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NY Court Rules Gay Marriage "Not Unnatural"

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An appeals court in New York has ruled that the survivor of a same-sex marriage is entitled to inheritance, even if the couple was married in another state.  That's "survivor" in the probate court sense, not in the "bigamy is having one wife too many, monogamy is the same thing" sense.

New York State has a tradition of recognizing out-of-state marriages, so long as they do not "violate natural law."  The court found that the only two instances in violation of natural law are incest and polygamy (despite the occurrence of both being quite common in nature). Homosexuality (also quite common in nature), the court ruled, not in violation.

We would have liked the court to rule that if Mila Kunis and Macauly Kulkin had gotten married, that also would have been a violation of natural law.

So, congratulations to what Lady Gaga describes as "all of my gays" (fka: gays), if your partner, I mean spouse dies, you can inherit all their awful CDs and ugly furniture.  It does not appear this ruling would affect people who have only a civil union. If your state doesn't call your union a marriage, neither does NY.

[CBS New York]

State Senator: Alabama Constitution Impedes Business, Morality

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Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr is proposing legislation that would remove racist language from the 1901 Alabama Constitution.  Orr argues that the language, which has been without legal effect for decades, is both morally wrong and an impediment to bringing new business to the state.

But, Neal Wade, a former development director for the state disagrees. "I did not have any trouble selling Alabama worldwide.  We have opened our arms to accept Germans, Koreans and Japanese. They feel welcome here. Alabama's not tagged with that image across the world anymore."

We agree with Wade.  It is unlikely foreign business executives are going to read the Alabama Constitution or be aware of any changes to it.  The Alabama Constitution is the longest such document in the world.  And, as anyone who has ever read the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution is aware, repealing language typically leaves that language in place, but adds another section saying to ignore the first one.  So, a "removal" of racist language may be ineffective at actually removing it.

Fans of Blind Drunk Justice may recall that not everyone in the state legislature is so eager to accept foreign businesses.  Or, at least not their culture.  Representative Alvin Holmes recently fought against lobbying group Free the Hops in their effort to allow high gravity beer to be sold in the state.  He was upset the influence that people "from Germany?!" were having on the state culture, asking "Yo, what's wrong with the beer we got?"

[Times Daily]

[Holmes on Beer]

No Trespassing Signs for Blago Jurors

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US District Judge James Zagel says he is considering giving "No Trespassing" signs to jurors in the upcoming retrial of disgraced former governor, Rod Blagojevich.  But, they wouldn't just be the type of sign you can probably find in any hardware store.  These signs would be provided through a federal marshal, which means...

We're not sure exactly what that means.  Doesn't seem like a federal marshal's jurisdiction.  But, the ambiguity may give reporters just enough pause before camping out on a juror's front lawn.

"We have clear evidence that some members of the media will disregard the ordinary rights of citizens to get the story," said Judge Zagel.  He added, "#TMZ"

[Chicago Tribune]

Chapman Law Taps Former Congressman for Dean

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Former Congressman Tom Campbell has a new gig, Dean of Chapman School of Law.

"The greatest law schools – what separates them from the rest is research," says Campbell, a claim that flies in the face of the widely accepted notion that what separates great law schools from the rest is the recruitment of top students.  Also, name recognition.  Anyone ever heard of Chapman?

If the performance of Congress during Campbell's 10 year tenure in Washington is any indication, you won't be seeing a tuition freeze any time soon.  But, at least Campbell ought to help boost the school's ranking.  Congressmen are known for their high approval ratings, right?

[Orange County Register]

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