Friday, November 7, 2008

More Post-Election News . . .

My wonderful co-bloggers have already posted about some of the post-election issues.  Here are a few more matters in which you may be interested:

1.   Now that the Senator from Illinois is the President from Illinois, what happens?  Well, the governor of Illinois is apparently preparing to fill the vacancy.  It's worth reminding your students that this procedure is required by both Article I and the Seventeeth Amendment.

2. Despite the distressing news about ballot initiatives denying or revoking the right of same sex couples to marry, advocates of women's rights had a slightly better Tuesday.  The South Dakota measure I wrote about last week was soundly defeated, as was another restrictive initiative in Colorado.  (The Colorado act would have also blocked stem cell research.) Significantly, California voters rejected an initiative that would have imposed greater limitations on minors seeking abortions.  This was the third time the measure had appeared on the ballot, and the third time in which it failed.

3.  Colorado voters rejected a ballot measure to end affirmative action in that state.

4.  Michigan passed an initiative to allow the use of medical marijuana.  The interesting question here is how - if at all - would the Court's ruling in Gonzalez v. Raich affect such laws.  The answer is unclear.  Advocates insist that Raich will not interfere with state laws.   For his part, the man who will take the oath of office on Jan. 20 says that he does not believe that prosecuting medical marijuana is a good use of federal resources.  So, this will be an interesting issue to watch.

5.  The final issue from Tuesday is: what will happen to Senator Ted Stevens?  He has been convicted of felony violations of ethical rules, but should he be expelled from the Senate?  According to Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog, "It Is Complicated."  His post is here.

We'll continue to keep you posted on any further activity.


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