Thursday, August 31, 2006

Washington Request to Reconsider Gay Marriage

Hey - I'm back!
Swamped with work since being off last week in Disneyland. Our trip was excellent! Hope to write about it at some point, probably when I should be doing legal research :)
First week of school is going great! So far, the professors are clear, well-organized, and easy to listen to. I meet the last one tonight, so far, I've heard mixed reviews from fellow 2Ls who have not met him but either. We'll see.

Anyway, too busy to actually come up with anything creative to write myself, by wanted to share this:
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Gays ask court to reconsider marriage ruling
Gay and lesbian couples are asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its July ruling that bars them from getting married in Washington.
Such requests are rarely granted, but the couples' lawyers said Tuesday that the stakes are too high to let the opportunity pass.

"We felt that we had to use every option available to us to show the justices the logic behind our arguments and how their decision as it is currently reasoned falls short," said Nancy Sapiro of the Northwest Women's Law Center.

State lawmakers are justified in defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court held in its splintered 5-4 ruling.
The decision overruled two lower court decisions -- one in King County and one in Thurston County -- that found the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The high court must now decide whether to rule on the couples' motion to reconsider the issue or seek a response from the other parties in the case.

"We believe the decision was correct, so if they call for an answer, we will certainly urge the court not to change its mind," said Assistant Attorney General Bill Collins, who defended the state's existing marriage law.

The losing side often asks the court to reconsider in cases that sharply divided the court -- such as a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling. But Collins said that in his 29 years as a state attorney, he has seen the court change its decision just twice.

Lawyers for the 19 couples in the combined gay marriage case relied on a pair of legal arguments in their motion asking the court to reconsider. The court's finding that the Legislature had a "rational basis" for seeking to regulate marriage was flawed, plaintiffs argued.
"They couldn't show any reason how it could hurt opposite-sex couples if same-sex couples get married, or why same-sex couples' children wouldn't equally benefit if their parents could get married," said Jon Davidson, a lawyer with the gay rights group Lambda Legal.

The ruling also overlooked an aspect of the state constitution's sex discrimination protections, the plaintiffs argued, by not recognizing that the gay marriage law treats individuals differently based on their gender -- a man can marry a woman, but a woman can't do the same.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back to School Blues
The post where I confess that I am dreading going back to school.

OK, dreading is a strong word. Maybe "having mixed feelings" is more accurate. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of school, getting my feet wet with family law and intellectual property and just learning more. On the other hand, we have been having the BEST SUMMER EVER. It's been so wonderful spending time with my wife and two kids - seeing how the kids develop and change every day, laughing over silly things, having water fights, reading stories at night - everything that I get so much less of during the school year. We've been to Disneyland, the beach, Seattle, and done a couple of day trips. We've camped in the back yard a few times, had lots of barbecues, watched lots of movies and Seasons 1 and of 2 of the OC (not the kids, of course) and had dinner together every night. Sure, there have been arguments, crying, yelling, ignoring, and temper tantrums, like every home with kids, but overall, it's been a great summer! Now, the impending end looms like a dark cloud.

Yet, the sun shines through the clouds. The clouds will part. Light will prevail and we will adapt to our new routine of me being involved with law school, my wife caring for the kids all day and into the night, me arriving home after dark and Sunday being sacred Family Day, not to be disrupted by homework. I know once I'm into it, school will be fun again, but right now, I'm already looking forward to next summer.

On an up note - Saturday we leave for Disneyland Trip #2! We are all so excited we can hardly stand it!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I haven't even mentioned our new car yet!

We bought a cute little Scion xA. It's the little sibling of the bigger boxy car that has everyone asking, "What is that?" They are Toyotas, so I feel confident in the quality. Great gas mileage, stick shift, fun to drive, and holds more in its tiny cargo space than one would suspect. It's already done a trip to the beach and to Seattle. I don't have a photo, but here's a link. The color is Indigo Ink (blue). With the Saturn pushing 100K miles and me driving about 40 per day, I was starting to fear for the amount of money we were going to have to shell out in repairs on a car that was fine, but just that - "fine." This has become our new weekend warrior vehicle. Way fun!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summer Book Review

As some of you may recall, at the beginning of summer, I was quite excited about the prospect of reading for pleasure. I have made it through three of the six books I bought, and now must start some pre-school reading (not to be confused with preschool reading). I read, in order, Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Call me a product of my generation, call me shallow with a short attention span, but I have to say that I by far enjoyed The Da Vinci Code the most. I loved this book - clever, fast-paced, enough fact mixed in that you could believe you were reading non-fiction, and in fact, I wanted it all to be true. Gotta love a good conspiracy theory mixed with worship of the divine feminine. Therapy was like taking a walk with an old friend - enjoyable, reliable, comfortable, and though not entirely predictable, I never felt that I HAD to read the next page. I HAD to keep reading The Da Vinci Code, especially since the whole book is essentially one huge chase scene. (No, I'm not a big action movie fan.) The Time Traveler's Wife, which was recommended by many folks, was good. It was a creative, bittersweet love story. I'll put it in second place for the summer, but must admit, I did not love it. I liked it. I really liked the main characters and felt for their situation, but in some ways (this may seem wrong to those who have read the book) nothing happened. Maybe it was read too quickly on the heels of the much faster-paced Da Vinci Code. The two cannot and should not be compared. It is literature versus pop fiction? Yes, perhaps.

A friend since high school and I have a long running joke that I will become rich and famous for writing pop fiction and she will write good literature. This is reflective of our tastes in just about everything - books, movies, music. I don't seem to have the temperament to appreciate the beauty of art that exists more for art's sake, art that is crafted and textured with subtlety. Deliver the message in a straight-forward manner and if there are complexities for me to investigate at my leisure, wonderful, but don't make it necessary to enjoy without making the extra effort. Maybe this "deliver me my entertainment" mentality is a weakness I should explore. Maybe it addresses why I don't like to play chess, or any games that actually involve strategy and planning ahead. Let me shoot things (thought not realistic hunting games) and rack up points and not have to engage my brain too much. A weakness, perhaps, or maybe some of us just need a break from the mental gymnastics of life when we have the time for recreation.

Now, I am on to my fourth book of the summer: Family Law in Perspective by Wadlington and O'Brien. It is a prerequisite for the Family Law seminar I'll be taking in the fall, since I have not taken the actual prereq class. Should be interesting - deals with issues of adoption, divorce, and gay marriage, among others. Still, it won't be any Da Vinci Code.