Tag Archive: SCOTUS

No, Franklin Twp Board of Ed prez Ed Potosnak won’t resign because he dared mention he’s gay

Ed-PotosnakAfter a 7-minute graduation speech delivered at Franklin High School by Board of Education President Ed Potosnak, fellow board member Pat Stanley is calling for his resignation. It’s hard to walk away from her letter to Potosnak, copied to all board members and now made public, without concluding she outs herself as a raging homophobe who failed to grasp any substance in Potosnak’s well-received words because she got totally tripped up by the gay.

And no, he will not be resigning.

Nor, I suspect, will he be intimidated. I imagine Ms. Stanley would be a lot more comfortable if gay people – Potosnak is out gay and getting married in a few days – stayed in the closet and allowed people like her to try and shame them into silence. And I do not expect silence at the Franklin Board meeting tomorrow night. A public meeting:

School Board meeting 7:30pm Thursday – Open to the public

Franklin Township High School – 500 Elizabeth Avenue, Somerset NJ

Cafeteria (Entrance is at back of HS)

So, what did Stanley say? In her letter, she accused Potosnak of “hijacking” graduation:

“You presented very personal information regarding yourself and your intimate life which was just uncalled for in that venue.”

“(I)n my thirteen years in professional music and theatre, I have known many, many homosexual men. I still have friends who are professionals in the business. But they always behave like mature gentlemen and are truly considerate of other people.”

Wow. So some of your best friends are gay, huh. Let’s unpack this for a sec. There’s something almost antique about her language. It is an emphasis dah sex?  

Rally tonight 6:30pm to celebrate: Marriage equality is now the law of the land

Tonight, we party. There’s a victory rally, anticipated for days, tonight in Maplewood:

Victory Rally

When: TONIGHT 6:30pm

Where: Maplewood Town Hall Steps

574 Valley Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040.

Hosts: Garden State Equality & North Jersey Pride

RAIN LOCATION: Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood

From GSE’s executive director Andy Bowen:

“There are hardly words to describe how excited we are. Marriage equality is a constitutional right. We’re honored that New Jersey was a leader in the marriage equality movement, and we’re simply elated to see the rest of the country join us in celebrating love and justice.”

CNN screenshot - Marriage Equality

CNN screenshot outside U.S. Supreme Court from this morning.


SCOTUS rules favorably on important housing rights

In a Texas case, (TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS ET AL. v. INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES PROJECT, INC., ET AL.) as SCOTUS blog explain, “This is a big deal for housing rights and civil rights groups, and a bit of a surprise.” The issue in this case is whether the Fair Housing Act allows lawsuits based on disparate impact – that is, an allegation that a law or practice has a discriminatory effect, even if it wasn’t based on a discriminatory purpose. The Court holds that there is a disparate impact claim under the FHA as a matter of statutory interpretation, but cautions that remedial orders in disparate impact cases that impose racial targets or quotas could be unconstitutional.

The court ruled today:

“Much progress remains to be made in our Nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation. In striving to achieve our “historic commitment to creating an integrated society,” … we must remain wary of policies that reduce homeowners to nothing more than their race. But since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 and against the backdrop of disparate-impact liability in nearly every jurisdiction, many cities have become more diverse. The FHA must play an important part in avoiding the Kerner Commission’s grim prophecy that “[o]ur Nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white-separate and unequal.” The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the Nation toward a more integrated society.”

KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN were in the majority.

THOMAS filed a dissenting opinion. ALITO filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, SCALIA and THOMAS joined.

Read the ruling HERE.  

No SCOTUS decisions on marriage or Obamacare today

U.S. Supreme CourtLooks like we’re going to have to wait a few days for the outcome of two blockbuster cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Decisions in four cases were announced this morning, but no SCOTUS decision in the marriage case (Obergefell v. Hodges), which could once and for all settle the marriage issue for all the states, or the Obamacare case (King v. Burwell), which threatens to gut the Affordable Care Act.  

Among the four decisions announced today, one carries bad news for some of those swindled by Bernie Madoff. In another, Justice Kagan quoted Stan Lee in a decision involving Spiderman. Beat that.

With only a few days left before the end of the Court’s term (end of June), it is quite possible that the Court will announce Obergefell and Burwell last. Let’s call it their big finale.

There were 47,000 on SCOTUSblog this morning, which is a lot but not a record. That record is a million, for the first ACA decision.  

Udi Ofer

Udi Ofer is the Executive Director of ACLU-NJ, and his organization was one of the co-sponsors of today’s rally for Marriage Equality (along with Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal). I spoke with Ofer after today’s Trenton press conference about yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, its effect on gay marriage in New Jersey, and the idea of a referendum. We also spoke briefly about the governor’s attempt to use taxpayer money to support religious institutions.