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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 44,053

Journal Archives

Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Halt Same-Sex Marriages in California

Source: LA Times / SCOTUS Blog

@BreakingNews: Supreme Court rejects bid to halt same-sex weddings in California - @latimes


Supreme Court rejects bid to halt same-sex marriages in California


June 30, 2013, 12:33 p.m.

The Supreme Court rejected an emergency request to stop same-sex marriages in California, a lawyer for the gay couples who sued said Sunday.

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., one of the lawyers who challenged Proposition 8, said that he had just received word from the court Sunday morning that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy denied a request by ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of Proposition 8, to halt the marriages.

Boutrous said that Kennedy, who handles petitions from the Western states, did not comment on the decision.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order late Friday that allowed gay marriages to resume in California, a step that ProtectMarriage said was premature and in violation of procedural rules.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76509630/

@SCOTUSblog: #scotus denies request to block California same-sex marriage: http://t.co/ml6uep0gSn


Lyle Denniston

Posted Sun, June 30th, 2013 12:21 pm

New gay marriage challenge fails

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy turned down at midday Sunday a request to stop same-sex marriages from occurring in California. Without comment, and without seeking views from the other side, Kennedy rejected a plea that the Ninth Circuit Court did not have the authority to put into effect last Friday a federal judge’s order that allowed such marriages. The plea had been made on Saturday by the sponsors of California’s “Proposition 8″ that allowed marriage only between a man and a woman.

Newly Released NSA Slides Explain the PRISM Data-Collection Program

Source: Washington Post

@BreakingNews: Newly released NSA slides detail how program interacts with internet companies - @washingtonpost http://t.co/qSk7U1F7RV

NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program

Published: June 6, 2013, Updated: June 29, 2013

The top-secret PRISM program allows the U.S. intelligence community to gain access from nine Internet companies to a wide range of digital information, including e-mails and stored data, on foreign targets operating outside the United States. The program is court-approved but does not require individual warrants. Instead, it operates under a broader authorization from federal judges who oversee the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Some documents describing the program were first released by The Washington Post on June 6. The newly released documents below give additional details about how the program operates, including the levels of review and supervisory control at the NSA and FBI. The documents also show how the program interacts with the Internet companies. These slides, annotated by The Post, represent a selection from the overall document, and certain portions are redacted. Read related article.

New slides published June 29

Acquiring data from a new target

This slide describes what happens when an NSA analyst "tasks" the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target. The request to add a new target is passed automatically to a supervisor who reviews the "selectors," or search terms. The supervisor must endorse the analyst's "reasonable belief," defined as 51 percent confidence, that the specified target is a foreign national who is overseas at the time of collection.

After communications information is acquired, the data are processed and analyzed by specialized systems that handle voice, text, video and "digital network information" that includes the locations and unique device signatures of targets.

Each target is assigned a case notation

The PRISM case notation format reflects the availability, confirmed by The Post's reporting, of real-time surveillance as well as stored content.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/m/

Greenwald Docs Preview: Brand New Technology Allows NSA to Retain 1 Billion Cell Calls Every Day

@wikileaks: Glen Greenwald document preview: "a brand new technology allows #NSA to retain 1 billion cell calls every day." @ggreenwald

@ggreenwald: RT @tovangar2: Recording of @ggreenwald's speech from livestream will be up on www.wearemany ASAP

BREAKING: Prop 8 - Gay Marriages Can Resume in California, Court Rules (Effective Immediately)

Source: LA Times

@BreakingNews: RT @breakingpol: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issues order clearing way for same-sex marriage to resume in California - @NBCLA

Prop 8: Gay marriages can resume in California, court rules

June 28, 2013, 6:25 p.m.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California.

The court lifted its stay on an injunction which ordered state officials to stop enforcing Proposition 8. With the court's action, counties can now begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

A spokesman for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had originally said it would takes the court at least 25 days to act after a Supreme Court ruling. Immediately afterward, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered his public health agency to advise the state's counties to "begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the 9th Circuit confirms the stay is lifted."

Opponents of same-sex marriage have argued that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's 2010 decision overturning Proposition 8 applied only to the two same-sex couples who challenged the ballot measure. But their enthusiasm for going to court to try to narrow the effect of the decision appeared to wane in the hours after the decision.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76493489/

Michigan Ban on Domestic Partner Benefits Struck Down by Federal Judge

Source: MLive

Michigan ban on domestic partner benefits struck down by federal judge

By Brian Smith | bsmith11@mlive.com
on June 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM, updated June 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

LANSING -- A federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a Michigan law barring public employers from offering benefits to same-sex domestic partners.
The decision from U.S. District Judge David S. Lawson prevents Gov. Rick Snyder and state officials from enforcing the 2011 law prohibiting cities, counties and other public employers from offering benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

A group of five same-sex couples had filed suit against Snyder and the state alleging the law violated the U.S. Constitution by violating due process and equal protection rights. Attorneys for the state had argued the couples lacked standing to bring the suit and had not suffered an identifiable injury as a result of the law.

Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/06/michigan_ban_on_domestic_partn.html

Restricted Web Access to The Guardian is Armywide, Officials Say

Source: Monterey Herald

Restricted web access to The Guardian is Armywide, officials say

Herald Staff Writer
Posted: 06/27/2013 03:12:16 PM PDT
Updated: 06/27/2013 06:00:12 PM

The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday's Herald, but Armywide.

Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke several stories on data collection by the National Security Agency.

Gordon Van Vleet, an Arizona-based spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email the Army is filtering "some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks."

He wrote it is routine for the Department of Defense to take preventative "network hygiene" measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

Read more: http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_23554739/restricted-web-access-guardian-is-army-wide-officials

Funny Or Die! "World War G" Gay Marriage Contagion - The Movie


Gay Marriage Contagion--the Movie!

Hysterical parody World War G from Funny of Die, imagines gay infection of entire world after SCOTUS decisions--first major film from Rick Santorum's new studio!

World War G


Spy Program Gathered Americans' Internet Records (Until 2011)

Source: Associated Press


— Jun. 27 5:52 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration gathered U.S. citizens' Internet data until 2011, continuing a spying program started under President George W. Bush that revealed whom Americans exchanged emails with and the Internet Protocol address of their computer, documents disclosed Thursday show.

The National Security Agency ended the program that collected email logs and timing, but not content, in 2011 because it decided it didn't effectively stop terrorist plots, according to the NSA's director, Gen. Keith Alexander, who also heads the U.S. Cyber Command. He said all data was purged in 2011.

Britain's Guardian newspaper on Thursday released documents detailing the collection, though the program was also described earlier this month by The Washington Post.

The latest revelation follows previous leaks from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is presumed hiding at a Moscow airport transit area, waiting to hear whether Ecuador, Iceland or another country might grant him asylum. He fled Hong Kong over the weekend and flew to Russia after being charged with violating American espionage laws.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/spy-program-gathered-americans-internet-records

GD: NSA Collected US Email Records In Bulk For More Than Two Years Under Obama (w/Documents) - Guardian" http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3110914

GD "How the NSA is still harvesting your online data": http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023110981

BREAKING: Supreme Court Says DOMA Is Unconstitutional

Source: Huffington Post / SCOTUS Blog

Amy Howe: To reiterate again, in case my first post didn't go through a minute or so ago, DOMA has been struck down. Opinion is by Justice Kennedy, joined by the four liberal Justices -- Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

Amy Howe: "DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."

SCOTUSblog @SCOTUSblog 1m
Looks like the Court is preparing to not decide Prop 8. So the trial judge's ruling invalidating Prop 8 stands. No national ruling.


Supreme Court Defense Of Marriage Act Decision: Court Strikes Down Key Provision Of DOMA

The Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act forbidding federal recognition of gay marriages for couples residing in states that recognize their union.

The court's decision came by a ruling of 5-4.

The ruling is one of two major gay marriage rulings being considered by the High Court. The court is also ruling on Proposition 8, California's anti-gay marriage law.

DOMA defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife" for purposes of federal law. It was challenged by Edith "Edie" Windsor, 83, when the Internal Revenue Service stuck her with $363,000 of estate taxes after her late wife died.


Tejinder: In response to some questions about Windsor: Only Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act -- which defines the words "marriage" and "spouse," for federal purposes, as referring only to marriages between opposite-sex couples -- has been struck down. Consequently, any federal statute that refers to a "marriage" or a "spouse" should be interpreted as applying with equal force to same-sex married couples.

Amy Howe: Here's a Plain English take on United States v. Windsor, the DOMA case: The federal Defense of Marriage Act defines "marriage," for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, as a union between a man and a woman only. Today the Court ruled, by a vote of five to four, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, that the law is unconstitutional. The Court explained that the states have long had the responsibility of regulating and defining marriage, and some states have opted to allow same-sex couples to marry to give them the protection and dignity associated with marriage. By denying recognition to same-sex couples who are legally married, federal law discriminates against them to express disapproval of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage. This decision means that same-sex couples who are legally married must now be treated the same under federal law as married opposite-sex couples.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/supreme-court-defense-of-marriage-act-decision_n_3454834.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

George Takei ‏@GeorgeTakei 29s
DOMA has been held unconstitutional, 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kennedy. Oh happy day!

Barack Obama ‏@BarackObama 5m
Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove

MoveOn.org ‏@MoveOn 58s
#DOMA is #unconstitutional!! #SCOTUS #MarriageEquality pic.twitter.com/lTnCxfLT8C

AmnestyInternational ‏@amnesty 5m
Amnesty applauds #Supreme Court decision striking down #DOMA protecting #human rights for married same-sex couples

Greg Stohr ‏@GregStohr 6m
DOMA tells same-sex couples "their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” Kennedy wrote for the court. #scotus
Retweeted by Bloomberg News

Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 3m
Edith Windsor joins the pantheon of great Supreme Court litigants who secured rights for everyone.

Slate ‏@Slate 1m
Walking down steps of #SCOTUS w/hands raised victoriously were couples that brought #Prop8 challenge. They were serenaded by national anthem

Michael Moore ‏@MMFlint 51s
Scalia now reading his angry dissent, using words like "diseased root." #dinosaur

Michael Moore ‏@MMFlint 1m
Supreme Court lets appeals court ruling that overturned California anti-gay marriage law (Prop 8) stand. Same sex marriage now legal in CA.

Cyndi Lauper ‏@cyndilauper 1m
DOMA unconstitutional!

Amy Howe: What this means, in plain terms, is that same-sex couples who are legally married will be entitled to equal treatment under federal law-- with regard to, for example, income taxes and Social Security benefits.

Comment From Mary
So does this mean that I'll be able to file joint taxes with my wife? From Amy: Yes. Perhaps for the first time ever, many people will be eager to file their taxes next April 15.


JUNE 26, 2013

Photographs, of Edith Windsor and Roberta Kaplan, by Ariel Levy.

Everyone at the apartment of Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who argued Edith Windsor’s successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, exploded in screams and sobs when the ruling came down. Kaplan called her mother and said, “Total victory, Mom: it couldn’t be better.” Windsor said, “I wanna go to Stonewall right now!” Then she called a friend and said, “Please get married right away!”


"Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself that is my doctrine." ~ Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, Part 2, 1792, written in defense of the French Revolution.

"no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." - Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Thank you, DU, for letting me break this news to you.

#TIMESTAMPGATE: After A Crazy Night, This Photograph Helped Kill A Controversial Texas Abortion Bill


#TIMESTAMPGATE: After A Crazy Night, This Photograph Helped Kill A Controversial Texas Abortion Bill


It was a crazy night in Texas politics that ended just before 4 AM Central Time, with a controversial abortion bill (that would have shut down the majority of Texas clinics) getting killed at the last minute.

Carolyn Jones at The Texas Observer has a great writeup of what went down, but it was basically this.

- snip -

That's when pro-choice activists in the chamber started shouting, and created enough chaos so that the state Senate couldn't vote by midnight, which was the end of the legislative session.. The final vote to pass the bill happened just after midnight at 12:03.

However, Republicans claimed that the vote got in before midnight.

According to Jones, Republicans had to admit that that they were a few minutes late on the bill, when Texas State Senator Juan Chuy Hinojosa tweeted this photo showing that the initial readout of the vote indicated it happened on June 26, but that a subsequent readout had been changed, showing June 25.

The initial time stamp on the Capitol website and on Senate documents placed the vote at 12:02 or 12:03 on June 26. But then someone mysteriously changed the time stamp to make it appear SB 5 passed before the deadline (see the post below for photographic evidence). The time stamp evidence, circulated on Twitter, eventually forced GOP leaders to admit defeat, at least for tonight.

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