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June 11, 2009

Florida SCt rejects challenge to bar group's amicus brief on gay adoption ban

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Florida Bar Board of Governors, which earlier this year unanimously approved a request from the group's family law section to file an amicus brief in pending litigation challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s statewide gay adoption ban.  In the 5-2 decision, the state Supreme Court rejected a claim by the petitioner, the anti-gay group Liberty Counsel, that the bar's action violated the petitioner's First Amendment rights on the theory that the amicus brief was funded by compulsory dues.  The full opinion is available here.

-SS

June 11, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2009

Additional insight on this week's denial of cert in the DADT case

Professor Art Leonard has this analysis of the Supreme Court's denial of certiorari in the Pietrangelo case challenging Don't Ask, Don't Tell. 

In response to an item I had posted elsewhere about the Obama administration's defense of the policy, Art explained:

Mr. Pietrangelo's co-plaintiffs also filed a brief with the Court urging it to deny the petition for review. The considered view of those who have been litigating this issue has been that the Witt case, pending in the 9th Circuit, has proved to be a better vehicle for challenging the policy in court. Pietrangelo filed this petition on his own, against the advice of the attorneys who had filed the lawsuit in the 1st Circuit. The Obama Administration's brief opposing review argued that the 1st Circuit case was correctly decided, in a perfunctory way, but emphasized that the other pending case would provide a better venue for considering the policy.

-SS

June 10, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 9, 2009

Responding to 9th Cir ruling on city resolution, Catholic group lashes out at San Francisco officials, comparing them to Nazis

As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, first the Catholic Church ordered Catholic Charities not to place adoptive children with same-sex couples, saying that allowing gay or lesbian couples to adopt "would actually mean doing violence to these children."  Then the city supervisors condemned the Vatican's "hateful and discriminatory rhetoric."  Then the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights accused the city in a lawsuit of acting with unconstitutional hostility toward Catholicism.  Then the 9th Circuit ruled that the supervisors had acted for a legal, secular purpose, to protect same-sex couples from discrimination, and not to express disapproval of Catholicism.

In response, the president and chief counsel of the anti-gay-activist Thomas More Law Center has turned up the rhetoric another notch.  "It is not a stretch to compare the San Francisco board's actions," he said, "to that of the Nazi Germany policy of Gleichschaltung, vilifying Jews as an auxiliary to and laying the groundwork for more repressive policies, including the final solution of extermination."

-SS

June 9, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TIME on Obama's defense of DADT

TIME ponders the gay community's puzzlement and anger over the Obama administration's defense of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

When Barack Obama sought the presidency, he pledged to reverse the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military. Yet on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a gay Ohio soldier's challenge to the law — with the legal backing of none other than the Obama Administration.
...
The Obama Administration, in its brief in the case last month, said a lower court acted properly in upholding the gay ban. "Applying the strong deference traditionally afforded to the Legislative and Executive Branches in the area of military affairs, the court of appeals properly upheld the statute," argued Elena Kagan, who as Solicitor General represents the Administration before the Supreme Court. The bar on gays serving openly is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion," her 12-page filing added.

The government's brief in opposition to certiorari is available here.

-SS

June 9, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack