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Justice Breyer retiring at end of term

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NBC News reports that Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term in late June. SCOTUSBlog has more:

Justice Stephen Breyer, a devoted pragmatist and the senior member of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, will retire from the court at the end of the 2021-22 term, NBC News reported on Wednesday. During a nearly 28-year career on the court, Breyer shunned rigid approaches to legal interpretation, often seeking functional rulings with an eye toward real-world consequences. He wrote major opinions favoring abortion rights, demarcating the separation of powers, and turning back a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. In his later years, he repeatedly questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty. His retirement opens the door for President Joe Biden to fulfill a campaign promise and nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

The decision by the 83-year-old justice to step down is not surprising. Although Breyer is apparently in good health and by all accounts enjoys his job, Democrats began calling for him to retire shortly after the 2020 election so that Biden could nominate a younger judge to take his place. When Biden does nominate a successor, the confirmation battle that follows is likely to divide along partisan lines. And although a Biden nominee is not likely to change the ideological balance on a court currently dominated by conservatives, the nomination hearings could nonetheless prove contentious given the polarized climate that now surrounds every Supreme Court vacancy.

President Biden has promised to nominate a Black woman as a Supreme Court Justice, and there are reportedly two top choices of the administration: DC Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger. Judge Jackson has already faced confirmation by the Senate when she was confirmed to the DC Circuit so that may be easier for the administration, but we likely won’t know who’s picked as Breyer’s replacement for awhile.

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  • 1. VIRick  |  January 26, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    Guanajuato: New Decree from Governor Ordering Marriage Equality

    Per Leonel Araiza:

    Mediante un decreto, el Gobernador de Guanajuato, Diego Sinhué Rodríguez Vallejo (PAN), derogó el Artículo 72 del reglamento del Registro Civil, el cual establecía como requisito para el matrimonio ser una pareja hombre–mujer. El decreto entrará en vigor a partir de este 26 de enero 2022.
    https://twitter.com/leonelaraiza

    Through a decree, the Governor of Guanajuato, Diego Sinhué Rodríguez Vallejo (PAN), repealed Article 72 of the Civil Registry regulations, one which established as a requisite for marriage that it be a male-female couple. The decree will enter into effect from today, 26 January 2022.
    https://paginacentral.com.mx/decreta-gobernador-m

    Here in the economically-content heart of the Bajío, the last remaining stronghold in Mexico still dominated by the right-wing, pro-business, anti-LGBT political party, PAN, we have suddenly seen multiple local PAN politicians desert the national agenda of vigorously opposing LGBT rights, an agenda to which they had been previously adhering. First, in September 2021, the PAN-dominated Congress of Querétaro voted to approve marriage equality, even taking it upon themselves to officially publish their legislation when the newly-elected PAN governor balked at doing so within the stipulated time-frame. And then, in December 2021, and followed-up by this second decree, effective from today, PAN executive officials in neighboring Guanajuato did the same.

    Until now, the number of elected PAN officials who have approved a marriage equality vote in other states in Mexico had been almost zero. Still, as reflected in the most-recent state elections, Trump's wall killed off almost all voter enthusiasm for PAN in the northern tier of border states, their other previous voter stronghold, stretching without exception from Baja California to Tamaulipas.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 27, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Jalisco: Initiatives to Codify Marriage Equality, Ban "Conversion Therapy"

    Per Susana de la Rosa Hernández, Diputada de Congreso (Futuro):

    Hoy, el 27 de enero 2022, presentaré las iniciativas por matrimonio igualitario y contra "terapias de conversión."
    https://twitter.com/susanadelar/status/1486724200

    Today, 27 January 2022, I will present the initiatives for marriage equality and against "conversion therapy."

    Per Observatorio Legislativo ITESO:

    Los diputados estatales de Hagamos Jalisco, Mara Robles Villaseñor y Enrique Velázquez González, anunciaron que sacarán de la "congeladora" las iniciativas pendientes de votar sobre matrimonio igualitario. También buscarán que avance una que prohíbe las "terapias de reconversión."
    https://twitter.com/ObservLegislati

    The state deputies for Hagamos Jalisco, Mara Robles Villaseñor and Enrique Velázquez González, announced that they will take the pending initiatives out of the "freezer" to vote on marriage equality. They will also seek to advance one that prohibits "conversion therapy."

    Between them, these two splinter parties, Hagamos Jalisco and Futuro, only have 3 deputies, all sponsoring the same measures. The Jalisco Congress consists of 38 members, as follows:

    16 MC
    08 Morena
    05 PRI
    05 PAN
    02 Hagamos Jalisco
    01 Verde
    01 Futuro
    https://www.congresojal.gob.mx/directorio

  • 3. VIRick  |  January 27, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    Oaxaca: Locally Famous Muralist Marries Same-Sex Partner

    Per Zona Roja Oaxaca:

    La pintora y muralista tuxtepecana Isabella Amos Canela y Lulú Flavela contrajeron matrimonio este jueves, el 27 de enero 2022, en Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. La feliz pareja comparte este momento que se llevó a cabo en la Primera Oficialía del Registro Civil.
    https://twitter.com/Zona_Roja_Oax/status/14868736

    The Tuxtepec painter and muralist Isabella Amos Canela and Lulú Flavela contracted marriage this Thursday, 27 January 2022, in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. The happy couple shares this moment that took place in the Main Office of the Civil Registry.

    Tuxtepec is Oaxaca's second-most populous municipality, and abuts the Veracruz state line, thus also making it a convenient locale for same-sex couples from Veracruz to marry.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 28, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Chihuahua: First Same-Sex Marriage among Rarámuri Indigenous People

    En compañía de su padrino y testigo, Carlos, de 18 años de edad, y Rogelio, de 20 años, se presentaron ante la juez del Registro Civil de Ciudad Chihuahua y firmaron el acta correspondiente, con lo cual ejercieron su derecho a unir sus vidas en matrimonio legalmente.

    "Ya teníamos tres años de estar viviendo juntos, pero teníamos miedo de que la gente se enterara, sin embargo, decidimos dar más solidez a la relación y ser el primer matrimonio igualitario

    Los jóvenes explicaron que “en nuestra cultura, no están muy acostumbrados a ver este tipo de situaciones, pero se habló con la comunidad y se está abriendo poco a poco ante este primer enlace igualitario en toda la Sierra Tarahumara. Y sí, finalmente nos dieron el apoyo total."
    https://sivertvnoticiasmty.com/2022/01/28/este-es

    Accompanied by their godfather and witness, Carlos, 18, and Rogelio, 20, appeared before the Civil Registry judge of Ciudad Chihuahua and signed the corresponding certificate by which they exercised their right to legally unite their lives in civil marriage.

    "We had already been living together for three years, but we were afraid that people would find out. However, we decided to make the relationship more solid and be the first Rarámuri same-sex marriage in the state of Chihuahua," they said yesterday, 27 January 2022, for national media.

    The young people explained that “in our culture, they are not very accustomed to seeing this type of situation, but they talked to the community and it is gradually opening up to this first egalitarian union in the entire Sierra Tarahumara. And yes, they finally gave us full support.”

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 29, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Costa Rica: Anti-Marriage-Equality Judge Removed from His Position

    Per Adriano Antinoo LGTBI de Sevilla:

    Separan de su cargo a juez anti matrimonio igualitario, Francis Porras, del Juzgado de Familia del III Circuito Judicial de San José, por considerar que incurrió en una falta gravísima de interesarse indebidamente en el trámite del matrimonio del activista LGBTIQ, Marco Castillo, y su pareja, Rodrigo Campos.

    El Consejo Superior de la Corte Suprema de Justicia acordó ayer, miércoles, 26 de enero 2022, sostener la decisión de la Inspección Judicial, que en junio del 2021 ordenó la revocatoria del nombramiento del juez,
    https://semanariouniversidad.com/pais/separan-de-

    An anti-marriage-equality judge, Francis Porras, of the Family Court of the III Judicial Circuit of San José, is removed from his position, considering that he incurred a very serious error by taking an undue interest in the marriage process of the LGBTIQ activist, Marco Castillo, and his partner, Rodrigo Campos.

    The Superior Council of the Supreme Court of Justice agreed yesterday, Wednesday, 26 January 2022, to support the decision of the Judicial Inspection, which in June 2021 ordered the revocation of the appointment of the judge.

    This mess dates back to 2015 when Castillo, as notary, married Jazmín Elizondo y Laura Florez-Estrada on 25 July of that year, the first such legally-sanctioned marriage of a same-sex couple to have occurred in Costa Rica (one that was due to a clerical error indicating that Elizondo was registered as male).

    In 2020, this judge, Porras, retaliated against Castillo when Castillo's own marriage came before him, and Porras attempted to annul it. Now, effective from 31 January 2022, Porras has lost his job.

  • 6. VIRick  |  January 30, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Venezuela: LGBT Demonstration at Supreme Court (TSJ), Demanding Marriage Equality

    Per AC Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Con pancartas, música, y performances, asistiremos este 31 de enero a las 9 AM al TSJ Venezuela a exigir nuestro derecho al matrimonio, saldremos por la inconstitucionalidad del Artículo 44 del Código Civil que limita el matrimonio a un hombre y una mujer.
    https://twitter.com/VE_Igualitaria/status/1487157

    With placards, music, and performances, we will be present this 31 January at 9 AM at the TSJ Venezuela to demand our right to marriage, calling for the unconstitutionality of Article 44 of the Civil Code that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

    Per El Acarigueño:

    Se realizará concentración frente al TSJ, ubicado al final de la Avenida Baralt cerca a la Cota Mil, por el derecho al matrimonio civil igualitario con el propósito de exigir un pronunciamiento respecto de dos recursos introducidos por la ONG, Venezuela Igualitaria, hace ya 7 años, y que a la fecha presentan un significativo retardo procesal.
    https://elacarigueno.com/ini/se-realizara-concent

    There will be a concentrated gathering in front of the TSJ, located at the end of Avenida Baralt near Cota Mil, for the right to equal civil marriage with the purpose of demanding a pronouncement regarding two appeals introduced by the NGO, Venezuela Igualitaria, 7 years ago, and which to date presents a significant procedural delay.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 31, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Yucatán: Secondary Marriage Equality Legislation Has Been Introduced

    Per Josafath Magno:

    Casi 150 días después, pero finalmente, se va a legislar lo secundario en materia de matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/jmagno98

    Almost 150 days later, but finally, the secondary material regarding marriage equality will be legislated.

    Per Congreso de Yucatán:

    Dan entrada a iniciativas: despenalización del aborto, otra relacionada con el matrimonio igualitario, entre otras. Así como diversos oficios, entre ellos los del Poder Judicial, INAIP, y IEPAC, ya adicionado (al aviso) del Congreso de Yucatán.
    https://twitter.com/CongresoYucatan/status/148821

    Notice is given to initiatives: decriminalization of abortion, another related to marriage equality, among others. As well as various offices, among them those of the Judicialry, INAIP, and IEPAC, were already added (to the notice) by the Congress of Yucatán.

    INAIP = Instituto Estatal de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información Pública, y Protección de Datos Personales

    IEPAC = Instituto Electoral y de Participación Ciudadana del Estado de Yucatán

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 31, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Uganda: Champion of "Kill the Gays" Bill Is Dead

    The former Uganda government minister who championed a bill that would have imposed the death penalty upon anyone found guilty of homosexuality has died. Former Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo passed away at a Geneva hospital on 28 January 2022.

    The Uganda Human Rights Commission, of which Lokodo (ironically and quite perversely) had been a member, announced his death. Lokodo, 64, was previously a Catholic priest until then-Pope Benedict XVI excommunicated him in 2006.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2022/01/31/champi

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