February 27, 2014 |
The six state attorneys general who have declined to defend their states' bans on same-sex marriage in court got some encouragement this week from U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. In a speech to the National Assn. of Attorneys General, Holder said that it was sometimes appropriate for attorneys general to abandon their usual obligation to defend the constitutionality of state laws. This page supports same-sex marriage unreservedly. But even so, we worry that Holder's comments will embolden additional state attorneys general - Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives - to pick and choose which of their states' laws they will defend in court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - In a ruling that a dissenting judge called "unprecedented," a federal appeals court ordered Google Inc. on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim video that an actress said forced her to leave her home because of death threats. Google said it would appeal the ruling, but removed the video, "Innocence of Muslims," from YouTube and other platforms. The video has incited violent Muslim protests and has been banned by several Muslim countries. The 2 to 1 decision by the 9 t h U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the actress who appeared in the film never consented to being in it and her performance may be protected by copyright law. "While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn't often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa ," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the majority.
February 25, 2014 |
TUCSON - When Arizona took controversial stands in the past - refusing to create a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and enacting a tough anti-illegal immigration law - state leaders shrugged off the criticism from out of state as the meddling of outsiders. But now, after the Legislature passed a measure to bolster the rights of business owners to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion, Arizona leaders seem to be listening to a national outcry and are urging the governor to veto the bill.
February 23, 2014 |
What's the best way to minimize the number of guns on California's streets? That's the question confronting gun control supporters after this month's ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down San Diego's restrictions on carrying handguns in public. That case was brought by gun owners who applied for but were denied permits to carry concealed weapons. San Diego will undoubtedly appeal the decision in the hope of saving its restrictive policy for awarding concealed carry permits.
February 20, 2014 |
It's an idea that, in the death-squeamish U.S., is probably too disturbing for the edgiest TV hospital drama, let alone real life and real legislation. Last week, the Belgian Parliament passed a law allowing terminally ill children to request aid in dying. Adults there have been able to do that since 2002, and a few other European countries have similar measures. But last Thursday's action, which is expected to be signed into law by King Philippe, will make Belgium the first to extend the right to minors faced with "constant and unbearable suffering.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2014 |
Luis Rios, who lost his job at a filling station in December at the age of 56, is newly eligible for Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor. Following the advice of state-trained medical insurance enrollment workers, he filled out the paperwork required to get coverage - but has a nagging fear that he may have put his family's financial assets at risk. That's because, in certain cases, Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid, will be able to collect repayment for healthcare services from the estate after a recipient dies, including placing government liens on property.