Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Buzzfeed reports and links to the complaint. (Warning: site may contain objectionable ads or other content) “Johnson is asking the courts to force the CPD to allow for all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to reach 270 electoral votes to have a spot on the debate state.”
U.S. security at stake? LA Times cover up alleged, Breitbart.com offers $100,000 for Obama Khalidi tape
Breitbart News is doubling its reward–to $100,000–for one of the missing pieces of Barack Obama’s past, which may be the key to understanding his collapsing Middle East policy: the “Khalidi tape,” a video kept under wraps by the Los Angeles Times since April 2008.
AP: With four justices in their seventies, odds are good that whoever is elected president in November will have a chance to fill at least one Supreme Court seat. The next justice could dramatically alter the direction of a court closely divided between conservatives and liberals.
The Hill: Large chunks of voters who don’t have an income tax liability vote for Democrats, recent studies and figures suggest, but the issue isn’t as clear-cut as Mitt Romney made it seem in remarks at a private fundraiser this spring.
Detroit News: One day after being sued over a controversial ballot box citizenship question, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Tuesday there are an estimated 4,000 noncitizens on Michigan’s voter rolls.
FoxNews: Pennsylvania’s highest court on Tuesday told a lower court judge to stop a tough new law requiring voters to show photo identification from taking effect in this year’s presidential election if he finds voters cannot get easy access to ID cards or if he thinks voters will be disenfranchised.
The Republic: The courts have struck down another Montana election law as unconstitutional. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion Monday that tosses out the state’s ban on political party endorsements of nonpartisan judicial candidates. | Sanders County Republican Cent. Comm. v. Bullock
AP: An appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling that likely would have led to greater disclosure of who is paying for certain election ads.
Ammon Simon at National Review Bench Memos: The New York Times last week denounced the West Virginia supreme court’s decision to deny Allen Loughry, a candidate for their court, supplemental public campaign financing; the financing would have violated the political speech rights of his opponent, Justice Davis.
Wall Street Journal: Two of the four veteran — and long-secure — Republican senators in New York who voted for same-sex marriage a year ago await counts of absentee ballots as they sweat out the political fight of their lives. A third announced his retirement this year in the face of strong opposition to his gay marriage vote. A fourth won his primary Thursday but only after a fierce and nasty campaign that included homophobic images and phrases.
NY Daily News: In a worrisome sign for President Obama, these black clergy say there is no good presidential choice between a Mormon candidate and one who supports gay marriage.
CJOnline: Three of the state’s top elected Republicans on Thursday determined they lacked sufficient evidence of President Barack Obama’s birth records to decide whether to remove the Democratic nominee from the November ballot in Kansas.
NY Times: Two Republican state senators who provided pivotal votes to legalize same-sex marriage last year fought opponents to a standstill on Thursday in primary races so close that they will be decided only after absentee ballots are counted.
Radio Iowa: New poll: 48% of Iowans support court’s same-sex marriage decision
Business Week: Pennsylvania’s new voter-ID law “impermissibly” violates a fundamental right, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and 10 citizen-plaintiffs told the state’s Supreme Court.
Charlotte Observer: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated federal law when she made “extemporaneous political remarks” during a February speech to the Human Rights Campaign Gala in Charlotte, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel ruled Wednesday.
Blog of the Legal Times: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) had just one reaction to the colorful testimony Wednesday on Capitol Hill from Jones Day partner Michael Carvin: “We should probably give you the award for saying the highest level of sarcasm we’ve heard before this committee in a long time.”
Gregg Nunziata at USA Today: The stakes are high in this presidential election, and one of the most consequential questions before the voters concerns the branch of government that is not officially on the ballot. In November, Americans will set the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for decades to come.
WPRI.com: Gay-marriage supporters tried and failed to make a breakthrough in the Rhode Island Senate during Tuesday’s primaries, winning just two of seven targeted races and coming up short in their marquee effort to knock off Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael McCaffrey.
Capital Gazette: Gay rights activists, religious leaders and politicians are gearing up for two months of campaigning on the Maryland referendum to strike down the same-sex marriage legislation that passed in March.
One News Now: A civil rights advocate suggests that a California commission should investigate harassment against marriage proponents on top of its crackdown on campaign finance laws. Three groups that fought against Proposition 8 will pay the state of California $80,000 in fines after admitting that they failed to report campaign contributions.
Denver Post: The Colorado secretary of state’s office said Tuesday the proposed anti-abortion “personhood” amendment will not be on the 2012 ballot — no matter the outcome of proponents’ planned legal action to prove they collected enough voter signatures.
MN Public Radio: You can add Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to the mix of organizations working to defeat two constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall. The group has created two political funds it will use to work against the marriage amendment, which seeks to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and the voter ID amendment, which would require voters to show photo identification at the polls . . .
KSTP.com: According to our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 50 percent of Minnesotans favor an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, 43 percent oppose the amendment and 8 percent are undecided.
Carrie Severino at National Review: Last Friday the West Virginia Supreme Court stopped Allan Loughry, a candidate for the West Virginia supreme court, from receiving additional public funding — funding that was triggered after the campaign expenditures of Mr. Loughrey’s opponent, Justice Robin Davis, crossed a certain threshold. The court found, in part, that because Mr. Laughrey’s additional public funding could neutralize Justice Davis’s campaign expenditures, the funds would violate Justice Davis’s political speech rights.
NY Times: The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states.
Washington Post: They say D.C. Republicans ultimately will not stay out of a race so critical to their national prospects — if they are convinced Akin won’t end his campaign.
“Minnesota Board Exempts Catholic Organization Employee’s Pro-Gay Marriage Contribution From Disclosure”
Religion Clause Blog: In an interesting decision last month in In re Application of John Doe, (MN Campg. Fin. & Pub. Discl. Bd., Aug. 7, 2012), the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board granted an exemption to an employee of a Catholic organization who had contributed $600 to an organization that opposes theMarriage Amendment that will appear on the November ballot.
Dallas Morning News: Texas has now spent more than $2 million defending its law to require photo identification to vote and its redrawing of political boundaries, officials said after federal judges sided against the state in both cases last week
Seattle Times: Preserve Marriage Washington has amended its instructions for churches collecting money to help overturn the state’s same-sex marriage law, but campaign-finance officials say the language still doesn’t comply with the law.
Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy: In Minnesota, pro- and anti-gay marriage activists are fighting over political campaign disclosure laws, though this time the usual roles are reversed. On August 17, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ruled that the group working to defeat a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage does not have to disclose the name of a Catholic contributor to the “No” campaign. ”John Doe,” who works for a Catholic organization in Minnesota, gave $600 to Minnesotans United for All Families, the main group opposing the amendment.
NJ.com: New Jersey will be the stage for what’s likely to be a brutal campaign this fall, but it won’t have anything to do with the presidential election. For the first time in the state’s modern history, the New Jersey Supreme Court — an institution meant to be isolated from politics — will be subjected to a popular referendum reeking of politics.
Advocate.com: The Arizona Republic called the race for Sinema around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. She defeated former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherny and state Senate minority leader David Schapira, taking 42.5% of the vote with 64.5% of precincts reporting.
KIMATV.com: Money and politics very often go hand in hand, sometimes a little too closely. That’s why the state is taking a closer look at the Yakima Diocese and how it’s supporting Preserve Marriage Washington.
KENS5.com: The Secret Service is looking into a sign posted in Victoria, Texas. The sign says “Pray for Obama”, but it’s the scripture quoted below those words that is raising eyebrows: Psalms 109:8. Psalms 109:8 reads, “Let his days be few, and let another take his office.”
AP: Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he is refusing to recognize the results of Mexico’s presidential election . . .
Blog of the Legal Times: The former senator told the dozens of lawyers gathered that they have “a lot of work to do to make sure this election is not stolen,” saying that President Obama will “stop at nothing” to get the votes he needs to win. Bond said he “has a feeling” that the DOJ won’t crack down on election irregularities.
ACLU: A U.S. District Court today blocked Texas’ new voter ID law because it discriminates against minorities and conflicts with the federal Voting Rights Act . . . For a copy of the decision, go to: www.aclu.org/voting-rights/texas-voter-id-decision
AP: Washington’s campaign finance watchdog says the state’s Catholic churches can’t collect donations from parishioners for the campaign seeking to overturn the state’s gay marriage law.
The ballot question on a proposed constitutional amendment implementing a photographic identification requirement for Minnesota voters is not so unreasonable and misleading as to be a palpable evasion of the constitutional requirement in Minn. Const. art. IX, § 1, that constitutional amendments shall be submitted to a popular vote.
Volokh Conspiracy: Prof. Mike Dorf has a post at Dorf on Law describing the brief he coauthored on behalf of the Association of American Law School in Fisher v. University of Texas. The gist of the brief is that if the Supreme Court reasons that Texas may not engage in affirmative action preferences because its race-neutral ten-percent plan already created a “diverse” class, this could mean that all institutions of higher education, including law schools, that seek racial and ethnic diversity would need to replace their current admissions policies with a rote, percentage-based admissions system to comply with the Constitution and federal law.
NY Times: Derek McCoy, the director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes same-sex marriage, said: “I think what we’re going to prove here is marriage is on the table, and marriage does matter. And because it does matter, Marylanders are engaged.”
GOP officials accuse Romney of ‘power grab’: Say he’s trying to rig rules for 2016 delegate selection
Washington Times: Senior GOP officials are accusing the Romney campaign’s chief attorney, Ben Ginsberg, of pushing through a rules change for delegate selection that would give Mitt Romney enormous power over the primary process should he win the White House and seek re-election in 2016. “It shifts the power to select delegates from the state party to the [party’s presidential] candidate,” Republican National Committee Vice Chairman Jim Bopp told The Washington Times on Sunday. “And it would make the Republican Party a top-down, not bottom-up, party.”
PennLive.com: Six justices on the state’s Supreme Court stand to play a bigger role in determining the outcome of this year’s elections in Pennsylvania than any other voter.
Citizen Link: Justice David Wiggins was one of the seven Iowa Supreme Court justices that voted to legislate the state’s new marriage redefinition from the bench in the 2009 Varnum v. Brien case. In 2010, three of the seven justices faced the voters in a retention election (an up or down vote of approval/disapproval held every set number of years) and lost their jobs. Now it’s Wiggins’ turn to face the music . . .
his weekend the New York Times weighed in to defend Justice Wiggins. According to the Times, Republicans are “stoking intolerance and further politicizing a retention election meant to weed out incompetent or corrupt judges.” The paper’s editors apparently forgot to read the Iowa Constitution, which does not guarantee a right to gay marriage. On the other hand, the accountability mechanism that the Times deplores, the retention election, appears explicitly in the text of Article V, Section 17 . . .
Bloomberg: Four of the court’s nine justices will be at least 74 years old on Inauguration Day in January — the first time that will have occurred in 28 years. Their ages suggest that one or more may be off the bench within the next four years, letting either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney appoint a successor and leave a decades-long legal imprint.
WFMZ.com: Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday refused to stop a tough new voter identification law from going into effect, which Democrats said will suppress votes among President Barack Obama’s supporters.
Center for American Progress: Legislators in 24 states proposed legislation during the past legislative session (2011–2012) that would enable governors to replace competent state judges, a power that would, in practice, result in more conservative replacements in states across the country. Legislators in Missouri, Florida, and Arizona managed to place referendums on this November’s ballot that if approved by voters would severely restrict judicial independence and belie the promise of fairness before the law
LA Times: Four conservatives squared off in a Republican U.S. Senate primary here Tuesday, but it’s the Democrat that one of them will face come November who figures to transform the battle for an open seat into a national showcase. Tammy Baldwin, a veteran congresswoman from Madison who had no primary opponent, would become the first openly gay member of the staid upper chamber if she won.
Montgomery Advertiser: Democratic officials did clear Lyon, 60, of campaign finance violations registered in a complaint filed with the party last week. However, they cited Lyon’s statements about gays and lesbians. In comments made on Facebook, Lyon called homosexuals and those who support same-sex marriage “an abomination of God.”
Cincinnati.com: Sharon Kennedy had one big advantage last year when she launched her campaign to become the first Butler County resident elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in almost 150 years. She’s a Republican.
Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker: A new report, issued yesterday by the left-leaning Center for American Progress, shows that the race for control of state judiciaries has become a rout. The report, entitled “Big Business Taking over State Supreme Courts,” found that . . .
SCOTUS Blog’s Petition of the Day highlights the election regulation case: National Organization for Marriage v. McKee.
Carrie Severino at National Review: Iowa’s supreme-court judges are initially selected by an unaccountable lawyer-dominated commission, via the system known as the Missouri Plan. As in other states, that method of selection has tilted Iowa’s judicial branch to the left on a range of issues, including gay marriage. And just as the people of Iowa demand more accountability, Justice Wiggins and his allies at the Times make the case for less.
Des Moines Register: A socially conservative political rally at a Waukee church Saturday served as the kickoff for a renewed effort to throw out the Iowa Supreme Court justices who made same-sex marriage legal. The activist group Iowans for Freedom will run a campaign this fall against the retention of Justice David Wiggins . . .
Rachel Alexander at Townhall: One of only two right-leaning justices who has served on the Washington Supreme Court in recent years is in the battle of his life to regain his seat. As a result of his freedom of religion, sanctity of marriage, gun rights, and the unborn, former Justice Richard Sanders has been a lightening rod for attacks from the left and the biased media. Those attacks finally cost him reelection in 2010, after serving on the high court for three terms since 1995.
Scott Klusendorf at Baptist Press: In 2008, a handful of notable pro-life evangelicals and Catholics threw their support behind a presidential candidate sworn to uphold elective abortion as a fundamental right. They argued that doing so constituted an enlightened pro-life vote that was morally superior to the narrow party politics of religious conservatives.
Collin Levy at Wall Street Journal (via Google): Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is smiling this morning after yesterday’s GOP primaries in his state delivered a fresh batch of conservative lawmakers. In a state where Republicans heavily dominate the House and Senate, groups of liberal Republicans have lately formed coalitions with Democrats to derail the Governor’s agenda, including pro-growth tax cuts.
Palm Beach Post: A lawsuit by a conservative legal organization looking to remove from the ballot the last three Florida Supreme Court justices named by a Democratic governor was dismissed Wednesday by a Leon County circuit judge.
Religion Clause Blog: Missouri voters yesterday approved state Constitutional Amendment 2 by a vote of 82.8% in favor and 17.2% against. (Official results.) The measure was described briefly on the ballot . . .
PR Newswire on the Sacramento Bee: Personhood Colorado submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office today for the Colorado Personhood Amendment. The signatures submitted totaled 112,121, although only 86,105 were required.
The News Tribune: Washington Supreme Court Justices Susan Owens and Steve Gonzalez easily retained their seats in Tuesday’s primary, while Seattle appeals lawyer Sheryl Gordon McCloud and former Justice Richard Sanders were leading a crowded field seeking to replace the retiring Tom Chambers.
AP: Conservative Republicans who’ve been working to push GOP moderates out of state legislatures in a large section of the country have scored big victories in Kansas . . .
LifeNews: In one of the largest voter registration campaigns of its kind, two leading prolife organizations are working to try to register as many as five million new pro-life voters and to get them to the polls this November.
Sacramento Bee (AP): The Los Angeles Times ( http://lat.ms/P1yH4L) says the committee failed to properly file public reports disclosing late contributions and contributions of more than $5,000. The committee also failed to properly disclose an anonymous $10,000 contribution.