From the Advocate comes the full text of Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts', response to the fact that he provided pro bono assistance in Romer vs. Evans, a Colorado case that ended up in the Supreme Court.
Romer vs. Evans involved a statewide referendum that was passed by the electorate in 1992, with the result that several anti-discrimination ordinances which included sexual orientation in their verbiage were, via the referendum, ordered to be modified. Several Colorado cities-- including Boulder, Aspen and Denver-- had established these ordinances and the referendum, Amendment 2, wiped out the verbiage in these ordinances relating to sexual orientation.
Amendment 2 read: "No Protected Status Based on Homosexual, Lesbian or Bisexual Orientation. Neither the State of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing."
Amendment 2 was overturned in the Denver District Court and the Colorado Supreme Court. It was taken up by the US Supreme Court with the conclusion of the majority, written by Justice Kennedy: We must conclude that Amendment 2 classifies homosexuals not to further a proper legislative end but to make them unequal to everyone else. This Colorado cannot do. A State cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws. Amendment 2 violates the Equal Protection Clause, and the judgment of the Supreme Court of Colorado is affirmed.
The dissent from the Supreme court was led by Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. The dissent begins: "The Court had mistaken a Kulturkampf for a fit of spite." Lawd give me strength. (Kulturkampf)
You can make your own judgment about John Roberts' really non-committal response to Senator Arlen Specter's question with regard to Roberts' pro bono work on behalf of the queers in the Romer vs. Evans case. For me--even though I believe Roberts to be a superb Supreme Court scholar and very, very smart judge--he scares the bejesus out of me. I mean, look who he, as Chief, would be working with on the Court. Scalia and Thomas aren't going anywhere. And, besides that, Roberts is only fifty. His influence could be exerted on our lives for the next thirty or more years.
AlterNet this morning provides a good read by Robert Scheer entitled, "Finally Fooling Most of the People None of the Time." Just a couple paragraphs:
Unfortunately, what the Bush White House is good at when it comes to national security is providing flash over substance, as Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana found out the hard way. After riding in a helicopter with the president and seeing machinery apparently working on the breached 17th Street levee, she was shocked the next day to find the work mysteriously stopped. "Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment," said the senator in a press release.
For far too long, this kind of shenanigan worked well for Bush, allowing him to narrowly win a second term. His administration was asleep at the switch on 9/11 even though "the system was blinking red," according to the then-CIA chief. Bush grabbed a bullhorn at ground zero and remade himself as a "war president" -- and suffered no real political damage from the failure to either capture Osama bin Laden or find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Scheer is right on. But, then, a whole lot of us have known Dubya's game for years. Funny how a war that has no end and a hurricane named Katrina can--as the polls are showing--open a whole lot of folk's eyes to the incompetency extant in the White House.
But, what the hell, the damage is done. The Rocky Mountain News printed an article this morning warning pretty much of the inevitability of a recession...SOON. Hundreds of billions of dollars (which the government DOES NOT HAVE) are, once again, enriching the rich in the rebuilding of the Gulf. One of Haliburton's subsidiaries was the first to pop up down there, foaming at the mouth and ready and willing to loot to an extent no poor, desperate, hungry black folk in the Big Easy ever imagined.
"...and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right..."
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, I Am Waiting