Patterico's Pontifications


Ninth Circuit: Lawrence v. Texas Never Even Mentioned Romer v. Eva — D’OH!!

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 2:10 pm

The recent Ninth Circuit opinion on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has this incorrect passage:

Second, the cases on which the Supreme Court explicitly based its decision in Lawrence are based on heightened scrutiny. As Major Witt pointed out, those cases include Griswold, Roe, and Carey. Moreover, the Court stated that Casey, a post-Bowers decision, cast its holding in Bowers into doubt. Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 573-74. Notably, the Court did not mention or apply the post-Bowers case of Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), in which the Court applied rational basis review to a law concerning homosexuals.

The Supreme Court didn’t mention Romer in Lawrence, eh?

Here is a quote from Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Lawrence:

The second post-Bowers case of principal relevance is Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996). There the Court struck down class-based legislation directed at homosexuals as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Romer invalidated an amendment to Colorado’s constitution which named as a solitary class persons who were homosexuals, lesbians, or bisexual either by “orientation, conduct, practices or relationships,” id., at 624 (internal quotation marks omitted), and deprived them of protection under state antidiscrimination laws. We concluded that the provision was “born of animosity toward the class of persons affected” and further that it had no rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose. Id., at 634.

As an alternative argument in this case, counsel for the petitioners and some amici contend that Romer provides the basis for declaring the Texas statute invalid under the Equal Protection Clause. That is a tenable argument, but we conclude the instant case requires us to address whether Bowers itself has continuing validity. Were we to hold the statute invalid under the Equal Protection Clause some might question whether a prohibition would be valid if drawn differently, say, to prohibit the conduct both between same-sex and different-sex participants.


Thanks to Ed Whelan for noticing that failing of the Ninth Circuit opinion.

By the way, in my first post on the Ninth Circuit decision, I wondered how the L.A. Times would describe the judges who decided the case. Would readers be told that all three judges are Democrat appointees?

It’s even worse than that. I have seen no evidence that the legal titans at the L.A. Times even realize this case was decided. A search for “Witt” or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the paper’s search engine reveals no relevant articles. This despite the fact that the case was covered by the New York Times, the Seattle Times, and the Seattle Post-Intellligencer, among others. But the L.A. Times seems blissfully unaware of the case.

Accidental Honesty from a Democrat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am

Democrats sort of stretched the facts?

No. I refuse to believe it.

Hillary Made the RFK Assassination Reference Before

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:57 am

Hillary only said it because the Kennedys have been on her mind recently, with Ted’s tumor and all:

“The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Sen. Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family, was in any way offensive,” she said. “I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever.”

Except, here’s Hillary from March 6:

Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June, also in California. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

Guess it wasn’t Ted’s tumor that caused her to say that after all.

Credit where credit is due department: that little tidbit was dug up by the L.A. Times. [Actually not. See UPDATE]

UPDATE: Credit where credit is actually due department: it’s a Newsday article and not an L.A. Times article. When I was praising the L.A. Times for a useful insight, that alone should have been a red flag, huh?

Deadbeat Congresswoman Defaulted on Three Properties, Claims to Be Victim

Filed under: Buffoons,General,Morons — Patterico @ 9:32 am

On Thursday, deadbeat Congresswoman Laura Richardson denied her home was in foreclosure:

In a carefully written statement released Wednesday evening, she challenged Capitol Weekly’s story about “the residential property that I own in Sacramento,” and said that it had not been subjected to foreclosure. She also said that she renegotiated a loan in connection with the transaction, but did not provide details.

“I have worked with my lender to complete a loan modification and have renegotiated the terms of the agreement — with no special provisions. I fully intend to fulfill all financial obligations of this property,” she said.

But last night, the AP reported, she acknowledged that it was:

Rep. Laura Richardson claimed Friday that her Sacramento home was sold into foreclosure without her knowledge and contrary to an agreement with her lender.


Here’s the kicker:

She said that she is like any other American suffering in the mortgage crisis and wants to testify to Congress about her experience as lawmakers craft a foreclosure-prevention bill.

She is unlike “any other American suffering in the mortgage crisis” in a few important respects, however. She makes nearly $170,000 per year, and receives a per diem from the State of California as well.

Oh — and she has defaulted on three properties, not just one:

Rep. Laura Richardson, who lost her Sacramento home in a recent foreclosure auction, has also defaulted on properties in Long Beach and San Pedro, records show.

Richardson, D-Long Beach, was able to bring her payments up to date on the Long Beach home relatively quickly, but the San Pedro property lingered in the foreclosure process for almost eight months, and still has a pending auction date.

I agree with her on one point, however. I, too, want to see her testify before Congress about all of this.

(Links above mainly found through the L.A. Times blog L.A. Land.)

L.A. Times Schooled by New York Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 9:15 am

Memo to L.A. Times editors: when your poll shows 54% of Californians opposing gay marriage, and 35% supporting it, it is misleading to say:

  • voters “slimly reject” gay marriage
  • voters “narrowly reject” gay marriage
  • voters reject gay marriage by
    • a “small margin”
    • a “narrow margin”
    • “a bit”
  • a “bare majority” opposes gay marriage

Yet your paper said all of that.

There’s a journalistically proper way to report that story, and it was demonstrated today by, of all papers, the New York Times, in a story titled A Poll Finds Californians Still Oppose Gay Marriage:

More than half of Californians support a proposed ballot measure that would overturn a recent ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state, a poll has found.

Fifty-four percent of registered voters would back the measure, according to the survey by The Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV. Thirty-five percent oppose the proposed measure, which is expected to be on the November ballot.

That’s the right way to do it. No spin. Just the facts.

Now how hard would that have been?

I Agree with John Hawkins

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:55 am

John Hawkins, May 2008:

Why I Will No Longer Support John McCain For President

I agree with John Hawkins. That is, I agree with the February 2008 version of John Hawkins:

There’s Nothing Conservative Or Principled About Helping A Democrat Beat John McCain In November

Thanks to Simon.

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