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LA ruling shows path to uphold same-sex marriage ban

To Louisiana’s credit, based in it federal District Judge Martin Feldman delivered the most cogent decision yet on the issue of same-sex marriage, almost making certain that this case will end up as one upon which the entire question will be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, and providing a preview into the basis for a decision using it in upholding states’ rights to define marriage.

In granting summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs who argued that Louisiana’s constitutional ban on recognizing any marriage besides that of a single man to a single woman violated equal protection, due process, and freedom of speech, Feldman exposed the poverty of that argumentation. He also tackled a root question prior to this, what kind of burden of proof states needed to regulate in this area.

While plaintiffs argued that the highest burden of proof was needed, thus reducing the ability of states to be able constitutionally to regulate marriage, Feldman demonstrated in fact the lowest was applicable, and in his opinion served notice that even if the highest were used, the justifications as such – the state having a legitimate interest in linking children with intact families formed by their biological parents and by ensuring fundamental social change occurs by social consensus through democratic processes – might well be just as compelling for that standard as the lowest. (He didn’t address another justification, not mentioned by the defense, facilely dealt with in Hebert v. Kitchen, that the state has a compelling interest in promoting procreation.)

Legislators casting social conservative votes tactically

Have Louisiana’s legislators become significantly more conservative over the past decade, as one source muses. Or is it just strategy on the part of many of them that just make it seem so?

At the end of July, the Louisiana Family Forum issued its 2014 Legislative Scorecard, prompting one observer to report the comparison made by the organization’s head that in 2004, of the 144 legislators, only 26 voted overall “pro-family and pro-life” (defined as voting at least 80 percent of the time with the organization’s preferences), while according to the 2014 version the number was 83. This prompted the assertion that there has been “further reddening of Louisiana.”

Reviewing the scorecards separated by a decade, and assuming the issues selected as represented by the votes constitute a representative sample of those, then it appears that on this universe of issues Louisiana legislators are voting considerably more conservatively, as the LFF uniformly picks what observers would consider conservative issue preferences to be scored high (thus higher scores mean more conservatism in votes). But those votes chosen by and large represent only issues of religious faith and personal conduct (which would be consistent with the organization’s objectives in championing traditional views on those). For example, in 2014, with its chosen slate of issues dealing with the right to bear arms, protection of human life, government regulation of conduct, and facilitating education delivery by faith-based organizations, the only vote on the scorecard that had any economic component to it was on Medicaid expansion. The ones in 2004 also showed just one tax issue among other dealing with the definition of marriage, cloning, and others.


Left fears too many voters will find Landrieu fraudulent

You can tell the political left is worried about the self-inflicted wounds Sen. Mary Landrieu has inflicted upon herself, because its mouthpieces understand these provide the linkage mechanism that exposes her most fully as a fraud.

The Democrat has survived now 18 years in the Senate, despite having strung together a far left voting record while representing a conservative electorate. In order to distract from this, a number of tactics are used, such as claims of her indispensability from serving many years, emphasizing non-ideological issues, and trumpeting the rare non-liberal vote as a form of prophylactic protecting her from being seen as what she really is by getting the public to buy that the exception is the rule. These have been adequate enough to date to have enough voters perceive her as she wishes to be seen rather than by what her behavior verifies that she is.

As information about politics becomes more plentiful and the public increasingly cognitively able to think for itself, the internal contradiction of her image vs. fact has become clear to more voters. Still, for a voting public the vast majority of members of which pay minimal attention to politics, getting them to expend cognitive resources in making the logical connection that concludes she is a fraud is not an easy task – especially when the least informed among conservatives are the most likely to vote for her (joining their poorly-informed liberal brethren who almost uniformly vote her without any knowledge of her issue preferences).


Jindal ignores winning issue with risky CCSS gambit

If, as conventional wisdom suggests, Gov. Bobby Jindal has gone all in on opposition to the Common Core State Standards in order to boost his national electoral profile, one must question his thinking and/or the quality of the political advice he’s getting.

As previously noted, with practically no political power to do so available, Jindal has been waging an intense rearguard action to prevent the state from implementing fully CCSS, and in the process of doing so has bet his entire national political future on an issue most voters don’t know about, of those that do for many it’s not a big priority, and one that splits his conservative base. Worse, the tactics he uses increasingly have acquired a sheen of desperation, such as a recent suit that essentially claims the 225-year old federal grant-in-aid system is unconstitutional, make his natural constituency of principled conservatives scratch their heads over his choices – especially when there is an education issue on which he has been a leader with a genuine constitutional question at stake that his side would win in which he appears to have no interest.

Last year, the federal government attempted to assert control over Louisiana’s scholarship voucher program, to which Jindal objected. Ultimately, District Judge Ivan Lemelle (who tipped his hand in a previous case) rendered an opinion that did not give the Pres. Barack Obama Administration control over the program, but in that justification wrote in an implicit power of the federal government to define unlawful discrimination by state government as a product of individual decisions by families unrelated to government – an audacious rewriting of the Constitution that vastly expands government’s power to intervene not just in instances where there has been intended and deliberate discrimination employed, but also merely where are present discrepant outcomes. More incredibly, it was based on the preclearance argument already dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier the year before that.


Glover's next move depends on who succeeds him

Typically, Shreveport mayors go out with a whimper, and the question is whether that’s the fate of current Mayor Cedric Glover,

To say the least, post-mayoral political careers of past Shreveport leaders have been dismal. Since going to the strong mayor/council system, none have won any elective office after their service. A relatively smaller population base doesn’t provide much to start with for statewide ambitions, and now that demographics and persistent voting habits make it all but certain that only black Democrat mayors will inhabit Government Plaza, the Fourth Congressional District or the Public Service Commission District 5 seats built around demographics and dynamics that favor Republicans mean upward mobility seems unlikely.

There was some thought that something big could be brewing for Glover that was not mutually exclusive with this quest and may have complemented it nicely. Make no mistake, by far the top goal of state Democrats is to keep Sen. Mary Landrieu in office, whose flagging reelection campaign threatens to remove her as the last Democrat in office elected statewide. In particular, as typically Democrats are lower information, lower interested members of the electorate, and blacks disproportionately making up this portion, with this election during midterms without an attractive figure to those voters such as Pres. Barack Obama running for something, it’s feared by them that lagging turnout will doom Landrieu’s chances.