TV & Radio
The New York Times
September 5, 2005
Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Supreme Court justices often evolve in their time on the court, but William Rehnquist held on to his conservative views while the court moved toward him. Chief Justice Rehnquist, who died this past weekend, served for 33 years, more than half as chief justice, and in that time he won many victories. But on the biggest issues, he was farther right than the majority of his colleagues. In the end, he never managed to make the Rehnquist court his own.
Mr. Rehnquist was a lawyer in the Nixon Justice Department when he was named to the court in 1971. Having spoken out against laws banning racial discrimination in 1950's Arizona, and having worked in Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, he was an ideologically charged choice. In his early years on the court, he found himself dissenting frequently, notably in Roe v. Wade.
In time, however, the court had a conservative majority, and Mr. Rehnquist, who was named chief justice in 1986, successfully promoted many legal causes he had long held dear: limiting the federal government's power; scaling back the protections given to criminal defendants; dismantling school desegregation orders; and knocking out holes in the wall between church and state.
Even after the conservatives' ranks grew, however, he was unable to prevail in the most important cases. He dissented when the court upheld the University of Michigan's affirmative action program and when the court imposed important limits on the government's conduct of the war on terror. And he was never able to persuade four colleagues to join him in overturning Roe.
The moment for which Chief Justice Rehnquist may be remembered most was far from his best. After the 2000 election, when he presided over Bush v. Gore, the chief justice fell short of the statesmanship that was required. With the presidency hanging in the balance, Republicans asked the court to stop the recounting of votes in Florida. Many Americans were hoping for a Solomonic decision, and a unanimous one, that would unite the country. But the court ruled for George Bush in a bitterly divided, and unpersuasive, 5-to-4 decision that declared, perversely, that it would not be binding in future cases.
Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote a book last year about the disputed election of 1876, defending the decision to award the popular-vote loser, Rutherford B. Hayes, the presidency. It felt like Chief Justice Rehnquist's brief for his own role in Bush v. Gore, and an attempt to write his own legacy.
Chief Justice Rehnquist's friends, and even his critics, admired his passionate devotion to the court on which he served so long, and the bravery with which he carried on even after he became mortally ill with cancer. The final word on his service, however, will be history's, and it is likely to view him as hardly a great jurist, but one who loved the court and had a significant influence on it.
The Los Angeles Times
September 5, 2005
THE LEGACY OF WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST is best captured by two sentences he wrote 15 years apart. The first he wrote in dissent in a 1985 case about minimum-wage requirements; the second he wrote for the majority in a 2000 case upholding the constitutionality of Miranda warnings for criminal suspects.
The dissent is terse and condescending. "I do not think it incumbent on those of us in dissent to spell out further the fine points of a principle that will, I am confident, in time again command the support of a majority of this court," he wrote. But 15 years later, after he had been named chief justice, Rehnquist had a newfound respect for stare decisis, the principle that courts should respect past decisions: "Whether or not we would agree with Miranda's reasoning and its resulting rule, were we addressing the issue in the first instance, the principles of stare decisis weigh heavily against overruling it now."
Rehnquist, who became chief justice in 1986 after 14 years as an associate justice, died Saturday at the age of 80. While the legacy of his court is more complicated than usually portrayed — its suspicion of federal power, and its deference to the states, had limits, as its decision in Bush v. Gore in 2000 showed — the legacy of Rehnquist himself is more straightforward. During his tenure as chief justice, Rehnquist adapted his principles to the court's.
Although he dissented in Roe v. Wade in 1973, he nonetheless presided over the court's 1992 decision that reaffirmed the constitutional right to abortion. And while he was an early and energetic critic of the Miranda decision in 1966, as chief justice he upheld it. Of course, Rehnquist could afford to be magnanimous, since an overturning of either ruling was unlikely, and he had already brought the court around to his way of thinking on such issues as the constitutionality of the death penalty and private-school vouchers (both were permissible, with caveats).
As President Bush contemplates Rehnquist's replacement for chief justice, he faces daunting ideological, practical and political challenges. If he wants a nominee who is philosophically palatable, can begin confirmation hearings quickly and stands a good chance at gaining Senate approval, he may want to consider John G. Roberts Jr., Rehnquist's former law clerk. Roberts seems to value the two traits that may be the most enduring legacy of the Rehnquist court: collegiality and efficiency. He also appears to respect the traditions of both the law and the court.
As Rehnquist "grew in the job" — a phrase he disdained — the chief justice came to appreciate, however modestly, the importance of stability over ideology. President Bush could best show his respect for the law, and the late chief justice, by doing the same.
The Washington Post
The Rehnquist Era
Monday, September 5, 2005; A30
WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST arrived at the Supreme Court in 1972 at the height of an era of aggressive judicial liberalism. By the time of his death Saturday, the court had become controversial as much for its conservative instincts as for its remaining liberal ones. President Richard M. Nixon chose Mr. Rehnquist because of his reputation, as Mr. Nixon less than gracefully put it, as a "mean and rough" right-winger. True to form, Justice Rehnquist, who as a Supreme Court clerk had written memos to Justice Robert H. Jackson arguing against school desegregation, began his judicial career in often lonely dissents famous for their hard edge. But as chief justice, a position he assumed in 1986, he ably managed a philosophically divided but increasingly conservative court and oversaw an era of profound change in the nation's jurisprudence. We disagree with many of his opinions and votes, and some of the tendencies of the Rehnquist Court have wrought real damage. But in important respects, the broad change he ushered in was necessary.
The chief justice's death comes at an awkward moment, with the confirmation hearings for his former law clerk, Judge John G. Roberts Jr., about to commence. The unfortunate fact of two vacancies makes it important that the Senate proceed with the Roberts hearings and that President Bush move quickly to name a new chief justice.
Under Chief Justice Rehnquist's leadership, the court restrained itself in areas of earlier excess: It became far less free-wheeling in its embrace of novel claims of new rights. But critically, the Rehnquist Court did not by and large reverse the controversial precedents it inherited. Rather, it generally reinforced them. The overall message was that even as the court repudiated the methodology of its earlier era, the historic opinions of that era stood.
This attitude separated the chief from Justices Antonin Scalia and, particularly, Clarence Thomas -- the other members of the court's right flank. The chief was more pragmatic and politically savvy than the other two, and some conservatives came to resent what they considered his failures of principle and his tendency to write around inconvenient doctrine. But this very flexibility, combined with his undoubted administrative skills in running the federal judiciary, was a big part of his effectiveness as chief. The chief justice's pragmatism should not be overstated; the fact that the Rehnquist Court was not more radical was as much a reflection of the power of the court's centrist justices, Anthony M. Kennedy and the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, as it was of the chief's own attitudes. In other words, he often didn't have the votes. Still Chief Justice Rehnquist often chose statesmanship over ideology, and despite the shrill fears of his detractors, there was no radical transformation of the law.
The Rehnquist Court, to be sure, developed its own areas of excess, and, like its virtues, these to a great extent reflected the chief justice's instincts. The court's consistent blind eye to the rights of accused criminals, for example, reflected both his constrained vision of federal protections and his breezy deference to state courts even when they produced manifestly unjust results. His solicitude for states' rights and curtailing federal power portends great problems if taken too far. Ironically, the high court these days -- though professedly more restrained than in prior eras -- actually strikes down more acts of Congress than it did in its liberal activist days. This reflects both the fact that the court in the past was more concerned with unconstitutional behavior by the states, rather than the federal government, and the fact that the Rehnquist Court was not always as restrained as its rhetoric. And while the court's intervention in the 2000 election was a complicated affair, many liberals regard it as a searing moment of judicial politicking winning out over the conservative majority's stated judicial approach.
Still, it is wrong to dismiss the changes the Rehnquist Court brought about as simply reflecting conservative politics. They go far deeper than that and reflect, however imperfectly and inconstantly, a legitimate concern with having the court -- which is, after all, composed of unelected and unaccountable judges -- not exceed its place in a democratic society. Chief Justice Rehnquist was not a philosophically pure or altogether consistent champion of this reorientation, but it is the legacy of the court that bears his name. Warts and all, it is a considerable achievement.
米最高裁長官にロバーツ氏を指名 (TBS 2005/09/05)
連邦最高裁長官にロバーツ氏指名 米大統領、レンキスト氏後任に (中日 2005/09/06)
米大統領：故レンキスト氏の後任に保守派のロバーツ氏指名 (毎日 2005/09/06)
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2005年09月06日01時15分 - 朝日
米大統領、保守派ロバーツ氏を最高裁長官に指名し直し (日本経済 2005/09/05)
米最高裁長官にジョン・ロバーツ氏 ５０歳の若手保守派 (共同 2005/09/05)
米最高裁長官にロバーツ氏指名、最年少・保守派 (読売 2005/09/06)
米最高裁人事 一層の保守化図る ブッシュ大統領、苦境脱却へ迅速処理 (読売 2005/09/06朝刊)
何が問われるか：０５年衆院選／５ 「性別」超えた選択を＝論説委員・青野由利 (毎日 2005/09/05朝刊)
論説 : 人権擁護法案／いつまでも先送りできない (山陰中央新報 2005/09/04)
30歳の最年少府議が告白本でカミングアウト「私はレズビアン」 (週刊現代 2005/09/17 54ページ)
The New Yorker
Annals of Law
by JEFFREY TOOBIN
How Anthony Kennedy’s passion for foreign law could change the Supreme Court.
Issue of 2005-09-12
Few Justices in recent history have arrived at the Supreme Court from a more provincial background than Anthony Kennedy. Before he moved to Washington, seventeen years ago, his professional life had been spent almost entirely in Sacramento. He was born there in 1936, and when his father, a lawyer who had his own practice, died two years after Kennedy graduated from Harvard Law School, he returned home to take over the family business. When President Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court, in 1987, Kennedy was fifty-one years old and still lived in the house where he grew up.
His inclinations were hardly those of an insular man, however. While Kennedy was a teen-ager, his uncle, an oil driller, hired him to work summers on rigs in Canada and Louisiana. Before he graduated from college, he spent several months studying at the London School of Economics, where he was struck by the range of student opinion and the vehemence of political debate. “At the political union, you had to sit in the room according to your place on the ideological spectrum, and, to give you an idea of what it was like, the Communists—the Communists!—were in the middle,” Kennedy recalled recently. “It was a different world, and I loved it.” As an attorney in private practice, he maintained his father’s ties with California’s Republican Party; in 1973, he volunteered to draft a tax-cutting referendum for Governor Reagan, which lost at the polls. At the same time, he obtained a license to practice law in Mexico and helped a client establish one of the first maquiladoras—American-owned factories—there. While serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the late nineteen-seventies, he accepted an appointment from Chief Justice Warren Burger as supervisor of the territorial courts in the South Pacific, which entailed travelling to Guam, Palau, Saipan, American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
In fact, Kennedy has a passion for foreign cultures and ideas, and, as a Justice, he has turned it into a principle of jurisprudence. Over the past two years, he has become a leading proponent of one of the most cosmopolitan, and controversial, trends in constitutional law: using foreign and international law as an aid to interpreting the United States Constitution. Kennedy’s embrace of foreign law may be among the most significant developments on the Court in recent years—the single biggest factor behind his evolution from a reliable conservative into the likely successor to Sandra Day O’Connor as the Court’s swing vote. Kennedy continues to oppose racial preferences and to argue for expansive Presidential powers. He was a principal author of the unsigned majority opinion in Bush v. Gore. But he also wrote the two most important pro-gay-rights decisions in the Court’s history and has at least tentatively affirmed his support for Roe v. Wade. Conservatives regard these decisions as a betrayal. In 2003, James Dobson, the founder and director of the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family, called Kennedy “the most dangerous man in America.”
The United States Supreme Court has made references to foreign law since the earliest days of the Republic. During the tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall, the Court was often called on to interpret treaties and weigh controversies involving ships on the high seas, and the Justices frequently cited the laws of other nations in their decisions. In 1829, for example, Marshall analyzed both Spanish and French law to settle a claim by an American who had bought a parcel of land once owned by Spain and later included in the Louisiana Purchase. Contemporary commercial disputes also cross borders, and the Justices rely on foreign and international law, as well as on American statutes, to adjudicate them. In the past two years, the Court has considered such questions as whether Mexican trucks must abide by American safety rules under nafta, whether the American family of a Holocaust victim could recover art seized by the Nazis in Austria, and whether a United States district court should compel the American computer-chip-makers AMD and Intel to provide documents to each other in a European antitrust dispute. “When it comes to interpreting treaties or settling international business disputes, the Court has always looked to the laws of other countries, and the practice has not been particularly controversial,” says Norman Dorsen, a professor at New York University Law School.
However, beginning in the late nineteen-nineties, the Court’s more liberal members began citing foreign sources to help interpret the Constitution on basic questions of individual liberties—for which the laws of foreign democracies tend to be more progressive than those at home. In 1999, Justice Stephen Breyer protested the Court’s refusal to hear the appeal of a prisoner who argued that spending more than two decades on death row amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and thus violated the Eighth Amendment. Quoting legal opinions from Jamaica, India, Zimbabwe, and the European Court of Human Rights, Breyer observed in a dissenting opinion in Knight v. Florida that “a growing number of courts outside the United States . . . have held that lengthy delay in administering a lawful death penalty renders ultimate execution inhuman, degrading or unusually cruel.” More recently, in an opinion concurring with the Court’s decision to uphold the affirmative-action program at the University of Michigan Law School, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg relied on the United Nations’ International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (In speeches, O’Connor has endorsed the use of foreign sources, but she has rarely mentioned them in constitutional-law opinions.)
Had the practice of citing foreign sources been confined to liberal—and, in the current political arrangement of the Court, less influential—Justices, it would have remained a phenomenon primarily of academic interest. But, in 2003, Kennedy drew on several foreign sources in the context of a majority opinion in one of the Court’s most important cases in recent years. In Lawrence v. Texas, the Court ruled, six to three, that states could not criminalize sodomy between consenting adult homosexuals, thus overturning a seventeen-year-old precedent on the subject, Bowers v. Hardwick. In his opinion, Kennedy noted that a committee advising the British Parliament in 1957 had recommended the repeal of laws punishing homosexual conduct, that Parliament had repealed them ten years later, and that in 1981 the European Court of Human Rights had ruled that laws against gay sexual activity violated the European Convention on Human Rights. “Authoritative in all countries that are members of the Council of Europe (21 nations then, 45 nations now),” Kennedy wrote, “the decision is at odds with the premise in Bowers that the claim put forward was insubstantial in our Western civilization.” (In 1996, Kennedy had written the Court’s opinion invalidating Colorado’s statewide anti-gay-rights ordinance.)
Earlier this year, in his opinion for the Court declaring the death penalty unconstitutional for juvenile offenders, Kennedy invoked the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. Writing for the five-to-four majority in Roper v. Simmons, Kennedy observed that only seven other countries have executed juvenile offenders since 1990—Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Congo, and China. “It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty,” he wrote, adding, “It does not lessen our fidelity to the Constitution or our pride in its origins to acknowledge that the express affirmation of certain fundamental rights by other nations and peoples simply underscores the centrality of those same rights within our own heritage of freedom.”
Kennedy’s reliance on foreign sources has prompted a vigorous backlash, both on and off the Court. “When Kennedy, who’s hardly a liberal, started citing these international sources, that’s when the subject exploded in the broader political world,” says Dorsen, who in 2003 founded the International Journal of Constitutional Law to compare the use of foreign precedents by courts around the world. In dissenting opinions in the sodomy and juvenile-death-penalty cases, Justice Antonin Scalia, who was joined on both occasions by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas, condemned any reference to foreign authority by the Supreme Court. “The basic premise of the Court’s argument—that American law should comport to the laws of the rest of the world—ought to be rejected out of hand,” Scalia wrote in the death-penalty case. “What these foreign sources ‘affirm,’ ” he went on, “is the Justices’ own notion of how the world ought to be, and their diktat that it shall be so henceforth in America.” This spring, fifty-four conservatives in the House of Representatives sponsored a resolution criticizing the use of foreign sources by the Supreme Court, and, in August, Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, completed an investigation of the Justices’ foreign trips, based on the disclosure forms that they are required to file. “Between 1998 and 2003, the Justices took a total of ninety-three foreign trips,” King told me. “And the implication is that there are at least a couple of Justices, chiefly Kennedy and Breyer, who are more enamored of the ‘enlightenment’ of the world than they are bound by our own Constitution.”
The debate over foreign law and the Constitution thrusts the Supreme Court into the perennial struggle in American politics between internationalists and isolationists. More important, perhaps, Kennedy’s unlikely transformation into a tribune of legal multiculturalism offers a striking lesson in the unpredictability of the Court. If O’Connor’s replacement, presumably John G. Roberts, Jr., turns out to be a dependable conservative, Kennedy’s influence on the Court is likely to grow. With John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer to his left and Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, and (possibly) the new Justice to his right, Kennedy’s vote may increasingly determine the Court’s decisions.
This story continues to http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/050912fa_fact
米カリフォルニア州議会上院、同性婚合法化法案可決 下院へ 3のつづき
GEORGE SKELTON / CAPITOL JOURNAL
Debate Brings Clarity to Gay Marriage Issue
September 5, 2005 - Los Angeles Times
The accepted wisdom in the Capitol has always been that legislative floor speeches never change votes. Maybe. But they do change views.
For example, a 90-minute debate Thursday in the state Senate on a bill to allow same-sex marriages: It changed my view.
Actually, it cleared up my muddled view, which really began shifting eight years ago during a chat at the back of the Senate chamber with then-President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer.
How do you feel about gay marriage? I asked.
"You know," he replied, "people have so many problems and life's so short, if letting gays 'marry' gives them some joy and happiness, why not? I say let them do it."
Lockyer later got elected attorney general and now is dutifully defending in court the state's ban on same-sex marriages. But he hasn't changed his personal view.
It made sense to me, but I wasn't ready to go there yet. Certainly, homosexual couples should be entitled to all the protections and privileges of heterosexuals — call it a "civil union" or "domestic partnership," a civil right or plain fairness. But calling it a "marriage" could devalue the institution in some minds, especially young people's, I thought.
Until the Senate debate.
Probably the speech that firmly clicked me into a "yeah, why not?" mode was by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). He talked about marriage "reinforcing traditional values: accountability, monogamy, commitment, the rule of law … "
We should be encouraging that as a society, he asserted.
Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) followed up: "Marriage is a phenomenal institution…. The glue of our society…. By extending it, we strengthen it, not threaten it….
"The threat to marriage today is poverty, discrimination, lack of healthcare … domestic abuse, child abuse."
As the compelling debate continued, I kept thinking about what Lockyer had said — and the people suffering in hurricane hell, the American soldiers being blown up, the gas price gougers. And I wondered why anybody should worry about what we call two people living together in a loving relationship.
There was a lot of talk about God.
My god doesn't fret about homosexuality, but clearly many people believe that theirs does.
"I don't believe there's a member of this chamber who doesn't … know that [same-sex marriage] is not the right thing to do," said Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta). "I believe that knowledge comes from a higher power…. That higher power is also the higher power that created the institution of marriage."
Replied Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey): "I don't think anyone should claim God as being on their side in this debate…. We are not here to discuss what churches, synagogues … believe about this. We are here to discuss the laws of California."
The bill would not — could not — affect religious rules. Churches still could refuse to recognize a marriage. Catholics know all about that.
Another opposition argument was that marriage's main purpose is to reproduce.
Homosexuals have every right to enter into civil contracts, said Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks), "but can't you see that marriage is a fundamentally different institution? Marriage institutionally exists in nature by which we propagate our species and inculcate our young with values and standards….
"Marriages exist to bring a new child into the world."
Well, not entirely. There's also companionship and love. Many happily married couples benefit society without ever propagating. We humans have evolved beyond a hitch-up-to-propagate species.
Two things in particular struck me about the debate.
• Only two of the 15 Republicans stood to make their case against same-sex marriage, although all but one voted against it. I kept waiting for more.
"This has been debated ad nauseam for years," Senate GOP Leader Dick Ackerman of Irvine told me. "I thought the debate was too long. How many times can you say the same thing? It became like a revival."
Republicans also have learned to cool the rhetoric on social issues. In past gay rights debates, some have sounded kooky. Once, a lifelong rancher rambled on about gay heifers.
• Practically every female senator — 11 of 12 — rose to passionately support the bill. It showed the growing influence of women in an increasingly diverse Legislature.
"Women do understand discrimination," says Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), who 11 years ago became the first openly homosexual legislator. She was the Senate shepherd for the bill, sponsored by gay Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).
The bill barely passed, with 21 Democratic votes. It will be debated this week in the Assembly, where a similar measure was rejected in June.
Leno is short three votes. He's lobbying nervous lawmakers who plan to run next year for other offices and fear angering voters. It doesn't help that, even if the bill passes, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is virtually certain to veto the measure.
In 2000, 61% of Californians passed an initiative to recognize only heterosexual marriages. But opposition to same-sex marriage has been weakening. The latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows an even split, 46% to 46%, between voters who favor and oppose same-sex marriage.
Some people's views are changing, as I can attest.
And momentum from the Senate's becoming the first legislative body in America to approve same-sex marriage could change votes in the Assembly.
George Skelton writes Monday and Thursday. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Politics May Rule Who Says 'I Do'
The aspirations of four key Democrats in the Assembly -- swing votes on same-sex marriage legislation -- may decide the fate of bill.
By Jordan Rau
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 5, 2005
SACRAMENTO — As the California Assembly prepares to take up gay marriage legislation as early as Tuesday, the measure's fate may rest not with lofty arguments about the centuries-old institution but with the political futures of a handful of wavering lawmakers.
All four Democrats whom advocates have identified as swing votes represent districts with many Latinos or African Americans — two groups that, because of their religious backgrounds, are among the most wary of broadening the definition of marriage to say it is a union of two people rather than of a man and a woman.
Making the consequences of their votes even more sensitive, all four lawmakers — Jerome Horton of Inglewood, Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino, Simon Salinas of Salinas and Tom Umberg of Anaheim — are in their final terms in the Assembly and eyeing higher offices.
This political reality has become a factor in determining votes since the advent of term limits, and other lawmakers and political consultants say it weighs heavily on this issue, one of the year's most controversial in Sacramento.
"Everyone who has indicated that they are still thinking about this has uniformly told me that if it were only a matter of conscience, of course they would be there, but that their own 2006 races are the issue," said Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), one of the measure's sponsors.
The California Senate on Thursday approved the bill, the first time a legislative body in the United States had endorsed gay marriage without being compelled by a court order.
Intense pressure from both sides now is focusing on the 80-member Assembly, where a handful of abstaining members led to the bill's narrow failure in June. Advocates say they need just three more votes to send the measure to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, although such a victory may be symbolic, given that the governor has signaled he would veto it.
Opposition groups are urging supporters to blanket pivotal lawmakers with calls and faxes. They say that lawmakers who vote for the measure, AB 849, are insulting the 61% of Californians who approved Proposition 22, which declared that California would recognize only marriages between heterosexual couples, in 2000.
"They thought they voted to preserve marriage and this wouldn't be allowed to take place," said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, a Sacramento group that backed the proposition five years ago. "They're pretty frustrated and letting the representatives know."
Gay rights advocates have hired Christine Chavez-Delgado, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez and an organizer for the United Farm Workers of America, to help develop grass-roots support throughout the state. The farmworkers group endorsed the measure in late June, after the defeat in the Assembly.
Advocates are also trumpeting a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, released last week, showing registered voters split 46% to 46% on the topic.
They also note that two of the swing votes belong to Assembly members who are hoping to be elected in the fall to the seats of Senate Democrats who voted in favor of the measure. Kuehl distributed CDs with the taped Senate floor debate to the crucial Assembly members.
"Our base is incredibly engaged, and we will support the people who stand with us," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the statewide gay rights group that sponsored the bill. "Ultimately, and I think these candidates know it, the people who care passionately on this issue on the other side aren't voting for them."
But the undecided legislators — all of whom abstained last time — are hard sells because of their political ambitions.
"It would be one thing if they're running in San Francisco," but you've got [places] where the voters all overwhelmingly oppose gay marriage," said Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican political consultant.
Negrete McLeod is facing a primary race against fellow Assembly member Joe Baca Jr. (D-Rialto) for the state Senate seat being vacated by Nell Soto (D-Pomona). Though Democratic, the San Bernardino district has many farmworkers and a strong Latino presence, and Baca voted against the gay marriage measure in June.
Advocates are trying to persuade Baca to vote for the measure if Negrete McLeod also does, so neither can use it against the other in the primary.
"I believe in the Constitution; it's justice for all. I believe everybody has rights," Negrete McLeod said Friday.
Asked how she will vote, she said, "I don't know. We'll see what happens on Tuesday."
Salinas is blunter about the political factors. He is weighing a challenge to Republican Sen. Jeff Denham, also of Salinas, a rural area east of Monterey on the edge of the conservative Central Valley. Salinas, who told The Times to "stay tuned" because he is "still considering" the measure, acknowledged the political benefits of opposition to the San Jose Mercury News.
"You have to ask, how does this vote impact my next election? Some will deny that, but we need to be open and honest," Salinas told the newspaper. "If I was thinking entirely politically, I would vote no because then I could show to my constituents that I was representing them more conservatively."
In a strong Democratic district where the primary race will determine the victor, Horton is locked in a tough fight for the Board of Equalization with fellow Assembly member Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park).
Chu supports the gay marriage bill and stands to garner the strong backing of gay rights groups. Hoffenblum said Horton cannot afford to alienate black ministers who can help turn out the African American vote. "He needs a heavy black vote, and I don't think he wants these black preachers going around saying it's a sin," Hoffenblum said.
Umberg is seeking the Orange County state Senate seat being vacated by Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana). The conservative blue-collar district has one of the narrowest Democratic majority margins in the state, and Republicans view it as among those they have the best chance of winning next year.
Not only does Umberg have to worry about a strong GOP challenge, he also may face a Democratic primary battle with former Assemblyman and now Orange County Supervisor Lou Correa, who was the key vote two years ago to approve civil unions. But Correa said he would not support the gay marriage proposal if he had to vote now.
"I at this point would probably vote no on that," said Correa, who has not decided whether he will seek Dunn's seat. "As an elected official, I represent my constituency, and I believe that's the belief of my constituency."
Gay rights advocates say they will put up a primary challenge to Umberg if he does not support the measure. Advocates also say that Umberg is not in a strong position to join with those arguing to "preserve the sanctity of traditional marriage," given that he admitted earlier this year to an extramarital affair.
"I try not to be too personal in my assessment," Kuehl said, "but certainly people who live in glass houses shouldn't deny other people houses."
Umberg said he has sought spiritual guidance and had family discussions to resolve how he should vote. "I think it's clear that both sides are pulling out all the stops," he said. "The ultimate decision will just be a matter of conscience, and this is not something that's dictated by politics."
Darry Sragow, a Democratic strategist, said lawmakers' votes against gay marriage may also come back to haunt them in elections beyond next year.
"In the long term, it can affect whether they face a primary challenge for some other office," he said.
Though advocates consider this the most important civil rights issue in a generation, there is no unanimity among Democrats that moving forcefully on is a smart play for the party or the issue, especially given that opponents are readying initiatives for the ballot next year that would alter the state Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage and could roll back domestic partner laws.
Some Democrats are mindful of the criticism that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's authorization of gay unions may have helped President Bush win reelection. And Schwarzenegger has sent strong signals that he would veto it even if the measure passes.
"Some people feel it's going to backfire if the Democrats push too hard," said the Assembly Democratic leader, Dario Frommer of Glendale.
But Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the measure's primary sponsor, is insistent that the vote be held next week. For lawmakers on the cusp, taking a stand is dangerous, but continuing to stay neutral is also a risky venture, people in both parties say.
"Political abstention is a worse position than taking a position," said the Assembly Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield. "On this issue, people have strong opinions about on both sides. I don't think they elected officials to vote just on the easy ones."
Posted on Sun, Sep. 04, 2005
Legislature reflects state's schizophrenia on gay marriage
SAN FRANCISCO - Last week's state Senate vote seeking to legalize gay marriage is the latest example of the political schizophrenia that has come to define the issue in the nation's most populous state.
Since 1999, when lawmakers established a registry of same-sex couples, California has been in the vanguard of extending to gay and lesbian partners nearly all the rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples. But for all the state's live-and-let-live social tolerance, voters have balked at granting gay couples the right to marry.
In 2000, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 22, which strictly defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. It was intended to prohibit California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Just three years later, then-Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, signed into law one of the nation's most sweeping laws recognizing domestic partner rights. It granted registered couples virtually every spousal right available under state law except the ability to file joint income taxes.
And in February 2004, the state became the focus of the gay-marriage movement. Citing the equal protection clause of the state Constitution, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered marriage licenses to be granted to same-sex couples, setting off a monthlong wedding spree. The state Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to the marriages a month later and eventually voided them.
A statewide Field Poll taken as gays lined up to be married in San Francisco City Hall found that half the state's voters said they disapproved of gay marriage while about 44 percent approved. A large majority said they disapproved of Newsom's actions.
The move generated considerable backlash and was blamed by many Democrats for propelling conservatives to the polls in the 2004 presidential election.
Events in the Legislature and California's courts, where both sides are arguing over whether a same-sex marriage ban violates the state's Constitution, are again motivating opponents into action.
Two groups seeking to ban same-sex marriage hope to place separate initiatives on the June 2006 ballot, both of which would invalidate domestic partnerships and make gay marriage illegal in the state. They also want to enshrine the one-man, one-woman marriage definition in the state Constitution.
The focus this week will be on the state Assembly, which is set to vote Tuesday on whether to send the gay marriage bill approved in the Senate to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If it does, the action would be a prime example of the state's to-be-or-not-to-be approach to same-sex marriage. The Assembly already defeated the same measure earlier this year.
The bill, by Assemblyman Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, fell four votes short in the Assembly in June. Refusing to give up, Leno then amended it to a bill in the Senate. Supporters hope the Senate's 21-15 vote last week emboldens four Democrats to switch in the Assembly.
Approval in the lower house would send the bill to Schwarzenegger, who in some ways embodies California's conflicted emotions about gay marriage.
Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has expressed support for domestic partnerships and has had a generally pro-gay rights record since taking office.
Last year, he approved a law requiring health insurance companies to extend to gay partners the same benefits they offer to unmarried heterosexual couples. He also allowed the sale of clean needles to slow the spread of AIDS, and he approved an expansion of the state's hate-crimes law to protect transvestites.
But he also has said he prefers the gay-marriage issue to be settled by the courts or popular vote. No matter happens this week in the Legislature, that appears to be exactly how it will be decided.
Beth Fouhy has been covering national politics since 1988.
Article Last Updated: 09/04/2005 11:17:38 PM
Dyer: Lessons to be found in Japan's collapsing birthrate
Gwynne Dyer - Salt Lake Tribune
The Japanese have known it was coming for years, but it still arrived sooner than anyone expected. The Japanese population has gone into absolute decline, and there will be at least 60,000 fewer Japanese at the end of this year than there were last January. In coming years, the decline will only accelerate.
It's the same elsewhere in East Asia. Last week, the National Statistical Office in Seoul announced that South Korea's total fertility rate (the number of babies the average woman has in a lifetime) has now plummeted to 1.16, even lower than Japan's. China's looks better at 1.7, but that is deceptive because there is a 15 percent surplus of boys over girls in the youngest population groups. All these countries' populations are going to start falling steeply over the next generation.
The obvious explanation is that the East Asian countries, as they educate their people and turn into fully developed societies, are simply following the well-beaten path first traveled by the European countries. Italy, after all, has a total fertility rate of only 1.4, and Russia's is down to 1.3. If these trends persist, there will 15 million fewer Italians by mid-century and 40 million fewer Russians. But the obvious explanation is probably wrong, because not all developed countries have collapsing birthrates.
The average fertility rate in France, to pick the most striking example, is 1.9. That is not quite enough in itself to keep the population stable over the long term, as the "replacement" rate is 2.2, but it is close enough to the replacement level that a relatively small flow of immigrants guarantees continued growth in the population. The French population, now close to 60 million, is forecast by the United Nations to be 63.5 million in 2025. So what are the French doing right?
France and Japan are both fully industrialized, highly urbanized, very well-educated countries with generous social services. They are both places where it is very expensive to have children. And both countries have experienced extreme fluctuations in their birthrates.
Japan's population almost doubled in the half-century after 1945, from 70 million to 125 million. If current trends persist, it will be back down to 70 million before the end of this century. France's population, by contrast, was already 40 million in 1840, but it then stopped growing for 100 years, mainly because it remained a largely rural country and generations of farmers limited their children in order to keep the land together.
Then the rapid post-war urbanization of France ended the obsession with land, and in the past half-century the population has grown from 40 million to 60 million. It is still growing, albeit slowly. Why?
The biggest difference between France and Japan is the status of women. Japanese women have a low status in the family, and despite the occasional female high-flier, they have an even lower status in the workforce (which they are generally expected to leave after they marry). As a result, they have effectively gone on strike: The average age of Japanese women at marriage is going up by several months each year, and the birthrate has collapsed.
In France, by contrast, the traditional male-dominated family is all but dead - almost half of all French children are born "out of wedlock" - but informal new styles of family living give women more control over their lives while still providing secure environments for most children. And the main thing women do with their freedom is to stay in the workforce: 80 percent of French women between 24 and 49 work, the highest rate in the European Union.
The French government helps its female citizens with free child-care (even for the very young), with subsidized vacation camps during the school holidays, and with tax breaks and family allowances for bigger families.
The three-child family is still a normal phenomenon among the French middle class because French women do not feel they must choose between motherhood and a real life outside the house.
There are no immediately useful lessons in this for East Asian societies, since changing popular attitudes on gender roles takes decades or generations. For the many countries that are still in the "demographic transition" and working to get their birthrates down to 3.0 or even 4.0, it is bound to seem a distant, hypothetical problem. But there is a lesson for everybody here.
The lesson is this: If you don't want your country's population to fluctuate like a yo-yo on a 50-year string, pay attention to women's status inside and outside the family.
Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.
地軸「日本を左右する人物」 (愛媛新聞 2005/09/04朝刊)
最高裁長官の後継者指名を迅速に行う＝米大統領 (ロイター 2005/09/05)
［ワシントン ４日 ロイター］ ブッシュ米大統領は４日、最高裁のレンキスト長官が３日に甲状腺がんで死去したことを受けて、長官の死去は偉大な知識人を失った「大いなる損失だ」と述べるとともに、後継者指名に向け速やかに動き出す方針を示した。