The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage

This upcoming week is the last week of arguments for the current Supreme Court Term.  The highlight of this week’s arguments is Tuesday’s arguments in the same-sex marriage cases.  Ahead of the argument, a brief preview in the form of frequently asked questions.

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The Iran Negotiations

One of the big debates in Washington for the past several months have been the on-going negotiations with Iran.  The neo-cons in the Republican Party oppose any deal and have managed to get the Administration to concede that any agreement with Iran will be submitted to Congress.  The problem with this discussion on the news and in D.C. is the framing of this issue as a dispute between Iran on one side and the United States and Israel on the other side.  This framing is completely false.  While the rest of the world is willing to let the United States take the lead in negotiations, the negotiations are a global issue and that fact is key to understanding what options are on the table.

There are two basic facts underlying this dispute.  First, the basic issue is a question of international law — the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and related documents.  Either Iran is sufficiently complying with those terms or it isn’t.  The second issue is that most of the major powers have imposed some degree of sanctions on Iran.  Keeping pressure on Iran requires that everybody stays on board.

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A new logo?

dcw

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Hillary For America… On to #DNC2016!

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2016 Delegate Selection-Part IV: The Republican Rules

In this, the final part of the series, we take a look at how the other side will be doing things for 2016.  The Republicans do things differently in several ways.  First, where the Democratic rules are several separate documents, the Republican rules are actually part of the basic rules of the Republican National Committee (with the rules for the convention being Rules 13-20.  Second, with limited exceptions (which happened in this cycle), the Republican rules are actually adopted at the last national convention.  (The Democrats draft the rules in the two years after the last convention).  Third, as noted, in the first post in the series, the Republicans actually have very few national rules (essentially eight basic rules) and mostly leave it to the state parties to make the important decisions that structure the selection process.

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Sixteen sites bid for presidential debates

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week that 16 sites have submitted bids to host a debate in 2016:

Belmont University, Nashville, TN
City of Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
City of McAllen, McAllen, TX
Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Houston Community College, Houston, TX
Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL
Longwood University, Farmville, VA
State University of New York Rockland Community College (SUNY RCC) in partnership with Rockland Debates 2016, Suffern, NY
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Las Vegas, NV
Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
West Virginia University and West Virginia State University, Charleston, WV
Wright State University, Dayton, OH

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2016 Delegate Selection-Part III: Democratic Delegate Allocation and Selection

the first two parts of this series, we looked at the some background information that applies to both parties (namely the roles of the national parties, the state parties) and state legislatures and some of the basic rules that the Democratic National Committee requires all state parties to follow.   As noted in the previous post, the Democratic National Delegate Selection rules recognize four separate categories of delegates — district level delegates, at-large delegates, pledged PLEOs (party leaders and elected officials, and unpledged PLEOs (a/k/a super delegates).  This post will look at how those delegates are allocated to the states (and then to the individual categories within the states).

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Reverend Leah Daughtry reportedly named as CEO of the DNCC for #DNC2016

Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday said that the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry will serve as chief executive officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee in 2016.

Daughtry, 52, who splits time between Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, New York, served in the position in 2008 in Denver, Colorado, when Barack Obama was elected the first Black president of the United States.

“We are thrilled to have Leah Daughtry return to lead our convention team. She will bring so much expertise and enthusiasm to this important event,” Wasserman Schultz said in a prepared statement. – NewsOne

Reverend Daughtry also served as CEO for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

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LGBT Rights in Indiana

rainbowLast night, Mike Pence signed the updated “Religious Freedom” bill into law in Indiana. Here’s the text of the salient change:

SECTION 1.IC34-13-9-0.7IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2015]: Sec. 0.7.

This chapter does not:

(1) authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service;

(2) establish a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution for refusal by a provider to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service; or

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2016 Delegate Selection-Part II-Democratic Rules Basics

As noted in the first part of this series,  the Democratic Party has adopted a set of rules designed to make the delegate selection process more uniform from state to state.  As a consequence, the Democratic Party’s rules are somewhat complex covering a lot of details of what states must do and what is optional.  In fact, the first rule requires the state parties to submit their state delegate selection plans to the Democratic National Committee’s Rule and By-laws Committee (a familiar body for those who followed the 2008 campaign closely) for approval.  Additionally, the rules require that the state parties have a period of public comment on the proposed plan before the state party adopts the plan and submit it to the DNC.  As a result, most, if not all, of the draft plans will be posted on-line.  (A good source for finding the draft plans is here.)  In theory, all of the draft plans should be available within the next week or two (as they are supposed to be adopted by May 4 with a minimum of a thirty-day period for public comment).

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