Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just in time for the election

Here's the decision from the California Supreme Court, in which the divided Court declared that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection clause of the state constitution - notwithstanding the statewide referendum on the definition of marriage from only eight years ago.

I am reminded of my post from Election Day, 2004, relating a discussion I had with a guy I know as he was driving to vote, and "[h]e said he would flip the switch for Bush, even though he is mostly a Democrat, and even though he mostly aspires to Christian charity and good will, because there are two things he can't abide, and those are gay marriage and Arab terrorists. (Actually, his phrasing was somewhat more colorful, and it made me recollect the comedian who declares, there are three things I can't tolerate: bigotry, intolerance, and midgets.)"

And this post on the eve of the election in 2006, explaining my "no" vote, and offering this view - "I think most of the claims of both the "yes" and "no" advocates in Virginia were completely bogus, and that many of the people engaged in such advocacy knew full well that were they were saying was bogus but said it anyway to try to get votes for their side."

There's much that's bogus in that California Supreme Court opinion.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More on West Virginia

According to CNN:

Logan County - Clinton 84%, Obama 11%
Mercer County - Clinton 72%, Obama 21%
Mingo County - Clinton 88%, Obama 8%
Raleigh County - Clinton 66%, Obama 26%

All that seems about what you'd guess based on Buchanan and Tazewell counties in Virginia.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

She said it

"From potheads to prostitutes to public urinators, they get it all in General District Court.

I highly recommend a few hours there, especially if you can no longer afford movie tickets. Shoot, sometimes there's even nudity."

Kerry Dougherty, in the Norfolk paper.

I have discussed with some people who know that the same is true on the Virginia Court of Appeals, that all manner of human activity passes through there.

What to expect from West Virginia

I haven't been to West Virginia in a while, but I recall that in the Virginia primary back in February, there were these results in some Southwest Virginia counties that border on West Virginia:

Buchanan County - Clinton 89.91%, Obama 9.09%

Tazewell County - Clinton 78.32%, Obama 19.22%

I don't expect Obama to do much better in Logan County or Mingo County, but maybe he will in Raleigh and Mercer counties. That's as far as my crystal ball goes.

My link went bad, but this is still a great story, about the county official who supposedly asked for $3,500 for the 1960 West Virginia primary and got $35,000 from the Kennedy campaign. Another version of the same tale is told here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cert granted in Bell case from Virginia

An order came down from the U.S. Supreme Court today granting certiorari on the first issue in what is now called Bell v. Kelly, the post-conviction appeals of the Winchester murder case.

The AP has this report, and SCOTUSBlog has this post with links to the court filings.

The first issue in the petition is this: "Did the Fourth Circuit err when, in conflict with decisions of the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, it applied the deferential standard of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), which is reserved for claims 'adjudicated on the merits' in state court, to evaluate a claim predicated on evidence of prejudice the state court refused to consider and that was properly received for the first time in a federal evidentiary hearing?"

So, a plunge into the savage heart of standard of review jurisprudence.