The California Supreme Court is expected to rule on Proposition 8 today, marking the latest chapter in the fight over marriage
The Merc's Denis Theriault looks at those girding for the next
"We know what it's
likely going to be. I'd put money on what I think it's going to be,"
said a confident Brad Dacus, an attorney with the Pacific Justice
Institute, a religious group supporting the ban. But today "will be the announcement of the outcome of one battle.
And that's it."
"At issue in the court
decision are two questions about Proposition 8, which 52 percent of
voters approved in November — just six months after a divided court
issued its groundbreaking ruling to allow same-sex nuptials.
first question is whether the measure amounted to an
improper method of
amending the state Constitution — essentially targeting a minority
group by depriving gay couples of the right to marry.
The second is
what to do with the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place before
Proposition 8 took effect."
"This morning, the California Supreme Court
plans to rule on a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn
8. Gay rights advocates maintain that the issue was
before voters; they say it revised the state constitution's equal
protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it
first needed the
"If the court's seven justices strike down Proposition 8,
the earliest gay couples could resume marrying would
be 30 days later,
after the opinion becomes final. That would make California
state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.
If the court upholds the initiative as a constitutional expression of the
electorate's will, it also will decide whether to uphold the marriages
of an estimated 18,000 gay couples who wed before the measure passed in
November with 52 percent of the vote."
"California, it has long been claimed, is where the
future happens first. But is that still true? If it
is, God help America.
"What’s really alarming about California, however, is the
political system’s inability to rise to the occasion. Despite
the economic slump, despite irresponsible policies
that have doubled
the state’s debt burden since Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor,
California has immense human and financial resources.
It should not be
in fiscal crisis; it should not be on the verge of cutting essential
public services and denying health coverage to almost
children. But it is — and you have to wonder if California’s political
paralysis foreshadows the future of the nation as a
"For California, where the Republicans began their
transformation from the party of Eisenhower to the
party of Reagan, is
also the place where they began their next transformation,
party of Rush Limbaugh. As the political tide has turned against
California Republicans, the party’s remaining members have become ever
more extreme, ever less interested in the actual business
"Never in modern history has California faced fiscal
peril on this
scale. Yet with the lone exception of Republican Tom Campbell
County, the crowd vying for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's job in 2010
has ducked questions on the tough choices needed to
keep the state
"Vaguest of all has been Republican Steve Poizner, the
state insurance commissioner. He has refused to specify
that he would cut to make up for $12 billion in recent tax hikes that
he opposed -- or to close a new budget shortfall that could exceed
"Leading Democratic contenders Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa and state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown backed the tax hikes, if
reluctantly. But beyond that, none of them has embraced
any plan for
Speaking of taxes, the LAT's Patrick McGreevy reports Democrats in the Senate
are looking to a new, $1.50 tax on tobacco to help the state out of the current fiscal mess.
book, currently untitled, is scheduled to be published
Business in February, just as California starts voting
for its next
governor. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Whitman
all of her earnings to charity.
"Whitman will interweave personal stories and leadership
culled from her tenure at eBay and other companies," according to a
statement issued Monday by Crown, an imprint of Random
House, Inc. "She
will offer a blueprint for success in both business
identifying core values that make it possible to achieve
without ethical compromise."
We're sure it'll be revealing.
"Given the serious budget shortfall we face, this is
the year to
pass the tobacco tax," said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). "It is
needed now more than ever."
Padilla wrote the current proposal
with Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), but even with
Steinberg's support, it faces an uphill battle. The tobacco industry
sees California as a crucial market and a trendsetter
ideas that can spread through the country, said Beverly
director of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a Washington
The latest budget analysis in the Chron is noteworthynot
only because of the content, but because it is political scribe John Wildermuth's last piece for the paper. Wildermuth, a 34-year newspaper veteran, is one of the best-known and most respected state political writers, and
will be missed.
With conservative opponents hailing Tuesday's special election as an
anti-tax victory - and supporters decrying it as the defeat of a
last-chance legislative compromise budget plan to close
deficit - one thing is clear: California's finances are in chaos,
raising questions about whether compromise is possible
increasingly partisan state.
"It will take someone like a King Arthur to pull the
blade out of
the stone," said Michael Semler, a political science professor at Cal
State Sacramento. "The governor and the Legislature have a few months,
a short time, to come to a resolution."
And finally, from our It's In The Way That You Use It FIles, "A New York toddler still in diapers has a growing reputation as a pool
sharkwith a mean bank shot — even though he has to stand on a chair to reach the
"Two-year-old Keith O'Dell Jr. from upstate New York has pool shooting videos posted on YouTube, has his own Web site and is the youngest member of the American Pool
"The son of pool-playing parents, the toddler recently traveled to Las Vegas to put on a demonstration for the APA, the governing
body of amateur pool.
"His parents say his learning hasn't been limited to billiard games. Pool is also teaching
him colors and how to count."
If only we could get this kid into a bar, we could
make some serious cash...