April 19, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Daniel Swalm was researching his family when he came across a disturbing episode in immigration history. That discovery would lead to a move in the U.S. Senate to apologize for action the nation took more than a century ago. Swalm discovered that under an obscure 1907 law, his grandmother Elsie, born and raised in Minnesota, was stripped of her U.S. citizenship after marrying an immigrant from Sweden. Swalm had never heard of the Expatriation Act that required a U.S.-born woman who married a foreigner to "take the nationality of her husband.
April 18, 2014 |
What does the federal Violence Against Women Act have to do with outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians? A good deal, it turns out. The latest version of the law, which among other things provides grants to agencies that deal with victims of sexual assaults, has a nondiscrimination provision. It says that recipients may not discriminate in their hiring on the basis of “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.” The Justice Department recently released a briefing paper on implementation of the law. There is a limited exception for necessary “sex-specific programming.” Also, religious agencies, consistent with the Religion Freedom Restoration Act, may prefer members of their own faith in hiring.
April 16, 2014 |
The first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act ended this week with roughly 7.5 million people obtaining policies through the new state insurance exchanges, including more than 1.3 million at Covered California. That's an amazing and welcome result, considering how badly many of the exchanges stumbled when sign-ups began in October. Nevertheless, it's far too early to judge the success or failure of the healthcare law, given that key tests of the program's sustainability have yet to be passed.
April 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court next week will consider for the first time whether states may enforce laws that make it a crime to knowingly publish false statements about political candidates. The justices will hear an antiabortion group's free-speech challenge to an Ohio law that was invoked in 2010 by then-Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat. He had voted for President Obama's healthcare law and was facing a tough race for reelection. The antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List launched a campaign to unseat Driehaus, preparing to run billboard ads saying, "Shame on Steve Driehaus!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 |
Ken Dobson, a retired police officer, said he received quite a welcome when he landed his single-engine Cessna in Detroit two days after leaving his home in Palm Desert. Five sheriff's cars surrounded the plane and deputies got out with guns drawn. Then a helicopter arrived with four federal agents and a drug-sniffing dog. They demanded to see Dobson's pilot's license, asked about the flight and mentioned that his long trip from Southern California was suspicious. Fearing he would lose his flight credentials if he didn't cooperate, Dobson consented to a search of his plane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2014 |
Bobby Shriver, the first Los Angeles County supervisorial contender in 18 years to opt out of voluntary campaign spending limits, is calling for a major overhaul of county election laws, including lifting fundraising restrictions on candidates who use personal wealth to help pay for their campaigns. Last month, the Santa Monica lawyer and nonprofit director contributed $300,000 of his own money to his effort to succeed longtime west county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Shriver, a member of the Kennedy political family, criticized a $1.4-million voluntary spending limit in the June 3 primary as inadequate to get his message out to 2 million constituents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2014 |
Marsha Temple will soon fly to Philadelphia, trying to crack a case she's been working on for decades. She'd like to know who her biological father was. Temple has a pretty good hunch he may have been a child evangelist in Philadelphia nearly a century ago, so she plans to dig through files there with the help of her husband, KCRW radio host Warren Olney, who serves as Watson to his wife's Sherlock. The two have traveled great distances in the U.S. and to Poland and Ukraine, pursuing an obsession that for Temple, 68, began many years ago in the San Fernando Valley.
April 12, 2014
Re "More laws, less treasure," Opinion, April 7 As an archaeologist with more than 30 years' experience, I can say that Adam Wallwork's analysis of laws protecting cultural heritage is misguided. Archaeologists don't seek "treasure. " We seek information about how people lived in the past to help us better understand our own existence. Patrimony laws are largely aimed at protecting archaeological sites from destruction by looters. Most sites don't have the "wow" factor needed to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but they can provide invaluable information about ancient ways of life.
April 11, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama named White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on Friday, saying there was "no manager as experienced and competent" to run the next phase of his signature domestic program. "Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel" as the administration dealt with the government shutdown last year, Obama told a crowd gathered in the White House Rose Garden for the announcement. "Once the government was allowed to reopen, Sylvia was vital to winning the two-year budget agreement that put an end to these manufactured crises that we had seen here in Washington so that we could keep our full focus on growing the economy and creating new jobs and expanding opportunity for everybody who's seeking opportunity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 |
In Los Angeles, patrol officers are caught disabling recording equipment that was in place to keep them honest. In Santa Monica, a high school student demonstrates why the wrestling coach is the last faculty member to mess with. And in Glendale, a young woman challenges the definition of "hands-free" driving after getting a ticket for talking on a phone tucked into her head scarf. These three police blotter tales have little in common, except that I've assembled them in a nice spring bouquet, along with a prickly observation or two. First the LAPD.