Government & Politics
Live Analysis of the Supreme Court Decisions on Gay Marriage — The New York Times | Breaking:
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a 1996 law denying federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples is unconstitutional, in a sign of how rapidly the national debate over gay rights has shifted.
In another case, the Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a California law banning same sex marriage. The effect is to let stand a lower-court ruling and clear the way for resumption of same-sex marriages in California.
Opaque process used to dole out grant money in homicide-reduction effort — The Lens | More on the public-private (or is it just private?) NOLA For Life Fund:
“Aside from vague explanations, it’s difficult to determine precisely how and why 23 recipients of the money were selected out of 64 applications. Applicants with experience were rejected while new groups were awarded grants. And one politically influential recipient of the highest-level grant of $40,000 hasn’t followed through on other city and state grants it was awarded several years ago — nor did it provide required financial information in its grant application.
French Market Corp. restarts search for parking manager amid accusations of favoritism — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A bidding vendor for a half-million parking management contract with the French Market Corp. thinks the fix is in for his competitor. Premium Parking submitted a lower bid on the contract than SP Plus, that is, until then-French Market Corp. director Ann Duplessis added nearly $178,000 in “adjusted costs” to Premium’s bid. “This whole thing stinks to high heaven,” says Premium owner Jim Huger.
Supreme Court overturns key provision of Voting Rights Act — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The Times-Picayune gets local reactions to yesterday’s historic ruling. On the one hand, Secretary of State Tom Schedler is happy because the state won’t have to submit every election rule change to the Justice Department for review. On the other hand, Rep. Cedric Richmond is a little skeptical of the notion that racism has been completely eliminated in the districts covered by the Act.
Massive tar mat found along La. coast — WWL-TV | WWL-TV reports that workers have discovered a giant tar mat weighing more than 40,000 pounds off the Louisiana coast.
Obama offers sweeping climate change plan. La. lawmakers denounce it — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Vitter, Scalise, Cassidy, even Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu all come out against Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions. “When Gulf Coast senators and some of our representatives assail the President for today’s actions, remember that they are in the pockets of big oil and dirty coal,” says Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
Geismar explosion and fire released more than 62,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, company reports — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The Williams Olefins chemical facility in Geismar released more than 62,000 pounds of toxic chemicals during a June 13 explosion and fire that killed two workers and injured 114 others, according to an initial report on the accident filed with the state Department of Environmental Quality.
IG demands Orleans Parish school district’s financial records —The Advocate | New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux issued a formal subpoena to the Orleans Parish School Board asking for a look at internal financial information. Board president Ira Thomas says the IG does not have jurisdiction over the school district. Quatrevaux says he does because the schools receive city tax dollars.
Committee may propose pick for new Lycée interim CEO at Thursday meeting — The Lens | The troubled charter school, which has been without a leader for six months, could finally announce a candidate this week.
Baton Rouge breakaway district supporters pushing forward with possibility of incorporation — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Having failed to establish a new, breakaway school district in Southeastern Baton Rouge, supporters of the plan are going one step further. They want to establish a breakaway city.
The Supreme Court Just Handed Real Estate Developers a Huge Win — The Atlantic Cities | The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that requiring a Florida property owner to agree to wetlands mitigation in order to grant a permit to develop his property constituted an unlawful “taking” under the Fifth Amendment’s Just Compensation Clause.
So what kinds of common policy levers might now be at risk? “A requirement that a developer pay into a mitigation bank if they’re destroying wetlands,” [environmental law professor John] Echeverria suggests. “A requirement that a developer contribute funds to pay for a sewer expansion. A requirement that a developer pay to support expansion of a school system required by development – all those kinds of requirements.”
New Orleans tourism group says Jindal’s veto doesn’t stop enhancement plans along Convention Center Boulevard — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Gov. Bobby Jindal may have vetoed a bill providing a funding mechanism for the redevelopment of Convention Center Boulevard, but local tourism leaders say that won’t stop them from building their gigantic vase — or napkin ring maybe — there.
Antoinette Frank’s brother denies taking part in Kim Anh killings — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Lawyers for Rogers LaCaze — who was convicted in the 1995 Kim Anh restaurant killings and sentenced to death along with former New Orleans Police Officer Antoinette Frank — say Frank’s brother Adam was her real accomplice, not LaCaze. Adam Frank took the stand Tuesday and denied he took part in the robbery that left three dead.
NSA: Responding to this FOIA Would Help ‘Our Adversaries’ – ProPublica
Any positive or negative response on a request-by-request basis would allow our adversaries to accumulate information and draw conclusions about the NSA’s technical capabilities, sources, and methods. Our adversaries are likely to evaluate all public responses related to these programs.