First ID, Now SSM

- guest-blogged by W. Kevin Vicklund

Judge John E. Jones III, made famous for his 2005 decision striking down Intelligent Design in the Dover, PA school district, is making the headlines again.  He has been assigned a case, brought by ten couples and a widow, challenging Pennsylvania’s law banning marriage equality.  The case is Whitewood v. Corbett.  The plaintiffs are being represented by the ACLU.  I wonder if they’re bringing the band back together?

In related news, opening arguments for DeBoer v. Snyder are scheduled for October 1st.  This is the Michigan trial that was originally challenging Michigan’s “second parent adoption” policy banning all but married couples from both adopting a child.  The judge convinced the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to challenge the constitutionality of the state amendment banning same-sex marriage.

There are many more cases in the pipelines.  This fall and winter should be full of cases to analyze and dissect.  And I believe there will be a lot to celebrate when the dust starts to settle.

(Some) Progress in Sanford

guest-blogged by W. Kevin Vicklund

Some good news from Sanford, Florida, where a member of the neighborhood watch murdered a teen visiting his family, and was not arrested.

The State Attorney just-assigned to the Trayvon Martin death investigation said her office is already on the case.  State Attorney Angela Corey said two of her lead prosecutors, and an investigators, are already looking into the shooting death…

After a discussion with Scott and Bondi, State Attorney Norman Wolfinger agreed to step down from the investigation and turn it over to Corey.”In the interest of the public safety of the citizens of Seminole County and to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, I would respectfully request the executive assignment of another state attorney for the investigation and any prosecution arising from the circumstances surrounding the death of Trayvon B. Martin,” Wolfinger said in a letter to the governor.

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Progressive Libertarianism – Introduction

guest-blogged by W. Kevin Vicklund

With the Reason Rally yesterday in DC, and Rock Beyond Belief next weekend at Fort Bragg, Ed is on vacation.  So as I often do, I have offered to provide some content for Dispatches this week.  While I may have some one-off topics as the opportunity arises, I have a series planned on a topic that I have not discussed in the past: progressive libertarianism.

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To What Extent the Appeal? Part 2

- guest-blogged by W. Kevin Vicklund

Late last year, I guest-blogged on the old Dispatches about whether the government should be required to appeal a policy it doesn’t want to defend.  While I ended up deciding that the executive branch should be allowed to cut bait after the initial trial without being forced to appeal, I left open what the legislative branch or proponents should be able to do.  Two events in the past year have clarified my thinking on this.  NB:  I was originally going to post this the weekend before Thanksgiving, but came down with an illness.  Since today is the final day of hearings (starting at 2:30 PST) for the Proposition 8 appeal at the Circuit Court panel level, it seemed appropriate to post it now.

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