Gay Marriage Referendum Passes In Ireland. Unresolved Issues Will Remain

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag_of_Ireland_svgWith all constituencies reporting, the Irish citizenry approved a constitutional amendment recognizing gay marriage: Yes 1,201,607; No 734,300.

The Constitution of Ireland permits amendment only by popular vote. A vote of the people for such amendments can provide more legitimacy and acceptance by the public and judging by the margin gay marriage will probably gain acceptance more readily. Nevertheless it does not necessarily engender full acceptance of such partnerships as over seven hundred thousand voters chose otherwise. Some institutions in Irish society will struggle to come to terms with the new direction Ireland is pursuing.

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Irish Voters Abroad Returning Home To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

100px-Coat_of_arms_of_Ireland.svgOn Friday Irish Citizens went to the polls to vote by referendum on a constitutional amendment allowing same-sex marriage. If passed Ireland will join nineteen other nation states who have legalized such marriages and will be the first to enact the petition by popular referendum.

The topic of the referendum garnered such strong interest it is expected that a large percentage of Ireland’s 3.2 million registered voters will go to  the polls. In fact, reportedly, unexpectedly high numbers returned home at their personal expense to cast votes.

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Saudi Arabia Moves To Take Over Top Spot On The U.N.’s Human Rights Council

200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgMembership of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) has always been a rogue’s gallery of some of the world’s most oppressive nations trying to obstruct its work or artificially rehabilitate their images. Now to add insult to countless human rights injuries, Saudi Arabia wants to head the HRC. That’s right. The country that will not allow any other religion to build a simple church or place of worship in the Kingdom. The country that executes people for apostasy for simply praying to the God of their choice. The country that imprisons and flogs women for driving, adultery, or people accused of sorcery. The country that is the greatest exporter of the extreme Sharia values that are stripping away rights in various countries. The country that cuts off the hands of thieves. The country that denies free speech and executes people in intersections for things like drug dealing. That country.

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Asian American Groups File Complaint Against Harvard Over Discrimination in Admissions

220px-Harvard_Wreath_Logo_1.svgWe have previously discussed how schools have rejected students with substantially higher scores for college admissions to allow the admission of African-American and hispanic students. Some academics, myself included, have raised concerns about the significant differences in academic scores — a difference that is particularly great with regard to Asian Americans. For that reason, I share the concern that this constitutes a form of discrimination based on race. While there remains a permissible range in which schools can select students to achieve a diverse and pluralistic student body, the differential of admissions scores can be alarming in some cases and suggest that students are being rejected simply because of their race.

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What is the Cost to Purchase a State Supreme Court?

Chief Justice Roberts

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

The answer to the question posed in the title, in the state of Wisconsin, is $8 Million dollars.  For those of us who think Judges are not and should not be politicians, the situation in Wisconsin is especially disturbing.  However, Wisconsin is not alone in this dilemma.  Thirty nine states elect their judges and the money flowing into those campaigns is increasing the concerns of special interests “purchasing” justice. Professor Turley has also commented in the past about the alarming amounts of money flowing into judicial elections.

In a recent United States Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice Roberts weighed in on money and politics in judicial elections.  “Last week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a Florida judicial rule that prohibits candidates for election to state judgeships from personally soliciting money for their campaigns. ‘ “Judges are not politicians,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote in the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision, “even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot.” He went on, “Simply put, Florida and most other States have concluded that the public may lack confidence in a judge’s ability to administer justice without fear or favor if he comes to office by asking for favors.” ‘ New Yorker Continue reading

Boston University Professor Saida Grundy Apologizes For Racist and Sexist Comments As “Indelicate”

GrundyPic-150x150Boston_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the curious start of the academic career of Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, who released a series of tweets denounced by many as racist and sexist. “White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.” In a January tweet, Grundy wrote: “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. and every year i find it nearly impossible.” Previously, she posted comments like “Deal with your white sh*t, white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing.” With many objecting that the University would have fired a male or white professor for such comments directed against blacks or women, donors have begun to revolt and the University was forced to issue a statement condemning the comments. Now, after a surprisingly long period of silence, Grundy has apologized but may have aggravated the situation further. She has called the statements “indelicate” and says that they were in response to unidentified events. The response has been withering with many saying that few would view the comments “indelicate” if a white professor encouraged people not to buy things from black people or calling black males as the problem on colleges.

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B.B. Wolf Walks After Hung Jury In Double Murder And Attempted Murder Trial

2015_BBWolf_6147“B.B. Wolf” has done it again. Faced with a double murder and attempted murder of the Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf gave a howl of joy with two hung juries after trials before the fourth grade classes of Churchill Elementary from McLean, Virginia. We held our annual field trip for elementary students to learn about the legal system and it was a smashing success. Adding to the fun this year was the flyover of vintage World War II planes and the hatching of ducklings in the George Washington quad as we took the kids outside. Just try to get that level of service at Georgetown.

Our amazing cast this year included Shirin Ahlhauser, Garrett Henderson, Sarah Keller, Justin Matarrese, and Ariel Oxman. The organizer was our own Claire Duggan who handled every possible detail from the treats to the buses. Our partner in crime was Churchill teacher Claire M. McHale and her colleagues. My assistant Seth Tate also served as Johnny on the spot for everything from missing kids to wayward buses. Against all odds, we held two trials and lost nary of kid . . . and even finished ahead by eight ducklings!

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