Prop 8 – Ruled Unconstitutional….Again……….

So once again………Proposition 8 from California (which rescinded Marriage Equality) was found to be unconstitutional. A federal district court had previously thrown out the ban on constitutional grounds and yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s Proposition 8, was unconstitutional as well……

What is Prop 8?:

  • A ballot initiative that Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry – A State of California Constitutional Amendment (called California Marriage Protection Act) was a ballot proposition (voted on by citizens) that passed in the November 2008 elections.

What the court ruling said:

  • Should the lower court judge have recused himself simply because he happens to be gay and may wish to marry his partner, as marriage equality opponents contended: NO.
  • Do the proponents (supporters) of Proposition 8 have the legal right, known as standing, to defend it in court: YES.
  • Is Proposition 8 constitutional: NO.

What the court said:

  • In a 2 to 1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Judge Walker’s decision declaring that Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution.

From the majority opinion:

  • Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.
  • The People may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry.
  • That designation [of marriage] is important because ‘marriage’ is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.
    (emphasis mine)

What this means – 2 things:

  • The ruling is unique and narrow to the state of California which limits the possibilty of the Supreme Court hearing the case, yet it remains a possibility. A broader decision would have certainly drawn Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) attention but there is a chance that the justices may pass on it as it is limited to issues within the state of California.
  • By not ruling on the case, the SCOTUS avoids having to rule on other state based cases such as Alabama’s Marriage Amendment. The bigger, national fight is put off until tomorrow but the people of Alabama suffer but Proposition 8 is likely dead in California…….

Next week – Why elections matter and what does the 2012 election means for the Supreme Court….

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Choices

So as we enter Tuesday night’s Florida Republican primary – the choices are pretty much narrowed down to 2 candidates:

Yes, you can argue that the NOT-Romney campaigns of Rick Santorum & Ron Paul are still in the mix but in reality, neither will ever be the actual nominee. I just can’t imagine that there are enough people in America that have not “googled” SANTORUM!
As Santorum and Paul start to run out of money and resources, their voters will eventually peel off and side up with one of the two big candidates. I’m sure that most Paul supporters will hold out in hopes that he runs as a third-party candidate in November but that is yet to be seen – and that would also eventually doom any Republican candidate in a face to face with President Obama in the National election.

So let’s look at some numbers:

The latest Wall Street Journal poll (1/26) shows Gingrich with a lead of 9% points over Romney with 30% of the vote still going to Santorum and Paul. When Santorum eventually drops out, and he will drop out, his “conservative base” voters are most likely to run to Gingrich – I could see 12% going to Gingrich, 4% going to Romney and 2% not being able to hold their nose and vote for either front-runner. That leaves us with Gingrich with a strong 17% lead over Romney from a National Republican Primary perspective.

So, is Newt the man? Not so fast, let’s look at some more numbers……

NATIONAL (NBC/Wall Street Journal): Obama d. Romney (49-43); Obama d. Santorum (53-38); Obama d. Gingrich (55-37); Obama d. Romney and Ron Paul (45-32-18)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (46-42); Obama d. Gingrich (49-39)

NATIONAL (YouGov/Economist): Obama d. Romney (47-41); Obama d. Paul (47-40); Obama d. Gingrich (49-39); Obama d. Santorum (49-39)

MICHIGAN (EPIC-MRA): Obama d. Romney (48-40); Obama d. Gingrich (51-38)

MINNESOTA (PPP): Obama d. Romney (51-41); Obama d. Santorum (52-40); Obama d. Paul (51-38); Obama d. Gingrich (53-38)

NEW YORK (NY1/YNN/Marist): Obama d. Romney (58-35); Obama d. Santorum (61-33); Obama d. Gingrich (63-31); Obama d. Paul (62-28)

WISCONSIN (Marquette Law School): Obama d. Romney (48-40)

Three National polls and 4 statewide polls released this week show Romney as the only viable Republican that can even keep pace with Obama in a National election – Romney lags behind Obama from anywhere from 4-6% points but Gingrich comes in behind Obama by at least 10% points and as much as 18% in the WSJ poll. So……as a Republican, who do you vote for ? The guy that can’t win the State primaries or the guy that can’t win the National election – Rock, meet hard place…..

So where does this leave us?

What this tells me is that the Republican primary is far from over and there is still much blood to drawn – Let’s see what happens on Tuesday night – I predict a win for Romney but then the show goes on the road to Nevada & Maine – Find the full schedule here – Republican Primary Schedule 2012.

On a side note, I sure do miss this gal and all her crazy talkin’ ideas!!!! Check the video at 1:45 for a real good laugh!