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Lisa Pickoff-White

Lisa Pickoff-White is KQED's Senior Interactive News Producer. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive. Lisa specializes in visual journalism, including photography and data.

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Lisa Pickoff-White's Latest Posts

Quick Look: San Onofre Shutdown Could Impact Southern California Summer Power

June 7, 2013 | 4:43 pm

Quick Look: San Onofre Shutdown Could Impact Southern California Summer Power

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Source: Kqed The San Onofre nuclear plant has not operated since January 2012, when a radioactive leak was discovered in one of its generators. The permanent closure could put pressure on California’s electrical grid in the long-term. The California Independent System Operator, which manages the grid, does not expect statewide problems with power supply this […]

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News Pix: Central Valley Farmers Flood Their Fields, Cal Women Head to Final Four and Berkeley’s Outstanding Architecture

April 5, 2013 | 1:08 pm

News Pix: Central Valley Farmers Flood Their Fields, Cal Women Head to Final Four and Berkeley’s Outstanding Architecture

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Terranova Ranch sits southeast of Fresno in the King’s River basin, an area where farmers are pumping unsustainable volumes of water in dry years. At the other extreme, farms and communities here risk floods when rivers are pulsing with too much water. Terranova is experimenting with a way to address both problems. They capture excess […]

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DOMA Oral Arguments Explained

March 27, 2013 | 5:53 pm

DOMA Oral Arguments Explained

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For almost two hours Supreme Court justices heard arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The court covered wide ground, once again spending a significant amount of time on the topic of standing. This time the questions were around whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had the legal right to sue. As in Proposition 8, the standing question could give the court the option to avoid the case by ruling that it should not have gone through the court system.

Supreme Court (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

The justices also spent time on whether the federal government should be in the marriage business at all, or if that should be left to the states. Several justices also challenged President Barack Obama’s 2011 decision to stop upholding DOMA, and what kinds of precedent that sets. Solicitor General Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. often tried to bring up the equal protection clause, and whether it applies to gays and lesbians. However, the court often took that question and went back to federal versus states legal rights.

UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar discussed the oral arguments with KQED News.

Standing

Amar: If one is going to read tea leaves based on the oral argument, it seems as if the court is not inclined to do something huge, in striking down the laws of 40 states that currently prohibit same-sex marriage. My big take-away from this has always been, the court did not really want to take these cases. … They may end up doing nothing at all, because both cases may get resolved on procedural standing grounds.

The basic idea is courts exist to decide crisp disputes, not just answer questions everyone wants answered. So unless you have somebody who is a plaintiff who has a lot at stake, and you have a defendant who is an appropriate defendant, then the court simply should not be able to render a ruling.

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March 27, 2013 | 10:54 am

Audio, Transcript of Supreme Court DOMA Oral Arguments

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On Wednesday morning the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

Listen to the hearing:

Read the transcript:

Read all the of the case filings in the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases.

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Proposition 8 Oral Arguments Explained

March 26, 2013 | 6:01 pm

Proposition 8 Oral Arguments Explained

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After a long and winding road, Proposition 8 had its day at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. For more than an hour, the justices of the high court grilled attorneys on California’s same-sex marriage ban.

File photo of Supreme Court justices. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

The oral arguments were dominated by the question of standing, which focused on whether the authors of Prop. 8 have the legal right to defend the measure in court when the state refused to do so. Justices also grappled over the meaning of marriage and what role the court system should have in changing long-held traditions.

The questions that justices ask can shed light on their concerns and how they might rule. KQED spoke with Vikram Amar, a professor of law at UC Davis, about what certain arguments could mean.

Standing

Amar: I thought there were three, maybe four, maybe five justices already who expressed significant skepticism about whether the sponsors have standing to defend Prop. 8.

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March 26, 2013 | 9:59 am

Audio, Transcript of Supreme Court Proposition 8 Oral Arguments

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Listen to the oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court this morning.

Read the transcript:

Read all the of the case filings in the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases.

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News Pix: Alcatraz’s Glowing Millipedes, Devil’s Slide Construction and SF Symphony Strike

March 23, 2013 | 1:00 pm

News Pix: Alcatraz’s Glowing Millipedes, Devil’s Slide Construction and SF Symphony Strike

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More than a million visitors visit Alcatraz every year, but a recent discovery has revealed another attraction that lives within the shadows of this historic prison. A recent search for rats on the island turned up millipedes glowing intensely white instead. UC Davis entomologists are hard at work determining whether the millipedes are a known […]

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March 20, 2013 | 9:00 pm

Timeline: The Long Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage in California

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When the Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, it will mark one more step in a long legal battle to determine the ultimate disposition of the same-sex marriage ban.

And while the legal battle over Proposition 8 has been long and winding enough, the battle over same-sex marriage in California actually goes back even further, as you’ll see in this timeline.

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Oakland Neighbors Band Together Against Crime

March 4, 2013 | 7:10 pm

Oakland Neighbors Band Together Against Crime

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Source: Kqed Even though 40 new recruits will graduate this month from the Oakland Police Department’s academy, OPD is still severely understaffed due to major layoffs in 2010. Slow police response times and steady levels of crime have some residents looking to find their own solutions to crime in their neighborhoods. Read more at: www.kqed.org

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Watch Live Video From Around the Northeast as Blizzard Moves In

February 8, 2013 | 1:10 pm

Watch Live Video From Around the Northeast as Blizzard Moves In

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It’s that time of year when Californians watch our East Coast brethren duck for cover as the latest winter storm rolls in. But in this day and age of technology we are no longer tied to The Weather Channel or redialing mom for updates from home. Now we have live video webcams where we can […]

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