June 3, 2012
By Jacob Combs
What you may have missed over the past week at Prop8TrialTracker.com…
On Monday, May 28, we celebrated the Memorial Day holiday with an open thread, including a reflection on the day from The New Civil Rights Movement.
On Tuesday, I followed up to the holiday with a look at life after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where midshipmen are now free to be honest about and celebrate their sexual orientation. Scottie posted an equality news round-up, highlighting a PPP poll showing a 16 percent increase for marriage equality in Michigan since last year, and the opinion of SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston that the longer it takes the Ninth Circuit to decided if it will rehear the Prop 8 case en banc, the more likely it is that rehearing will be denied. AFER’s Matt Baume also posted his weekly video update, noting that public opinion in support of anti-gay groups is now at record lows.
On Wednesday, I started the day off with the news that Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois were jointly announcing two new lawsuits filed in Illinois court challenging that state’s marriage equality ban. Those lawsuits resemble In re Marriage Cases, the California legislation that lead to the legalization of marriage equality in the state and, eventually, the passage of Proposition 8 and the Prop 8 trial. Scottie reported that opponents of marriage equality in Maryland had submitted enough signatures to make it likely that the state’s recently-passed new marriage law would be on the ballot in November. Scottie also wrote about the defeat of an anti-bullying bill in Illinois that could still have some hope of passage before the legislative session ends, and a filing by BLAG in the case of Cooper-Harris v. USA asking for a stay of proceedings pending a Ninth Circuit challenge in the case Golinski v. OPM, in which a district court struck down DOMA as unconstitutional.
On Thursday, Scottie brought us the thrilling news that the First Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in two cases from a Massachusetts court challenging the constitutionality of DOMA, had upheld the lower courts decision. The First Circuit is, fittingly, the first appellate court to strike down DOMA, in a unanimous 3-0 decision written by a Republican appointee and joined by another Republican appointee, as well as a Democratic one. These DOMA cases, consolidated as Gill v. OPM for the purposes of appeal, are very likely to go to the Supreme Court, and could very well be heard before the Supreme Court hears the Prop 8 case, should it choose to do so. I wrote about a new poll from Washington state showing strong majority support for marriage equality, a good sign considering that the state will consider this November whether to uphold a marriage equality the legislature passed earlier this year. Scottie also posted a round-up of other equality news from the day.
Friday morning, I wrote about the rejection of Bruce Harris, a Supreme Court nominee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, by the state Senate, and the problem of Harris’s testimony that he would recuse himself from any gay marriage cases because he is himself gay and has expressed support for marriage in the past. Scottie also wrote an eloquent piece about attending Netroots Nation in Providence next week (Adam and I will be going as well)–any amount that you can chip in helps us cover our transportation costs to attend an event that lets us keep Prop8TrialTracker.com connected with the movers and shakers of the LGBT political community and the blog scene.
As always, remember that Quick Hits can always be found to the left of the main blog posts (and if someone’s interested in rounding up Quick Hits for the week like this, drop us a line!). And don’t forget to follow Equality on Trial on Facebook and on Twitter for more coverage and updates! All P8TT posts are published on Twitter immediately after they go up, so you can get word that way too. We’re tweaking the e-mail subscriptions tool, so that’ll be in better shape soon as well. And of course, if you like the coverage we do here and the work we’re doing to bring you all this news, it ain’t free. Please consider tossing a few bucks in the hat to help us do it — or better yet, become a small monthly donor. We’re working hard to cover these issues and we appreciate your support so we can keep doing so.