Scott Shafer's Latest Posts
About a hundred people turned out last night at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club to hear Ross Mirkarimi discuss the domestic dispute with his wife that embroiled his first year as San Francisco Sheriff in controversy, legal disputes, a suspension from office and — about six weeks ago — reinstatement by the Board of Supervisors. I served as moderator.
On Wednesday I was in Sacramento talking to state workers and others about public employee pensions and calls for reforming the system when I stumbled upon a group of 75 or so California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) employees in the middle of a “team-building” baseball game and picnic in Sacramento’s Land Park. It was […]
I’d just finished posting a blog item about Anderson Cooper’s coming out on my Facebook page when the phone rang. It was George Osterkamp, a producer in the CBS News Bureau in San Francisco. I’d met George in my previous life as press secretary to then-San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos. He wanted to know if […]
Analysis: Obama Loss on Arizona Immigration Law Could Help in Election; Transcripts of Today’s SCOTUS Arguments
When is a loss a win? If the U.S. Supreme Court rejects the Obama Administration’s arguments and upholds Arizona’s tough immigration law, that could very well be the case. Judging by today’s oral arguments, SCOTUS seems likely to uphold some if not all of the law, which allows Arizona police to seek citizenship documentation from […]
The Chief Judge of California’s Northern District Court last year ordered video tapes of the Prop. 8 trial released. But a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today disagreed — and it wasn’t close. In a 3-0 decision written by Stephen Reinhardt, the court ruled that Judge Ware abused his discretion in releasing the tapes, essentially breaking a promise made by Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the historic Prop. 8 trial in 2010.
Governor Jerry Brown Tuesday named his first 14 appointments to County Superior Courts. And the governor’s choices defy the typical judicial profile. Today, the California judiciary is overwhelmingly male and more than 70 percent white. But Governor Brown’s first appointments in seven counties reflect an effort to change that. More than half of his new […]
The West Coast premiere of “8″, the stage play written by Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”), will star George Clooney. The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which is funding the legal team fighting Prop. 8, announced that Clooney will perform at a March 3 staged reading scheduled at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. The […]
Prop 8: Oral Arguments Thursday on Whether Judge Vaughn Walker Had Confict of Interest as Gay Man in Long-Term Relationship
It’s been exactly a year since a panel of 9th Circuit Court judges heard oral arguments on an appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision striking down Prop. 8 for violating the U.S. Constitution. No decision has been rendered on that appeal, and none is likely soon. But Thursday that same panel will hear two […]
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. And yet very few of the thousands who visit the park each year ever stop to see the National AIDS Memorial Grove, just a stone’s throw from the popular de Young Museum. And until last night, I was one of them. I […]
The November 8th mayoral election in San Francisco is ranked choice voting’s biggest moment. Other cities (including Oakland and even San Francisco in previous less-contested elections) have used this “instant runoff system” before. But this is by far the most consequential: A major U.S. city that’s politically progressive and has a diverse population with many […]