Patterico's Pontifications

12/1/2009

The Latest Thuggery by the Anti-Prop. 8 Forces

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:44 pm

The L.A. Times‘s L.A. Now blog reports on the latest tactic used by the anti-Prop. 8 forces:

Lawyers for two gay couples challenging last year’s Proposition 8 initiative banning same-sex marriage in California brought their case to a federal appeals court panel in Pasadena today, arguing that they need access to initiative sponsors’ internal campaign communications to prove the ballot measure was passed with “discriminatory intent.”

It’s amazing to me how Proposition 8 opponents continually use terrorist tactics to wage their battle. There was the campaign to name everyone who contributed to the Prop. 8 campaign — which predictably turned into a campaign of harassment and intimidation. And there was the mob violence.

Now, they’re seeking internal e-mails from the campaign to try to prove that the people in the campaign are bigots. This is as clear an effort to chill speech as I’ve seen in some time — but what do you know? some Clinton-appointed judges don’t see it that way:

The judges, all appointees of President Clinton, expressed skepticism that the opponents of Proposition 8 needed to go beyond what was publicly available from campaign ads and Internet-based statements to show the strategy behind the initiative. But they also openly disputed [the pro-Prop. 8 lawyer's] contention that much of the communication was entitled to 1st Amendment protection.

I’d bet the farm Reinhardt’s one of them. He magically ends up on the panels for these hot-button issues, every time. Odd, that.

This is a thuggish tactic and it ought not prevail. Unfortunately, it looks like it will.

UPDATE: I misread “Clinton appointees” as “Carter appointees.” Reinhardt’s not one of them. I would have lost the farm.

Also, this post somehow got eaten but I think I have successfully reconstructed it. I think I lost a couple of comments, though. Sorry for the confusion.

54 Responses to “The Latest Thuggery by the Anti-Prop. 8 Forces”

  1. I notice just how contemptuous the “progressive” forces are of the people they say they love when a vote doesn’t go their way. Their idea seems to be that they deserve, by right, to always win, so any vote that they lose must be illegitimate. How they’ll howl when the next elections come up here in Iowa, and the anti-gay-marriage people are swept into power!

    And even if it was proven that the opposition to Proposition 8 was utterly run by bigots—since when are bigots not citizens of the republic with the same rights as Good People? Was there an amendment to the Constitution that I missed, somewhere?

    technomad (677f63)

  2. Help! My comment was eaten!!!

    Icy Texan (1e35bf)

  3. So you can be sued for putting a proposed law on the ballot and asking people to vote for it? Only in California.

    Besides the First Amendment, how about the Tenth? And the voting rights amendments and statutes? This is chilling but in a different sense — a judicial attack directly on the democratic process and the citizens’ rights to vote on their own laws.

    nk (df76d4)

  4. But here’s an idea. Why don’t we sue the Democratic Party and everybody who voted for Obama?

    nk (df76d4)

  5. As we’re headed in the same direction as Zimbabwe (fiscally speaking) the guvmint would have just taken your farm anyway! Easy come, easy go.

    dfbaskwill (2c7f7f)

  6. Patterico:

    Nah, Prop 8 will stand. Even if a panel of the 9th throws it out on grounds that drafters and voters are all a bunch of bigots, the Supremes will definitely grant cert (and stay the 9th’s decision); when they hear it, Prop 8 will be upheld 6-3 (Stevenson will join with Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy).

    Their reasons may vary, but the core will be that judges cannot overturn a democratic vote simply because they don’t like the outcome. If they could, then we would have flushed our “republican form of government” down the porcelain gullet. While Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor might be willing (“eager” and “enthusiastic” might be more like it), the rest will recoil from such a radical move.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd the Disagreeable (96b517)

  7. Huckabee’s parolee cop-killer was gunned down, like the rabid dog that he was, by a hero police officer in Seattle on Tuesday. I just wanted to share this tidbit from the AP story: A psychological evaluation in October found he [Clemmons] was a risk to public safety, but not enough of one to justify committing him.

    There is a sad — but not surprising — irony in the realization that, to a liberal-minded person, a group that opposes gay marriage needs to be investigated for possible “discriminatory intent,” — for all intents & purposes, a HATE-CRIME; but, at the same time there is no problem with having such a completely spineless standard as “a risk to public safety, but not enough of one to justify committing him”.

    Sometimes these issues really are this black & white, folks. WHAT someone does matters; the reason WHY they did it? Not so much. Khalid Sheik Mohammed caused the deaths of thousands of Americans because as a radical Muslim he hates America. He shouldn’t be punished for hating America; he should be punished for causing the deaths of thousands of Americans.

    Do the libs really think that it’s okay to go after people for the — perceived — hatred within their hearts? Isn’t this what they accuse conservatives of doing when it comes to investigating radical Muslims? And, of course, don’t let the fact that there may be evidence linking said radicals to criminal activity muddy this issue even more.

    Icy Texan (1e35bf)

  8. Dafydd,

    I am concerned about the effects of the short-term precedent. I have been retained by a seven-year old young lady to petition our Village Board to amend the Village Code to allow the keeping and riding of ponies within the Village limits. I would hate to see her sued by pony-haters should we succeed. ;)

    nk the indulgent (df76d4)

  9. Lets not cheapen the word “terrorism” like the word “racist” has been for some time now. A terrorist is a terrorist. What you are describing is known as a fishing expedition. It is outrageous, and usually a sign that a plaintiff knows he has a weak case, but it is done all the time in civil litigation and is being done in the name of winning a lawsuit.

    Sean P (579fd6)

  10. The LAT acted out of character by reporting that those judges were Clinton appointees.

    What is not being said is that the people of California approved this in a free and open election.

    They are attempting to get a ruling stating that a same-sex couple is equivalent to a diverse-sex couple and therefore favoring one even by majority vote is discrimination. But obviously the people of CA and every other state that has voted disagree.

    There is an inherent difference, and it matters.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  11. gotta object to one word, Patterico… “terrorist.” we should reserve that word for only the real acts. mind you, the gay marriage forces have been in full “douchy tantrum mode” ever since last november, but calling them terrorists… i have a serious moral objection to that.

    And i am sick of this silly behavior. right now, some moron is claiming texas accidentally banned marriage. anyone who knows how to read the law in a basic way knows that is a wholly specious argument, but the douches keep it up. sigh.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  12. Some of the tactics approach terrorist, such as harassing the woman who contributed to the campaign. She ultimately lost her job in a Mexican restaurant because they harassed the restaurant. There was also considerable threatening of Mormon churches, etc.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  13. Mike, I still only consider that to be your regular old “thuggery”…

    Scott Jacobs (445f98)

  14. I blame the Mormon’s. And Bush. And, Kyoto.

    JD (e8f8ac)

  15. According to the official 9th Circuit calendar available here, the panel for this argument consisted of Circuit Judges WARDLAW, FISHER, and BERZON. They are not part of the “old guard” of judges appointed by Jimmy Carter after Congress added a bunch of new judgeships in 1979.

    However, while Kim Wardlaw has a middle-of-the-road background as a former litigation partner at O’Melveny & Meyers, Fisher and Berzon both clerked for William Brennan and would be expected to be more sympathetic to the plaintiffs here.

    Voiceguy (566666)

  16. Who says there isn’t a civil war going on in the US?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  17. I fail to see what the backer’s motives have to do with anything. The voters enacted the measure for whatever reason each individual held. Even if the backers are the worst bigots the world has ever seen I fail to see how that can impune a voter’s choice. Are the folks who voted “Yes” to send a message to the California Supreme Court somehow tarred with the same brush?

    If 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/4 of the states were to revoke the 8th amendment would judges actually think the motive of the initial sponsor of such an action mattered?

    Soronel Haetir (2b4c2b)

  18. NK, did you say Village???

    Number Six (1d8b6d)

  19. Well, yes, I live in a Village, which is what our little non-home rule (in practice limited home rule) community is defined as by Illinois law.

    nk the indulgent (df76d4)

  20. Fascism will come with a smiley face…

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  21. We have gaslight street lamps dating back to 1868 and a water tower which originally was made to rewater trains on the Burlington Northern Santa – Fe Line and our best real estate was just bought by Warren Buffet.

    nk the indulgent (df76d4)

  22. And it was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same guy who designed Central Park and the Columbia Exposition. I have to walk half a mile to visit my neighbor on the other side of my back fence.

    nk the indulgent (df76d4)

  23. BTW, Patterico, do you have horses on your farm? If so, maybe we can arrange a house swap during our vacations if you would like to stay in a quiet, peaceful place, with good neighbors, only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by train. And my daughter would love your horses to death (that’s just an expression).

    nk who is wrapped around his daughter's little finger (df76d4)

  24. Discovery as a terrorist tactic.

    imdw (6a6f74)

  25. I dunno, imdw. When my clients want to scare people they show their jailhouse tattoos, their jailhouse gym muscles, and their 9mms tucked in their belts. When I want to scare people, I get a haircut, a shave, put on a blue suit with a button down shirt, a pair of cordovan Bostonians, and give them my Attorney-at-Law business card.

    nk (df76d4)

  26. Great this now mean we can get the personal communications of the CA legislature regarding their support for “Climate Change” bills or how about SEIU’s internal communications regarding healtcare, political donations, etc.

    Hell, I say let them have it & then use the same tactics to over-turn or at the least bring to light the same, very behind-the-scenes political maneuvering that has brought this one great state to it’s fiscal knees.

    Who here wouldn’t want to see ACORN or SEIU’s internal communications regarding any bill they have supported or help garner support for?

    PMain (47cd52)

  27. “Great this now mean we can get the personal communications of the CA legislature regarding their support for “Climate Change” bills or how about SEIU’s internal communications regarding healtcare, political donations, etc.”

    Why “now”? Getting facts in a lawsuit is pretty standard, is it not?

    imdw (05d41e)

  28. It’s pretty much to the discretion of the court, and if the court is a San Franciscan looking for power glutes and milky loads ….

    nk (df76d4)

  29. nk – did you have to sully this fine upstanding blog with *that* comment ?

    Alasdair (205079)

  30. Why is evidence of bigotry relevant to whether or not Proposition 8 (and its sister amendments and statutes in other states) violate the Fourteenth Amendment?

    The last court ruling on this issue was Baker v. Nelson, where the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that in a commonsense and in a constitutional sense, there is a clear distinction between marital restrictions based merely upon race and marital restrictions based upon the fundamental difference in sex. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of that decision for want of a substantial federal question, and such a dismissal constitutes a ruling based on the merits on the case. In other words, the merits of the Baker case does not raise a substantial federal question.

    If 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/4 of the states were to revoke the 8th amendment would judges actually think the motive of the initial sponsor of such an action mattered?

    Only when it comes to the interpretation of the law.

    It is clear that the motives of the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment never intended for gender discrimination to be held to the same scrutiny as racial discrimination.

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  31. NK–where do you practice? I practice here in Champaign.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  32. So the internal emails of the East Anglia CRU (one advocacy groups) are fair game for external inspection because they expose bias, but the internal emails of Prop. 8 advocates (another advocacy group) are not (though they might)?

    Is the distinction that the former were leaked (which couldn’t be helped and required no judicial involvement) and the latter remain private (and would require judicial involvement)? That seems a fair distinction to me. But as a general rule, if you don’t want the internal emails of one group made public, you ought not delight when the internal emails of another group are.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  33. Leviticus, You are so judicious, but when it is the NY Times publishing private or secret papers, you are a cheerleader of the disclosure. Can you admit you are just as big a hypocrite?

    Number Six (1d8b6d)

  34. So the internal emails of the East Anglia CRU (one advocacy groups) are fair game for external inspection because they expose bias, but the internal emails of Prop. 8 advocates (another advocacy group) are not (though they might)?

    That’s a rather sophomoric view of it, Leviticus. East Anglia CRU is purporting to have scientific evidence. So, yes, an indication of bias in its massaging of data is relevant. The internal emails of Prop 8 advocates are not.

    Some chump (8087d5)

  35. #30: My memory of my constitutional law classes are becoming fuzzier by the day, but I believe the significance is that, under a rational basis analysis, a law can only be overturned on constitutional grounds if there is evidence of discriminatory intent. Courts often look to the legislative record for evidence of intent, I assume the anti 8 lawyers are arguing looking at emails from private supporters is tantamout to the same thing.

    Sean P (4fde41)

  36. Rochf – I did not know you are in Champaign. We should grab lunch next time I am through there, which is usually 1-2 times a week.

    JD (4e0002)

  37. “Leviticus, You are so judicious, but when it is the NY Times publishing private or secret papers, you are a cheerleader of the disclosure.”

    - Number Six

    Oh, I am? Thanks for letting me know.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  38. Perhaps what he means is that we didn’t see or hear anyone from the Left decry those disclosures by the NYT; and keep in mind, those disclosures were potentially life – threatening ones, whereas the CRU guys are engaged in a worldwide Ponzi scheme to defraud the western world at large.

    And I can’t help but notice how the NYT pleaded with our military (as well as the Brits) not to disclose to the public when their own reporter was kidnapped, which was dutifully agreed to ASAP. Then said reporter was rescued at the cost of a soldier’s life – funny how that works, eh?

    Dmac (a964d5)

  39. My apologies for the threadjack there – my bad.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  40. #30: My memory of my constitutional law classes are becoming fuzzier by the day, but I believe the significance is that, under a rational basis analysis, a law can only be overturned on constitutional grounds if there is evidence of discriminatory intent. Courts often look to the legislative record for evidence of intent, I assume the anti 8 lawyers are arguing looking at emails from private supporters is tantamout to the same thing.

    Proposition 8 is identical to every law in American history that defined marriage to be between one man and one woman.

    Even if there was discriminatory intent, it would not matter because the earliest laws of this type, passed during colonial times, had no discriminatory intent. It would be silly to argue that California’s Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution, but Oregon’s Measure 36 does not, simply because of the intent of the people behind Proposition 8 as opposed to the intent of the people behind Measure 36.

    Also, gun control laws have a racist history. Is this racist history sufficient to overturn all gun control laws in the U.S.?

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  41. 31.NK–where do you practice? I practice here in Champaign.

    Comment by Rochf — 12/2/2009 @ 11:55 am

    Chicago and vicinity, Rochf.

    nk (df76d4)

  42. Here in Seattle, a few years back the Socialist Workers’ Party got a judge to declare secret the list of voters who signed to put the SWP on the ballot. This was done because of possible intimidation of the signatories. If memory serves, the ACLU handled it for the SWP.

    Bleepless (20dbf0)

  43. #32 – Leviticus

    So the internal emails of the East Anglia CRU (one advocacy groups) are fair game for external inspection because they expose bias, but the internal emails of Prop. 8 advocates (another advocacy group) are not (though they might)?

    – Apple, meet orange. As already pointed out, the CRU emails were leaked, not extracted by a court action. But thanks for pointing out that they are an advocacy group, and therefore — by DEFINITION! — are biased in favor of the position they choose to support.

    That’s right, Levi, Jr. Advocates cannot be unbiased; if they were, they would be advocating NOTHING!

    (Seriously, dude. Put down the bong and do some studying for a change.)

    Icy Texan (b8ff91)

  44. Mike, re #43, I never meant to indicate that this was my own position, I was simply offering an explanation as to legal reasoning behind the Prop 8 opponent’s tactics in this case.

    Sean P (579fd6)

  45. Perhaps Leviticus should be added to the Wikipedia list of logical fallacies.

    pst314 (dbf8fd)

  46. “– Apple, meet orange. As already pointed out, the CRU emails were leaked, not extracted by a court action. ”

    Yeah who could think that the legitimacy of how this info is gained would have any bearing on whether the info is “fair game”?

    imdw (688568)

  47. Wait, is imdw saying leaks are bad now, or only certain leaks?

    JD (4a5c67)

  48. Well, it wasn’t questioned by the Left with the Pentagon Papers, but now they’ve got their knickers in a bad knot over the CRU papers.
    Consistency has never been a bulwark of Leftist behavior.

    AD - RtR/OS! (2eab1e)

  49. You cannot be a liberal without fuzzy thinking, JD. Falsifying data is exactly the same thing as asking people to agree with your opinion.

    nk (df76d4)

  50. Leviticus and imdw, just exactly what did the proponents of Prop 8 lie about and since the voters were the ones who decided the issue why isn’t the lie out there already for everyone to see?

    nk (df76d4)

  51. [...] of Appeals — all three judges were appointed by Bill Clinton — has signalled that it is poised to find Prop 8 unconstitutional and throw it out. The voters can go jump in the [...]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » The Party of Mandatory Assent (e2f069)

  52. [...] of Appeals — all three judges were appointed by Bill Clinton — has signalled that it is poised to find Prop 8 unconstitutional and throw it out. The voters can go jump in the [...]

    The Party of Mandatory Assent | America Watches Obama (4ab9a2)

  53. #46 – imdw
    Yeah who could think that the legitimacy of how this info is gained would have any bearing on whether the info is “fair game”?

    – My point is that there is no legitimacy in having a court demand this info, in EITHER case.

    Icy Texan (1207ba)

  54. The Art Of War…

    [...] ……

    The Art Of War (f67a5b)


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