Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prop-8 Arguments Finished

There has been some important testimony out in California this week. Let me give you the LA Times summary:
Closing arguments concluded Wednesday afternoon in the Proposition 8 trial with more pointed questions from U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is presiding over the landmark proceedings to determine the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage.

When court resumed after the lunch break, Charles Cooper, attorney for proponents of the measure, told Walker that the "marital relationship is fundamental to the existence and survival of the race. Without the marital relationship, society would come to an end." That relationship, he said, is between a man and a woman and its main focus is procreation and "channeling" the sexual behavior of heterosexuals into "stable, marital unions."

Walker continually pressed the sometimes flustered Cooper on just what marriage means and why the state should care about it. Why does the state regulate marriage, he asked. Do people get married to benefit the community? Why doesn't the state just consider it a private contract?

Walker: "Why is it that marriage has such a large public role? What is the purpose?"

Cooper: "This relationship is crucial to the public interest. Procreative sexual relations both are an enormous benefit to society and represent a very real threat to society's interest."

Walker: "Threat?"

Cooper: "If children are born into the world without this stable, marital union both of the parents that brought them into the world, then a host of very important, very negative social implications arise.... The purpose of marriage is to provide society's approval to that sexual relationship and to the actual production of children."

Walker: "But the state doesn't withhold marriage from people who cannot have children."

Cooper: "It does not." Walker: "Are you saying the state should?"

Cooper took Theodore Olson, attorney for the gay and lesbian couples who filed suit against Proposition 8, to task for claiming that Californians could support the ban on same-sex marriage only "through irrational or dark motive, some animus, some kind of bigotry." He called Olson's characterization a "slur" on the millions of Americans who voted for the ballot measure in 2008 and "a slur on 70 of 108 judges who have upheld as rational the decisions by voters and legislators to preserve the traditional definition of marriage."

Olson's viewpoint, Cooper said, "denies the good faith of Congress, of state legislature after state legislature and electorate after electorate." To which Walker responded: "If you have 7 million Californians, 70 judges and this long history, why in this case did you present but one witness? ... You had a lot to choose from. One witness, and it was fair to say his testimony was equivocal."

A ruling in the case is expected sometime this summer. Prop. 8 trial: Closing arguments end as judge presses both sides

I wouldn't make any bets on how the judge will decide this one, but I think our side ended up looking good compared to the other guys. It does not appear that the Prop-8 supporters had any evidence to support their contentions, and they only called one witness after two weeks of testimony by the other side. Cooper seemed to think it was obvious that the insitution of marriage requires opposite sexes, and that since large numbers of people agree with him the judge should allow the prohibition of same-sex marriages to stand. The judge did not seem impressed with the obviousness of it, but on the other hand he was not entirely friendly to the other side, either.

Everybody expects this case to end up in the Supreme Court. Can't say I'm optimistic it will get a fair hearing there. Hey, did you realize that Clarence Thomas has not asked a single question during oral arguments in four years? He has heard nearly 250 of the country's most important cases without ever questioning anything. The Supreme Court has become a conservative anchor for US legal decisions, you can figure there won't be any surprises if the Proposition 8 challenge makes it to that court.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's speech this week epitomizes why Americans will discard his buddies in November and he in two years.

His vision is never viable.

His solution to the gulf disaster?

Hey, we'll just find a better altenative to gas.

Earth to Barack: we've had incentive to do so since 1973 and are doing all we can to reach that goal. It's a technological challenge.

A liberal conceit is that you can legislate scientific progress.

Obama even reaches for worn-out, "let's put a man on the moon" rhetoric.

Earth to Barack: in the early 60s, the technology existed to put a man on the moon.

A economically viable alternative to oil doesn't yet exist under current technology. We can look for one but making a speech doesn't guarantee it will happen anytime soon.

If we think that the government can just rule technology into being, why not just make a law that we invent a time machine and go back and stop BP from drilling at Deep Water?

Obama says "we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water."

Earth to Barack: no, environmentalists have forced the industry to dangerous deep wells in places not well understood.

We could drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the less-known National Petroleum Reserve — 23 million acres of Alaska's North Slope, near the existing pipeline and designated nearly a century ago for petroleum development — that have been shut down by the federal government.

Or we could drill in shallow water in the Pacific Ocean and its vast U.S. coastline? They've been off-limits to new drilling for three decades.

Earth to Barack: while referring to John Kennedy, you've shut down the program to return to the moon.

If the rest of us can't go, why don't you return from outer space too?

June 18, 2010 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The anti-marriage forces give the lie when they claim to be looking for the best interests of children.

The main reason lgbt people want marriage is to create legal families to allow for and protect the interests of their children, so the kids can have two legally defined parents in a recognized family.

The anti-lgbt folks want to leave our children as official orphans, because, clearly, they just don't care.

What would Jesus do?

June 18, 2010 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It seems that in Missoula, Montana, a group called is suing the town attorney because they claim they were discriminated against in their unsuccessful effort to get enough signatures to put the already-passed ordinance up for a vote.

Sound familiar? There must be some sort of email ring or manual for this stuff.

June 18, 2010 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The anti-lgbt folks want to leave our children as official orphans, because, clearly, they just don't care."

not only that, they also want homosexuals to stop teaching kids too

the noive!

June 18, 2010 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

once upon a time, a President was elected mainly because the former President was so unpopular that anything seemed better

after a while, people began to realize that he was just politics as usual but without the competence

it became clear that the relative to another former President, who had become a senator because of his family connection and had been considered for President before, was much more popular and that relative ran against the new President for his party's nomination but lost when the media began to remind everyone about a past scandal and yet still weakened the then current president for the November race

in the next election, the weakened President wound up losing to a man most Americans had not long before thought of as an ignorant and dangerous conservative nut

that's right: the former president was Richard Nixon, the new president was Jimmy Carter, the relative to another former President was Ted Kennedy, the scandal was Chappaquiddick, politics as usual was Bert Lance, incompetence was the Iran hostage crisis, the future president Americans considered a nut was Ronald Reagan

as you can probably see, we are currently in the midst of a remake: the former president is being played by George W Bush, the new president is Barack Obama, the relative to another former President is Hillary Clinton, the scandal is Whitewater, politics as usual is Bert Sestak, incompetence is being played by the Gulf Oil Spill crisis, the future president Americans currently consider a nut is Sarah Palin

history is a beautiful spiral, ain't it?

June 19, 2010 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Once again I thank you for your efforts to spread this week's lamest GOP talking points, Anon.

Joan Walsh at Salon reports:

Barack Obama's very good week

Talk about snakebit: Peggy Noonan chose Friday to publish a column writing off President Obama off as an unlucky president, comparing him to Jimmy Carter, just when his presidency has a little spring back in its step. Its title is luscious: "A Snakebit President: Americans want leaders on whom the sun shines."

The sun seemed to shine on Obama this week. It's true his Tuesday night speech wasn't his best, but that's because it lacked the news he was able to reveal Wednesday: That BP had agreed to create a $20 billion escrow fund to compensate the victims of its Gulf oil disaster, to have it administered by the tough Kenneth Feinberg of the 9/11 fund, and also to put off paying shareholder dividends through the end of the year.

And on Thursday, Obama got relief from the harsh, unnatural media glare in the wake of the disaster, which had landed upon him in the absence of any other visible hero or villain in the mess, when Tony Hayward testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Hayward's constant insistence that he either didn't know or couldn't recall ... virtually anything he was asked, finally made clear there is one leader whose lack of preparedness can be blamed for the crisis, and his name is Tony Hayward.

BP announced Friday that Hayward would be replaced as the man in charge of the spill response, though he'll remain as CEO.

Of course, things got even better for Obama when Rep. Joe Barton apologized to Hayward on Thursday, calling the escrow fund not only a "shakedown" but a "tragedy." Barton was then forced by a panicky GOP leadership to apologize for his apology, but the damage was done. Besides, from Barton to Michele Bachmann to the Republican Study Group to Rush Limbaugh, most of the party was ready to try out the shakedown, "share the wealth" criticism – until Barton went too far. Even today, Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul left his bunker to express sympathy for Barton, and for BP, too (remember, before he entered the witness-protection program, one of Paul's last utterances was to call Obama 's criticism of BP "un-American.")

Friday the GOP began trying out a new message. They've gone from calling Obama a Chicago thug who shakes down business to a guy who had nothing at all to do with BP's generous concession, but is now trying to claim credit for it. That was fast, even for Republican liars...

June 19, 2010 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Foot, Meet Mouth: Our Top Six GOP Oil Spill Gaffes

And just for fun, GOP Senate Nominee Sharron Angle Breaks Her Silence a must see video!

June 19, 2010 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

give up, AB

no one is going to blame Republicans for the the Obama administration's tragic inability to cope with crisis

that the comments of on Republican are clinged to so desperately by liberals tells you all you need to know

June 21, 2010 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

More statements from tea bag nut Sharon Angle

Sharon Angle thinks people on unemployment are "spoiled" and she says that, as Senator, she's "not in the business of creating jobs."

June 23, 2010 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's future Senator Sharon Angle

socialism doesn't have a lot of support in the desert southwest

her views are mainstream in the land of rugged individualism

chill out and go find a swim-up blackjack game

June 23, 2010 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

that's future Senator Sharon Angle

That's right, just like future President Huckabee.

June 23, 2010 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, it's not like the new Democrat era that seems over almost as soon as it began

'memba how much the American people were going to love health care reform and other forms of socialism?

how's that whole hopey changey thing goin'?

June 23, 2010 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's going great, actually.

June 23, 2010 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it sure is

for Republicans

thanks, Barry

we needed a Republican Senator from Massachusetts

June 23, 2010 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

extra credit on my daughter's IB class quiz (on american govt and politics, so perfectly fair)....back when Scott had just won.

Who is Scott Brown ?

She got 100% on that extra credit question, of course. Now, the possibility that question would be asked in a public school for extra credit (even though clearly 60 seats in the senate is a relevant question regardless of which side of the aisle you are on...).

Just about 0%. Did any public schools on govt ask that question as the senate lost it's filibuster proof majority ?

I think not.

Name one, I challenge you.

Is it an appropriate question for a govt class to be asking ?

of course it is. will our public school govt classes ask it ?

Of course not.

My daughters' reaction after hearing the extra credit question "YES !" loudly.

becuase she is MY daughter, and OF COURSE she knows who Scott Brown is.

Have a great day.

July 02, 2010 4:54 PM  

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