Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.
Today, everyone's waiting for Judge Vaughn Walker to hand down his decision in the Prop. 8 case -- the federal challenge to California's gay-marriage ban. Conventional wisdom is that he'll overturn the ban.
However, Walker's ruling won't necessarily be a slam dunk for gay rights. The judge is bound by precedent and his decision needs to withstand the appeal process. Basically, there are three major questions Walker has to answer:
The Washington Post has a story lamenting D.C.'s lack of a cool nickname and announcing one that's catching on: DMV, an acronym for the "District," Maryland, and Virginia, the city and suburbs that make up the metropolitan area. This of course is already an acronym for the Department of Motor Vehicles, which you can either decry as unfortunate -- or "painful" or "ugly" -- or apt. Who doesn't remember the distinct air of DMV ennui? Perhaps the implicit comparison to one of the country's most hated and inept bureaucracies expresses how people feel about government, but for PR's sake, D.C.
Today, Judge Susan Boltonstopped [PDF] the most controversial provisions of Arizona's immigration-enforcement law, SB 1070, from going into effect but declined to put the entire law on hold as the Obama Justice Department had requested. In a 38-page ruling, Judge Bolton let stand most of the law's 13 sections but found that certain provisions satisfied the requirements for a preliminary injunction -- irreparable harm and likelihood of success at trial. The Justice Department had argued that the Arizona law unconstitutionally usurped federal power to regulate immigration. The judge put the following provisions on hold: