01 December 2011

a story about stressed out army puppies

that is all.

Judicial Activisim Alert!

Goddamnit.  So Justice Robert B. Wiggins of the State Supreme Court of Livingston County New York decided that the ironically named New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (for straight people only) can proceed with their case seeking to overturn the equal marriage law passed this June and nullify marriages granted under it.

The case seems to hinge entirely upon the argument that Governor Cuomo and possibly Mayor Bloomberg violated the state's Open Meetings Law while discussing the bill with the Republican caucus at the Executive Mansion and the Capitol.  Who would have thought that a threat to the legality of same-sex couples getting married in New York state would come from implications that Republicans legislators participated in bending the rules to get the bill passed?  Towelroad is saying that the Judge was pessimistic about the lawsuit's prospects, but I don't know where they're getting that insight.  However, they did provide this perspective on the claim regarding Open Meetings Laws:
some meetings were indeed private. But, the open meetings law does not explicitly require that every meeting of more than one person be open to every Joe, Tim, and Sally who's interested. Nor is it meant to uproot the entire legislative process. To invalidate one law on the grounds that some people conducted some closed door meetings would set a dangerous precedent that could invalidate nearly every law Albany passes, including every budget since the 1950s, the law that sent computer money to certain public schools, and the law that named a state building after the Rev. Diaz.
Another point of the case is that Cuomo violated the constitution by failing to hold the bill for three days before the legislature voted on it.  However, this requirement can be dismissed if the legislation requires immediate emergency action.  The Governor used admittedly flimsy logic to certify that the bill required an immediate vote, and it appears that the Judge has ruled that the Governor followed procedure and the charge has no merit.

Reverend Jason J. McGuire (pictured, nice face), executive director of  New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, stated in response to the ruling:
“We have said all along that we look forward to our day in court.  Now we will have it. The legality of our legislative process must be protected.”
I just have one question, why is it judicial activism when gays get rights through the courts, but justice when conservatives seek to take rights away from gays through the courts.

[NY Times]


26 bEaRs oLd!!!!111

lawyer stuff

this article had me at hello. which was this photo. just look at it. (the print version is better)

the supreme court will soon hold the much anticipated hearing regarding the legality of the affordable heath care for america act, known colloquially as "obamacare". as is their way, conservatives are being unreasonable, demanding that justice elena kagan recuse herself on the grounds that she was obama's solicitor general when the bill was developed. additionally, after its passing, she expressed happiness via email to a colleague.

in the recent nymag issue, dahlia lithwick makes a compelling argument against this position, and illustrates the fascinating inner workings of the nation's highest court. it's definitely worth a read. here are a couple of my favorite parts:
The Supreme Court is currently experiencing what is known as an extremely “hot bench.” That’s a polite way of saying the justices ask so many questions at the one-hour session allocated to each case that counsel can’t get a word in. While new justices, in particular, often go silent during their first few weeks and months at the verbal roller derby (the soft-spoken Justice David H. Souter and the mild-mannered Justice Samuel Alito each asked very few questions in their first terms, and Thomas has not asked a question at oral argument for five years), the two new female justices are different.
Things got weird, though, when she pushed her comedic luck as the argument progressed. Sotomayor asked Kagan whether the law prohibiting Americans from offering “material support” for terrorist groups might bar Americans from “teaching these members to play the harmonica?” In other words, does teaching members of a terror group how to dig wells, or any other peaceful skills, really constitute aiding terrorists under the statute? Kagan couldn’t resist the joke: “The first thing I would say is there are not a whole lot of people going around trying to teach Al Qaeda how to play harmonicas,” she replied.
Scalia was having none of that rookie back talk. “Well, Mohammed Atta and his harmonica quartet might tour the country and make a lot of money,” he snapped.
Back when she was the dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan evinced the same concern for civil discourse across ideological divisions. When she took over as the first woman dean there in 2003, she hired three conservative legal thinkers, including Goldsmith—who came from the Bush administration’s controversial Office of Legal Counsel—as well as Adrian Vermeule, who formerly taught at the University of Chicago Law School, and John Manning, who clerked for Scalia. She went out of her way to welcome conservative heroes (like Scalia) and conservative student groups to campus. In February 2005, the student branch of the Federalist Society held its national jamboree at Harvard. As legal legend Charles Fried described it last year in The New Republic, “Kagan rose to speak the host institutions’ words of greeting to the thousand or so Federalists assembled from every corner of the country. She was greeted by a long and raucous ovation. With a broad grin and her unmistakable Upper West Side twang, the former ­Clinton White House official responded, ‘You are not my people.’ This brought the dark-suited crowd of Federalist students to their feet in a roar of affectionate approval.” (via)

the 10 days of my birthday zooventure


next weekend, in celebration of my bearthdie, we're going to the bRoNx ZoO!! for the next 10 days, i will introduce you to some of the residents that i look most forward to meeting!

today's entry : please welcome..... an oKaPi!!!

the zoo welcomed into the world a new baby okapi earlier this year, and she just made her public debut a couple of weeks ago! her name is m'bura (strikingly similar to the abbreviation for murfreesboro, which is m'boro...).
M’bura, an okapi calf revealed to the public at the Bronx Zoo last week after more than 18 months of delicate husbandry work, was stretching out her stubby zebra-striped legs before a crowd of young admirers on Thursday.
“It’s a zebra horse!” said Dagney Donaldson, 7, of Summit, N.J.
Not exactly. Okapis are the only known relative of the giraffe, but with the silhouette of an antelope. They are notoriously skittish, so adept at avoiding other animals in the wild — including other okapis — that Western researchers didn’t even document their existence until 1901.
To breed such an antisocial animal in captivity requires a mix of patience, genetic know-how and romantic savoir-faire. Potential mates are slowly and strategically introduced over weeks, and newborn calves — which do not defecate for the first month of their lives to avoid detection in the wild — are left untouched by humans to preserve the fragile mother-child bond.
So as M’bura, now a healthy 5-month-old, gallops around her shady habitat in the Bronx, zoo officials are taking a victory lap of their own. (via)
ceeeeYUTE!! can't wait to meet you, murfreesboro!!

UPDATE! a video!

jes. us. christ. 0:18.

thomas wilhelm and i are going to learn the death drop

hopefully it will be ready by the christmas party!

mariah and jbiebs waging their own war on christmas

You're Not Fooling Anyone

I get it that conservatives believe there is a "war" on Christmas or whatever, despite the fact that it dominates the attention of this country for nearly four months (Kmart had artificial Christmas trees for sale in early September).  But in this Fox and Friends story about the Governor of Rhode Island referring to the Christmas tree in their state house as a holiday tree, I was surprised that they provided viewers with the phone number for the Governor's office as well as encouragement to call and complain.  That's the sort of antics usually left to political action groups, not a supposedly unbiased news organization.  Weird.

But don't worry, some freshman state representative desperate for attention is going to hold a rival REAL CHRISTMAS TREE lighting somewhere else at the exact same time.  So yeah.  Sounds fun.

[via] (video not imbed-able)

aimee mann thursday on spotify

misery loves company, #amiright
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