Tag Archive for constitutional law

The Trial of John Yoo

I have just returned from a debate on presidential power at Chapman University Law School. In retrospect, the event should more properly have been called “The Trial of John Yoo.” And strikingly, it was Yoo who cast himself in the role of defendant. The debate was titled “Presidential Power and Success in Times of Crisis,”…

Iowa’s Same Sex Marriage Decision: What it Says and What it Means

In 1998, the Iowa legislature, capitulating to a well-funded national campaign against gay marriage, amended the state’s marriage statute to define marriage as a union between only a man and a woman.Today, in a stunning, courageous, and powerfully written decision, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state’s anti-gay marriage statute is invalid because…

Prop 8: What’s Really at Stake for the California Supreme Court

The primary legal issue at tomorrow’s hearing before the California Supreme Court on the same sex marriage Prop 8 case is the narrow and extremely arcane question whether Prop 8 is an amendment to the state constitution or a revision of the state constitution. But appellate cases – and especially high profile and controversial appellate cases — are rarely decided on such narrow and arcane questions of law, even though lawyers and judges must pretend that they are. What’s really at stake in the Prop 8 case – and what will probably be the real deciding factor in the California Supreme Court’s decision – is the power and prestige of the California Supreme Court itself.