Anthony Kennedy Hub




Thursday Speed Read: Houston, Anthony Kennedy, NOM, Maine, Orrin Hatch, Caitlin Cahow

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

A_parkerHOUSTON COUNCIL APPROVES LAW:

The Houston City Council heard more than eight hours of public comment Wednesday before voting 11 to 6 in favor of Mayor Annise Parker’s comprehensive law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other categories. The Houston Chronicle said more than 250 people signed up to offer comments on the bill.

KennedyNOM SEEKS SUPREME INTERVENTION:

Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday asked attorneys for Oregon and same-sex plaintiff couples to respond to a motion from the National Organization for Marriage. NOM filed a motion Tuesday seeking a stay of a May 19 federal district court ruling that allowed the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Prior to that ruling, NOM sought the right to defend the state ban after the governor and attorney general made clear they would not. U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane, an openly gay Obama appointee, ruled the ban unconstitutional on May 19 and couples began obtaining licenses right away. McShane and the Ninth Circuit then denied NOM’s request for a temporary stay in order to appeal the decision concerning intervenor status.

Eastman_brownMAINE IMPOSES RECORD FINE ON NOM: 

The Maine commission for campaign ethics voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a recommendation imposing a record $50,250 fine on the National Organization for Marriage. The staff of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices recommended the fine against NOM because of its failure to register as a ballot question committee and file campaign finance reports that disclosed its donors. The Kennebec Journal reported Commission Chairman Walter McKee as saying NOM’s defense –that it was protecting its donors from harassment— made a “mockery of Maine’s election laws.” NOM says it will appeal the ruling and file its own complaints against the Human Rights Campaign.

HatchHATCH ON INEVITABILITY OF MARRIAGE:

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had this to say about the inevitability of same-sex couples being able to marry nationwide: "Let’s face it, anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn’t been observing what’s going on. There is a question whether [the courts] should be able to tell the states what they can or cannot do with something as important as marriage, but the trend right now in the courts is to permit gay marriage and anybody who doesn’t admit that just isn’t living in the real world….I think it’s a portent of the future that sooner or later gay marriage is probably going to be approved by the Supreme Court of the United States, certainly as the people in this country move towards it, especially young people." Hatch made his remarks on KSL-Radio and they were widely reported, including in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

AngelouMAYA ANGELOUS PASSES:

Acclaimed poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86. Angelou served as an important ally to the LGBT community, lobbying legislators in New York to support marriage equality. She was perhaps best known for her autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and writing and delivering a poem, “On the Pulse of the Morning,” at President Clinton’s first inauguration. President Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on her in 2011.

CAITLIN CAHOW NAMED TO COUNCIL:

President Obama this month named lesbian hockey player Caitlin Cahow to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Cahow most recently served on the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy Requests Briefs from Both Parties on NOM Request to Stay Oregon Ruling

Yesterday we reported that the National Organization for Marriage appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay Judge Michael McShane's ruling striking down Oregon's gay marriage ban while it appeals a decision that prevented it from intervening to defend the ban.

KennedyJustice Anthony Kennedy, who is fielding the request, wants more information from the parties involved before he makes a decision.

The Oregonian reports:

Kennedy asked for briefs to be filed by 1 p.m. Monday from the parties in the two lawsuits that led to U.S. District Judge Michael McShane's May 19 ruling that allowed gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon.

Kennedy, who hears emergency appeals from the region that includes Oregon, could issue a ruling on NOM's motion on its own or pass the issue on to the full court.

At a minimum, Kennedy's action means that he wants more information on the case before he makes a decision. But it's hard to know whether NOM has a strong shot for its argument that the Supreme Court should get involved in the Oregon case because of its unusual nature.


NOM Asks U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to Block Oregon Gay Marriage Ruling

KennedyThe National Organization for Marriage, whose attempt to intervene in a case challenging Oregon's ban on gay marriage was rejected by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane before he struck the ban down, has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to block McShane's ruling, the AP reports:

The group, which opposes gay marriage, says it filed the request on Tuesday with Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles such requests from the region that includes Oregon.

...The National Organization for Marriage is seeking a stay of that ruling while it appeals an earlier decision that prohibited the group from defending the marriage ban on behalf of its Oregon members.


Right Wing Blowhard Phyllis Schlafly Feels 'Personally Insulted' By DOMA Decision: AUDIO

SchlaflyPhyllis Schlafly, the anti-gay, antifeminisit leader of the Eagle Forum, stopped by the Steve Deace radio show yesterday to blast the 'inappropriate, unprecedented and really nasty' majority opinion Anthony Kennedy issued for the DOMA decision.

When asked if Kennedy's writing is really just an 'anti-Christian polemic disguised as a legal opinion,' Schlafly had this to say [via Right Wing Watch]:

"Well, I was extremely offended at all the nasty names he called us. I just think it's so inappropriate, unprecedented and really nasty for the justice to say that the reason DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, was passed, and those who stand up for traditional marriage is that they have animus against gays, they want to deny them equal dignity, that we want to brand them as unworthy, we want to humiliate their children, we have a hateful desire to harm a politically unpopular group. I just think, I feel personally insulted by what Justice Kennedy said. I don't think that's true, the idea that anybody who stood up for traditional marriage is guilty of all the hate in his heart is just outrageous." 

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

In the past, Schlafly has made the claim that 'the main goal of the homosexuals is to silence any criticism. Most of them aren't interested in getting married.'

Continue reading "Right Wing Blowhard Phyllis Schlafly Feels 'Personally Insulted' By DOMA Decision: AUDIO " »


Justice Anthony Kennedy's Classic DOMA Decision: A Clear, Broad Case for Equality

By ARI EZRA WALDMAN

The "What's Next" series takes an in depth look at marriage and gay rights, in general, after the Supreme Court's momentous rulings striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8. Today's column looks at Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Windsor.

Justice-anthony-kennedyLast week, we discussed Justice Scalia's bombastic dissent in Windsor v. United States, the case where the Supreme Court struck down DOMA Section 3. Today, I would like to discuss what got him so angry -- namely, Justice Kennedy's majority opinion.

That Kennedy wrote another gay rights decision surprised few; he had, after all, written the two most important majority opinions affecting gays and lesbians, Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003). What also came as no surprise to some who study and teach Romer and Lawrence was that like Lawrence, the Windsor decision was pro-equality, but not too bold; progressive, but not so much so; a positive result, but -- supposedly -- somewhat doctrinally confusing and convoluted.

If it is true that Kennedy's decision is unclear, why would that matter, other than to stuffy professors in the ivory towers of law schools? The primary implication of Kennedy's opinion, however confusing or not, is undoubtedly the fact that DOMA Section 3 is dead and that legally married same-sex couples can start receiving most federal benefits. But a confusing opinion gives confusing, incomplete, and malleable instructions to the lower court judges who interpret most of the law but get much less press. Unclear decisions allow inferior courts to narrow their reach, neutering what should be road, pro-equality decisions. So, the more confusing an opinion, the more room it gives its opponents to weaken it.

Many commentators -- not to mention my lawyer friends and colleagues -- are already lamenting that Windsor is confusing and frustrating. It will always be the role of the law professor and the lawyer to give future courts that will apply Windsor the best interpretation of the meaning of that case. But I resist the growing conventional wisdom. Kennedy's decision is not generally confusing or unclear. It may frustrate us that he did not go as far as we would have liked, but the decision lends itself to a clear, broad, pro-equality interpretation that can only be frustrated by willful and purposeful blindness. AFTER THE JUMP, I show the breadth and clarity of Kennedy's Windsor decision.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Justice Anthony Kennedy's Classic DOMA Decision: A Clear, Broad Case for Equality" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged