introduce partisan affiliations to judicial elections.
NY Times: The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.
Christian Post: A U.S. District Court judge ruled that a major pro-life organization is not guilty of defamation against a politician who sued the group two years earlier over losing a re-election bid.
LA Times: GOP lawmakers in several battleground states have proposed a proportional method for awarding votes, rather than the current winner-take-all system. But some within the party object.
Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review: The biggest political problems for pro-lifers remain what they have been for many years: They are in coalition with economic conservatives who have not found a way to translate their principles into a popular program, and they have not found a way to form a coalition with blacks and Hispanics who agree with them. Solving or mitigating those problems will require a massive effort not limited to the pro-life movement alone. In the meantime, pro-life politicians cannot afford to make avoidable mistakes.
Emirates247.com: A well-known Saudi Islamic scholar has issued a new fatwa (edict) saying holding elections for a president or another form of leadership is prohibited in Islam.
State Court Administrator says Iowa Supreme Court has weathered the storm of anti-judicial sentiment
WCFCourier.com: State Court Administrator David Boyd said Wednesday he believes the Iowa Supreme Court has weathered a “perfect storm” of anti-judicial sentiment that brewed in 2010 following a controversial same-sex marriage decision and disruptive state budget cuts.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a plea by the national Republican party to free it from a three-decades-old court order that limits its right to challenge voters’ qualifications.
CNN: An anti-abortion group will not get a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on its appeal of federal law designating it as a political nonprofit that must disclose information about its financial donors.
Christian Post: Christian voters were not permitted to cast ballots in some polling places during the December 15 constitutional referendum, the Associated Press and BBC reported.
James Gill at Times Picayune: The case for an appointed state judiciary just got much stronger. No jurist under any system is likely to be apolitical, but convention has always required some pretence of impartiality and restraint. Not in the recent Supreme Court election. From the get-go, the winner of the race, Jeff Hughes, declared himself a pro-lifer who loves guns and favors capital punishment. As for marriage, he is for the traditional kind, and you can take him at his word on that because, at 60, he is about to try it for the third time.
The Spectator: A showdown between the government and the European Court of Human Rights over prisoner votes drew that bit closer today. The government hoped that having parliament vote to uphold a blanket ban on prisoners voting would buy it some time, as the European Court of Human Rights would then have to start examining the issue all over again.
Single Belles, Single All the Way: The marriage gap is a problem we can’t afford to ignore. | Mona Charen at NRO
Mona Charen at National Review: It in’t a matter of urgent national importance when non-parents choose to live together without benefit of clergy (I love the old-fashioned expression). When children come into the picture, it is. There is simply no controversy about the data: Two-parent married families are best for children — and best for society.
Stillwater Gazette: Rob Boston of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State said that his group doesn’t think churches should serve as polling places unless absolutely necessary.
The Hill: McConnell met with the House Republican Study Committee last week to warn conservatives in the lower chamber not to sign on to any bipartisan initiative requiring super-PACs to disclose their donors.
Religion Clause Blog: In Torres v. Davis, (3d Cir., Dec. 4, 2012), the court rejected free speech, free exercise and equal protection challenges to the refusal by the Board of plaintiff’s requests made over a ten-year period to place items on the ballot.
Daily Caller: The poll found Hispanics in the conservative camp on social issues in particular. Fifty-one percent said they opposed legalizing gay marriage, compared to just 40 percent who favored legalization. Fifty-six percent called themselves pro-life, while just 33 percent said they were pro-choice.
Robert Knight at Townhall: Pawing through the ashes of the Romney defeat, it’s clear that if the Republican Party wants to compete nationally, it has to do several things, such as re-message timeless traditional values, attract more young and minority voters, particularly Hispanics, and do a better job of getting out the vote. But this will be moot if the integrity of the voting process is not restored.
AP: The fissures within the Republican Party that some say cost the GOP control of the Senate have resurfaced just three weeks after the election. This time conservatives are targeting a popular veteran congresswoman from a storied West Virginia political family making a bid for Democrat Jay Rockefeller’s Senate seat in 2014.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: The Ohio Supreme Court let stand a newly drawn state legislative map Tuesday in a defeat for Democrats.
Joe Hallett at the Columbus Dispatch: And that’s the problem: Voters know virtually nothing about the judges they elect and are left to play the name game. The system limits judges’ ability to campaign, to raise money and even to make statements that might be construed as political. They are not permitted to be identified by party on general election ballots. In short, we make judges politicians at election time but deny them the crucial opportunities to communicate with voters the way other politicians do.
Star Paker at Townhall: The claim that somehow it is a sign of a healthy, free society that by way of the vote we can re-write our language, our dictionary, our oldest, time-tested traditions is a sign of how lost we are. Same sex marriage advocates argue that their efforts will save the embattled institution of marriage. But this takes a symptom of the disease and calls it a cure.
WorldNetDaily: Voting machines suspiciously defaulting to Barack Obama? Buses loaded with strangers appearing at polling stations? Even ballots turning out 100 percent for one candidate in precinct reports? In short, suspicions of vote fraud?
Washington Post: If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.
Washington Post: BarackOFraudo.com lists Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia as states “won by Voter Fraud.” Slate’s David Weigel talked to Chambers, who pointed to some overwhelmingly Democratic districts and the way Virginia’s votes came in as signs of voter fraud. …
Washington Post: “The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012. And they got crushed in both elections. Now they tell us we have to keep moderating. If we do that, will we win?” said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader.
AP: From California to Maine, unions used their political muscle in the recent elections to help install Democratic governors, build labor-friendly majorities in state legislatures and defeat ballot initiatives against them.
Politico: Florida Rep. Allen West — the tea party pugilist and face of the class of House Republicans that stormed to power two years ago — conceded Tuesday to 29-year-old construction executive Patrick Murphy in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races.
Brothel owner who employs 80 prostitute wins election as county commissioner in Nevada… and he’s a Republican
Daily Mail: Lance Gilman is a thriving businessman with dozens of employees. That those workers include a good many prostitutes didn’t faze the people of a rural Nevada county who recently elected him as a Storey County commissioner by a wide margin
Portland Press Herald: The ACLU of Maine said it plans to alert the U.S. Justice Department about some of the controversial statements by Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster, the group said Friday. But the specific issue they are raising may be a moot point.
John B. Londegran at Public Discourse: A common trope in social policy debates is to claim that the public’s changing opinion on the policy at stake, rather than the policy’s moral or substantive justifications, merits changing the platform of one’s preferred political party. This notion seems recently to have taken root on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, and several commentators have reacted.
WorldNetDaily: He noted he and a handful of other conservative leaders, including Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Gary Bauer and Gen. William Boykin, had met with the GOP candidate to encourage him to address social issues important to Christians across the nation. “We begged him to deal with eight issues. We listed first the sanctity of life, marriage, religious life, ‘Don’t Ask,’ ENDA, on it went,” Dobson said. “We said we really are not here to jump on you, but evangelicals are not excited about your candidacy, not energized. … You could connect if you’ll even mention these things. “He nodded and he smiled and he was gracious as he always is, and he went out and was silent,” Dobson said.
WSJ (via Google): Senate Republicans hunkered down this week to reflect on their drubbing last week. Perhaps they should have invited Bama football coach Nick Saban to give them pointers on how to identify and recruit talent. A lesson in blocking wouldn’t hurt either. The GOP fumbled every opportunity to pick up a Senate seat save for in Nebraska, where political amateur Deb Fischer steam-rolled veteran Bob Kerrey
Sacramento Bee: The newly elected, 113th Congress includes the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate, the first Hindu to serve in either chamber and the first member of Congress to describe her religion as “none,” according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life of congressional data compiled primarily by CQ Roll Call.
Washington Post: Strong majorities of adults under age 30 support gay marriage and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and a majority supports legalizing small amounts of marijuana according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The fact that younger Americans are consistently more supportive of these measures than the oldest generation may signal change in the years to come. For those under age 30, about two thirds support gay marriage and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
NY Times: Mr. Obama’s more than three-to-one edge in exit polls among the 5 percent of voters who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual was more than enough to give him the ultimate advantage, according to the study, by Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, in conjunction with Gallup
Stuart Benjamin at the Volokh Conspiracy: The most commonly used scores for ideological distance are DW-Nominate scores, based on representatives’ actual votes. These measures reduce various flavors of “liberal” and “conservative” to a single metric, but they are the scores most widely used and trusted by political scientists and political commentators because they measure virtually all the actual votes in a careful and rigorous way. As many people have noted, there used to be lots of ideological overlap between the parties, and lots of moderates in both parties, but there is less overlap, and in particular there are fewer moderate Republicans.
Mark J. Rozell and Clyde Wilcox at the Washington Post: The Democratic triumph of this year could certainly be followed by disaster for the party in 2014 or 2016. What the Christian Right learns from this election and how it reconstitutes itself going forward will have a big impact on its future and those of the major political parties. Indeed, it will not surprise us if observers declaring the death of the Christian Right today are marveling at its big comeback in two or four years.
George Weigell at NRO via EPPC: It takes a certain kind of people, living certain indispensable virtues, to make the market and democracy work so that justice, prosperity, and human flourishing are the net results of freedom. That elementary truth–recognized by the Founders, ignored by the newly reelected administration, and avoided by libertarians and Republican campaign consultants–has to be at the center of the conversation about the American future, and about playing good defense during the next four challenging years.
Washington Times: The Republican Party of Florida is backing Rep. Allen West’s call for a recount of all early votes in St. Lucie County, saying it would be “unconscionable” not to answer lingering questions about the results — which show Mr. West trailing Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.
Washington Examiner: Planned Parenthood, whose federal funding was threatened by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is taking credit for President Obama’s reelection by keeping independent women scared long enough about Romney’s agenda for Obama to win them over.
Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe: Supporters of same-sex marriage have reason to cheer after last week’s election. Supporters of democratic self-government, even those of us who oppose gay marriage, do too.
Rasmussen: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 54% describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 38% say they are pro-life. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
DailyCaller.com: By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.
WorldNetDaily: U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., calls a mysterious 4,000-vote swing late on Election Night “unconscionable” as he continues his fight to challenge his razor-thin apparent loss to Democrat Patrick Murphy.
Baptist Press: The survey by the Polling Company shows that 60 percent of voters in this year’s election agreed that “marriage is between one man and one woman.” Fifty-one percent agreed strongly. All total, 34 percent disagreed with the statement.
It’s one thing for a Democratic presidential candidate to dominate a Democratic city like Philadelphia, but check out this head-spinning figure: In 59 voting divisions in the city, Mitt Romney received not one vote. Zero. Zilch.
PolicyMic: To date, citizens of 18 states have petitioned the White House for consideration of a peaceful withdrawal from the United States. That’s right, thousands of Americans have already signed petitions at whitehouse.gov asking President Obama to allow them to peacefully secede from the union.
AZFamily.com: Thousands of Arizonans have signed a petition calling for the state to secede from the Union. The petition, filed online through the White House’s petition page, shows that Arizona, along with several other states, is calling for secession to leave the United States and start its own new government.
ABC: The petition to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government,” was submitted on Friday of last week. Just three days later, it zoomed past the 25,000 mark at 3:22 p.m. today and kept going.
NY Times: Christian conservatives, for more than two decades a pivotal force in American politics, are grappling with Election Day results that repudiated their influence and suggested that the cultural tide — especially on gay issues — has shifted against them.
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: It’s enough to make your head spin with the implications. What would a “divorce” look like? Can you divorce one partner but not others? What about child custody? For that matter, how many of the adults in the marriage have parental rights over the children? So we’re in a brave new world when it comes to the very definition of what we call a family. It will be interesting to see if all of these other proposed family units make Americans rethink whether we want to redefine the institution of marriage at all.
FedSoc Blog: On Monday, November 5, SLF, on behalf of another Florida citizen and taxpayer, filed an original action in the Florida Supreme Court asking the Court to issue a writ of quo warranto regarding the actions of Secretary of State Ken Detzner in determining the Justices “qualified” to be placed on the ballot. The argument is not one of conduct, but instead contends that none of the three justices lawfully qualified for the retention election and that the secretary of state failed to properly carry out his constitutional and administrative duties in the matter.
Boston Globe: “Obviously we are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles by narrow margins. We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America. As our opponents built a huge financial advantage, the odds became even steeper. We ran strong campaigns and nearly prevailed in a very difficult environment, significantly out-performing the GOP ticket in every state.
Washington Post: For the chairman and chief executive of Murray Energy, an Ohio-based coal company, the reelection of President Obama was no cause for celebration. It was a time for prayer – and layoffs.
Billings Gazette: Republican Tim Fox said Wednesday that he will fight what he called the over-reach of federal government as Montana’s next attorney general after winning the post by a six-point margin over Democrat Pam Bucy.
How Did Marriage Fare in the 2012 Election? | Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker at Heritage Foundation
Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker at the Heritage Foundation: But a little perspective on the setback is in order. The results were close, and marriage did better in these deep blue states than Mitt Romney did. Of the four states that had marriage questions on the ballot, traditional marriage outperformed the presidential candidate in each and every one:
KDVR.com (includes video): Colorado House Democrats Thursday elected Rep. Mark Ferrandino to be the new Speaker of the House come January — the first time in state history that a gay lawmaker will preside over a legislative chamber.
Salon: “Rights should not be put to a vote,” Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, told the Wall Street Journal. “While we have now shown we can do it, it doesn’t mean that we should have to do it, and it doesn’t mean that it is easy to do.” He added that “very few” states will be appealing as fronts to pursue more ballot measures, because of costs and the scale of organization needed.
Heather MacDonald at National Review: Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election. And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds . . .
The Hill: “Conservatives and Tea Partiers are just sick and tired of Republican leaders compromising on the state and national level with Democrats that grow the size of government,” Viguerie said. “We are going to hold their feet to the fire.”
LifeNews: Exit polling data from Tuesday’s presidential election shows the pro-life movement may have itself to blame partly as pro-life voters failed to either show up to vote in the election or did not support pro-life candidate Mitt Romney if they did.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: A Tennessee Republican congressman won re-election on Tuesday overcoming revelations that he once had an affair with a patient and urged her to get an abortion.
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: As co-blogger David Bernstein notes, the two of us conducted anonymous online presidential polls of our Constitutional Law I classes. Here are my results, for a poll conducted over the weekend just before election …
CNA: “We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
AZ Central: Judges are rarely voted off the bench in Maricopa County or in the Arizona appellate courts. And despite a campaign by “tea party” and other conservative groups to unseat certain judges in retention elections because of perceived political or judicial leanings, no judges were turned out this year, either.
Jess Bravin at WSJ: With the incoming leadership of the executive and legislative branches nearly a carbon copy of the current versions, Tuesday’s election could have the biggest effect on the sole unelected branch of government: the federal judiciary.
“States’ Votes for Gay Marriage Are Timely, With Justices Ready to Weigh Cases” | Adam Liptak at NYT
Adam Liptak at NYT: The victories for same-sex marriage on Tuesday, the first ones achieved at the ballot box rather than through courts or legislatures, are evidence of a remarkable shift in public opinion. They are also exceptionally timely data points for the Supreme Court . . . The justices tend to say they are not influenced by public opinion. But they do sometimes take account of state-by-state trends, and the latest developments will not escape their notice . . . “It bolsters our case,” said Brian S. Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage. “It’s very difficult to say you need a federal resolution of this question if states are resolving it for themselves.”
Newsday: President Barack Obama captured 71 percent of the Hispanic vote as he won a second term, according to a national exit poll. That translated to a 44 percentage-point advantage over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who won just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote — down from Republican shares of 31 percent in 2008, 44 percent in 2004 and 35 percent in 2000.