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Karen Handel, the Komen Foundation official who supported the move to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, resigned.

We have been trying to figure out what the hell was going on in these people's heads. Handel's statement that the discussion about this policy change had started before her hiring is wholly believable -- you don't hire someone with decided pro-life views unless that's already the direction you're going. So the higher-ups mainly supported this move. They had to have known that this would piss off the left, right? So one presumes they were prepared to rely on their right-leaning supporters (and, indeed, Komen saw a spike in donations after their announcement).

Then they went back on it.

To borrow a phrase from the schoolyard lexicon, no backsies. Now the left will distrust the Komen name and avoid supporting their charitable efforts or buying their pink crap, and the right will see Komen as having deserted the true faith -- and, frankly, they have a point. First the foundation tried to mask an ideological decision with some bullshit about "investigation," when the feds have harassed PP one way or another for years, and then they went back on it when they took a little heat -- hardly the kind of ally you can trust.

As for the "federal investigation," I would like to point out to both sides that money is fungible. If the feds give PP money for women's health care and education, they are then free to spend privately donated money on abortion. Does it matter, in the end, what dollars go to which cause? Not if you believe abortion is wrong -- in that case, federal funding enables abortions by freeing up private money. This is why pro-choice activists will never convince pro-life activists that PP should receive federal funding. On the other hand, this is also why pro-life activists will never conclusively prove that PP uses federal money for abortion, and why they need to stop trying.

In other news, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

...

Don't celebrate yet.

First off, I'm not certain this makes gay marriage legal. It makes it not illegal, which sounds like splitting hairs but isn't. I don't know how this will affect the validity of California gay marriages, either.

Second, the Supremes love reversing 9th Circuit decisions. This is partly because the 9th is the most liberal circuit court in the nation, and partly because they have this nasty habit of making rulings without coming up with halfway-decent legal justifications. The Supremes are particularly pissed off at them lately because of some extremely questionable habeas cases, the kind that make even the liberal justices write nasty biting opinions about the 9th's lack of due diligence.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily despair. Our conservatives aren't fond of gay people or of the 9th, but they tend to be (except for Alito) big on individual liberties. I wouldn't automatically put Scalia or Thomas on the anti side, and if one of them goes over, Roberts will probably follow in the interest of making the court look good (that sounds awful, but the issues are a lot more complex than that -- I'm just bad at elucidating them). I'd honestly be worried about Kennedy, because I have no fucking clue what he's up to at any given time.

The situation is different because the Democrats have the incumbent this time, but I'm worried about a repeat of 2004 -- the right taking up arms against the lavender menace. Romney is an enigma to me -- just like Obama was when we elected him, and how well did that turn out? Whee.

Date: 2012-02-07 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rocza.livejournal.com
First off, I'm not certain this makes gay marriage legal. It makes it not illegal, which sounds like splitting hairs but isn't. I don't know how this will affect the validity of California gay marriages, either.
Right where they were yesterday - all 18,000 marriages that happened during those 4-5 months were never ruled invalid/void.

The stay preventing further gay marriages remains in place until the Prop 8 supporters appeal - they have 7 days to request an en banc hearing, and that could conceivably be argued through the November election. So it might not even hit the Supreme Court docket this year, and they only take about 1% of the cases thrown to them. (I believe they can skip that and go straight to the Supreme Court for a ruling, but it makes it more likely they'll be turned down - the Supreme Court prefers to take cases that have worked all the levels of judiciary before them. If they do appeal to the Supreme Court, I believe they have 60 days to present the appeal, so it's unlikely to be decided on before the June recess.)

Will they hear this? Probably, just to get people to shut up. The thing is, the 9th Circuit Court ruling is very narrow - it only affects California. That is the one reason it's entirely plausible the Supreme Court will pass on making any ruling. If it affected the entire territory that the 9th rules over, it would be much more likely to be heard.

Romney has said he would restate DADT and order the Justice Department to fight DOMA cases, blah blah integrity of marriage sanctity of country, etc.
Edited Date: 2012-02-07 09:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-02-07 10:21 pm (UTC)
ext_24913: (priestess)
From: [identity profile] cow.livejournal.com
My understanding is that the ruling, if upheld, makes gay marriage legal. Specifically, the ruling wasn't about gay marriage--it was that you can't, by referendum, take away rights from people. So the ruling, if upheld, would simply void Prop 8 and restore the rights taken away by majority vote.

My guess? The Supremes decline to hear the case. Prop 8 has been found unconstitutional in two lower courts, and I bet the conservative justices will opt to decline a hearing rather than either rule against individual liberties or in favour of gay people. It gets their preferred answer--a vote against government denying civil liberties--without having to actually make a ruling.

But we'll see, indeed.

Date: 2012-02-08 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] just-the-ash.livejournal.com
This. A lawyer friend also says that the narrowness of the decision and its impact make it unlikely to be taken up by the Supremes.

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