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Obama Files Brief Asking Supreme Court To Find Prop 8 Unconstitutional — Read Full Brief Here

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The Obama administration this afternoon filed an extensive amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to declare California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. You can read the entire brief below, in full.

Read all our recent articles on Prop 8 and DOMA, including amicus briefs and this week’s stunning news of 131 Republicans asking the Supreme Court to support same-sex marriage.

A few quick key excerpts:

PROPOSITION 8 VIOLATES EQUAL PROTECTION

The Court can resolve this case by focusing on the particular circumstances presented by California law and the recognition it gives to committed same-sex rela- tionships, rather than addressing the equal protection issue under circumstances not present here. Under California law, same-sex partners may “enter into an official, state-recognized relationship,” i.e., a domestic partnership. Pet. App. 48a. State law grants domestic partners all of the substantive rights and obligations of a married couple: domestic partners have “the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law * * * as are granted to and imposed upon spous- es.” Cal. Fam. Code § 297.5(a). Same-sex partners in California may, inter alia, raise children with the same rights and obligations as spouses; adopt each other’s children; gain a presumption of parentage for a child born to or adopted by one partner; become foster par- ents; file joint state tax returns; participate in a part- ner’s health-insurance policy; visit their partner when hospitalized; make medical decisions for a partner; and, upon the death of a partner, serve as the conservator of the partner’s estate. Pet. App. 49a-50a. California has therefore recognized that same-sex couples form deeply committed relationships that bear the hallmarks of their neighbors’ opposite-sex marriages: they establish homes and lives together, support each other financially, share the joys and burdens of raising children, and pro- vide care through illness and comfort at the moment of death.

Proposition 8 nevertheless forbids committed same- sex couples from solemnizing their union in marriage, and instead relegates them to a legal status—domestic partnership—distinct from marriage but identical to it in terms of the substantive rights and obligations under state law. Indeed, Proposition 8 made clear that it left undisturbed California’s conferral of the same substan- tive rights and obligations of marriage on same-sex domestic partners and that its sole purpose was to deny same-sex partners access to marriage.

And

California’s extension of all of the substantive rights
and responsibilities of marriage to gay and lesbian do- mestic partners particularly undermines the justifica- tions for Proposition 8. It indicates that Proposition 8’s withholding of the designation of marriage is not based on an interest in promoting responsible procreation and child-rearing—petitioners’ central claimed justification for the initiative—but instead on impermissible preju- dice. As the court of appeals observed (Pet. App. 87a), that is not necessarily to say “that Proposition 8 is the result of ill will on the part of the voters of California.” ‘‘Prejudice, we are beginning to understand, rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves.” Board of Trs. of Univ. of Ala. v. Garrett, 531 U.S. 356, 374 (2001) (Kennedy, J., concurring). Prejudice may not, however, be the basis for differential treatment under the law.

 

OBAMA DOJ SCOTUS Brief Asking for Prop 8 to be declared unconstitutional by davidbadash

http://www.scribd.com/embeds/127864012/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-o7a50jn4b7eq05en38h

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Boldly Ignorant’ Ted Cruz Slammed by Retired NYPD Detective for His Suggestions to Protect Kids

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Appearing on MSNBC’s “The Katie Phang Show,” a retired NYPD detective expressed disgust with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over his attempts to dismiss the idea of new gun laws to protect children in schools and instead is insisting America needs to turn schools into fortresses.

In interviews and appearing at the NRA convention this weekend in Houston, Cruz has vociferously disregarded the easy availability of high-powered weapons and instead focused on a door that was left open at the elementary school where the shooting occurred.

After host Phang shared a clip of the Texas Republican making his case, she asked former law enforcement detective Marq Claxton his thoughts on what Cruz was proposing.

Calling the controversial senator “boldly ignorant,” he proceeded to rip Cruz’s proposal apart.

“Marq, I was a prosecutor for half my career, I never prosecuted somebody for leaving a door open. How absurd is this proposal by Ted Cruz that the solution is to make sure that we don’t have too many doors at our schools?” host Phang asked.

“Ted Cruz’s statements were boldly ignorant and dismissive of the clear obvious danger that is faced by so many people in society because of the prevalence of violence and gun violence in particular,” he replied. “It really shows just how so many political electeds lack the fortitude to move forward and do the right thing: save lives.”

“Instead of sloganeering, Mr. Cruz and his other elected colleagues really should be working on legislation that provides, or minimizes the risk of damage, and could quite possibly and probably save lives,” he continued. “That is some additional gun restrictions, some background checks, there are other things that are out there that will undoubtedly be effective and save lives, and prevent these gun violence deaths.”

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

Watch:

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