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.
Arizona has been in the news since the state passed its crazy immigration-enforcement bill, SB 1070, which criminalizes undocumented presence and gives police the power to stop people for looking "illegal." The Obama administration recently announced it would sue the state for usurping the federal government's constitutional power to regulate immigration, and it may not have to wait long for a decision. Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a strikingly similar law in -- you guessed it -- Ar
In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, handed down today, the Supreme ruled in favor of Hastings Law School, which refused to recognize an on-campus Christian group that barred gays – or, at least those who engaged in "unrepentant homosexual conduct" – from membership. The Christian Legal Society argued that the school’s nondiscrimination policy violated their First-Amendment right to free speech and association. But the Court ruled, 5 to 4, that because the school’s policy was "viewpoint neutral" it did not "transgress First Amendment limitations."
Despite the outcry over Arizona's immigration-enforcement bill and mounting pressure from Hispanic groups, the lead immigration-reform advocate in the House, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, admitted yesterday that any immigration bill that includes a citizenship provision for the undocumented doesn't have the votes to pass. "We are 102 strong, we are 102 commitment, but we are insufficient," he said at a press conference yesterday. That's of course a far cry from the requisite majority in the 435-member House.
Despite the recent announcement that the Justice Department is filing suit against Arizona's SB 1070, it appears Obama's promise to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to beef up border security wasn't just a brush-off. Yesterday, the administration asked Congress for $500 million in "emergency" funding for border enforcement, which includes two aerial drones -- the kind at work in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and 1,000 more Border Patrol agents. That's on top of the 1,200 National Guardsmen Obama sent to the area earlier last month. And on top of the 10,000 new Border Patrol agents that have been hired since 2004.
In all, that's about 10 Border Patrol agents for every mile of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is under fire for comments he made to The New Yorker magazine about same-sex marriage:
Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the “ick factor,” but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same.
Faced with criticism from gay-rights groups, Huckabee clarified.