The California Supreme Court announced it will review a key piece of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage -- whether sponsors of an initiative can defend it in
court when state officials refuse to do so.
"That decision will not address
the validity of Prop. 8 - which the court upheld as a state constitutional
amendment in May 2009 - but may determine whether California continues to
enforce the measure."
"If the court finds that the
initiative's sponsors have the right to appeal, the
federal court will take up
the constitutional issues, which are likely to wind
up in the U.S. Supreme Court."
"If the California court finds no
such right, the federal court could allow same-sex marriages to resume without
a final ruling on Prop. 8 -- although it could also decide that the measure's
sponsors are entitled to appeal under federal law."
Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Democrats offered to trim state regulations in hopes of getting GOP support for the budget and
taxes, and the Senate's GOP leader said his flock had no reason to support new levies.
First, the Democrats, from the LA Times' Patrick McGreevy: "He and Democratic Sens. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills
and Ron Calderon of Montebello stood behind a
table holding 34 binders containing the 270-pound California Code of
Chamber President Matthew Mahood said that if the state
meaningful reform of its rules, his group and other
business organizations may
support a proposed ballot measure that would extend
higher taxes and fees for
five years to help balance the budget."
Then, the GOP, from the Bee's Susan Ferriss: "Senate Republicans have no interest now in providing
votes to put Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax increase
extensions before voters,
even if Democrats agree to overhaul the state's pension
system and enact a
spending cap, the Senate's top Republican said Wednesday."
"Sen. Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga, in an interview
The Bee Capitol Bureau, said Democrats should prepare
an all-cuts budget to
erase the $26.6 billion budget deficit. He said Republicans may or
provide votes for that approach."
Even if the governor's budget proposals appear on a
special election ballot, other issues appearing before voters may affect the
outcome -- such as the proposed tobacco tax and term limits.
From Capitol Weekly's John Howard:
"But if the Legislature approves a special election
on the budget to go on the ballot this spring – as Brown wants – both measures will appear alongside his budget plan.
And that plan itself, because of its complexity, may
be divided into several ballot measures. What was envisioned
as a monolithic ballot is likely to have a lot of moving
"Could the mix of measures, some
overlapping, affect the outcomes on such issues as
taxes? “Yes, especially since we are talking about a special
election, because turnout
is not going to be high. With a low-turnout election, the mix of other items on
the ballot can have a significant influence on who
shows up,” said Jack Pitney,
a professor at Claremont McKenna College."
And the clock is ticking for lawmakers to get going
on the budget, notes the Times' George Skelton.
"The Legislature needs to pass a compromise package
the next three or four weeks in order for Brown to
call a special election in
June. If that deadline is missed, the earliest balloting
would be in late
September, because voters tend to ignore political
pitches during the summer
"Of course, the governor and the Legislature wouldn't
need a special election — they could have handled the tax issue themselves — if
Brown hadn't promised voters not to raise taxes without
their permission. But
now they're stuck with a politically smart but policy-dumb commitment."
Let's forget Capitol politics and take a look at our
"The Man Who Designed Everything" file to learn about the man who, you guessed it,
designed everything. Really.
"Arguably the most influential industrial designer
20th century, French-born Raymond Loewy (1893 - 1986) fashioned or utterly
re-imagined a dizzying array of products and brands during
a career spanning
seven decades. Writer, illustrator, and co-founder of the Web's best blog, BoingBoing, Mark
Frauenfelder has been fascinated by Loewy's work for
years. In this gallery,
Mark celebrates his favorite Loewy projects, and muses
on the man's enduring
appeal. Pictured: Loewy fine-tunes a model of a Studebaker sedan he designed."
"Note the tiny tailfins
on the car in that drawing. In general, Loewy detested
fins as a superfluous
abomination. Some say he hated them because rival car
designer Harley Earl, who
worked at GM for decades, thought of them before he
did; but I like to think
that Loewy had the good taste to simply keep them in
check. And by the way—how
about that suit!"