Sunday, November 22, 2009


Judge rules same-sex couple must be repaid
By Denny Walsh, The Sacramento Bee

Nov. 19- A judge ruled Wednesday an assistant federal public defender's spouse must be compensated for health care benefits withheld since July 2008 because the couple are gay.

Stephen Reinhardt, a member of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, also reminded the bureaucracy that he decreed nine months ago in the same case that withholding benefits based on sexual orientation violates the U.S. Constitution's due process guarantee and the circuit's employment dispute resolution plan for federal public defenders and their staffs.

In his order Wednesday, Reinhardt wrote there is no rational basis for denying benefits to same-sex spouses of federal public defender employees while granting them to opposite-sex spouses of employees. "I conclude that the application of DOMA -- to reach that result is unconstitutional."

Reinhardt was writing not in his capacity as a federal appellate judge but as an employer's representative in a grievance procedure. Consequently, the ruling applies only to Levenson and Sears.

Applying that standard to Levenson's case, "the challenged denial of benefits is constitutional only if there is a rational basis," Reinhardt wrote. "No such basis exists."

"Thus," Reinhardt concluded, "the denial of federal benefits to same- sex spouses cannot be justified as an expression of the government's disapproval of homosexuality, preference for heterosexuality, or desire to discourage gay marriage."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barbour Wants to Eliminate 3 State Universities

Clarion Ledger:

Facing growing budget constraints, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour wants to save money by cutting the state's public universities from eight to five. On Monday, Barbour proposed combining historically black universities Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State into Jackson State, also an HBCU. He also called for merging Mississippi University for Women into Mississippi State.

He has totally blown my image of the Republican party.

Gov. Paterson Chickens Out

"This is not a decision that I would have made," Paterson said when asked about the impending trial. "Our country was attacked on its own soil on Sept. 11, 2001, and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack."

He wasn't going to beat Andy Cuomo anyway, but running for Governor as a coward surely won't help.