Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Proposition 8 is back in the news as three federal appellate judges in San Francisco hear arguments in not one, but two cases related to the gay-marriage ban.

The first case involves the appeal of a ruling to allow the release of videotapes made during the original trial. That hearing starts at 2:30 p.m.

In the second case, Proposition 8 backers had wanted a lower court to overturn Judge Vaughn Walker's decision declaring the measure unconstitutional, and their argument was this: Walker should have been disqualified from hearing the case because he was in a same-sex relationship. Their motion was denied. They're appealing that decision. The hearing starts at 3:30 p.m.

None of the appellate judges is based in Northern California. They are Judges Stephen Reinhardt of Los Angeles and N. Randy Smith of Pocatello, Idaho, and Senior Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of Phoenix, all of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Keep in mind that they aren't hearing arguments in the appeal of Walker's decision itself. That's the case in which the 9th Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to rule on whether a ballot measure's proponents had standing to defend it in court if state officials declined to do so. The state Supreme Court said yes. The 9th Circuit, however, has yet to rule on the issue of standing or Proposition 8's constitutionality.

Today's hearings will be videotaped for later broadcast by C-SPAN and the NBC-7 television station in San Diego. Click here to read the 9th Circuit's media advisory. You'll find links to more documents about the appeals embedded on the second page.

Back in Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown are hosting this year's California Hall of Fame induction ceremony tonight for 10 new honorees.

Among them are astronaut Buzz Aldrin, The Beach Boys surfer-rockers, scientist and Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, community activist and Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle, Gap founders and philanthropists Doris and Donald Fisher, basketball star Magic Johnson, disability rights advocate Ed Roberts, music legend Carlos Santana, novelist Amy Tan and California Supreme Court Justice Roger Traynor, a highly respected jurist who died in 1983.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Oprah Winfrey Network's Lisa Ling emcee the event at Memorial Auditorium. Red carpet arrivals begin at 6 p.m., and the ceremony starts at 7 p.m. The Comcast Hometown Network will broadcast both in the Sacramento area on Channel 104. You can also watch them live at the governor's website. Learn more about this year's honorees here.

TOXICS: The Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, looks at informal draft regulations for so-called green chemistry consumer products. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in the Capitol's Room 4202.

FPPC: The Fair Political Practices Commission considers revised gift regulations in such categories as "acts of neighborliness," "bona-fide dating," "acts of human compassion" and "best friends forever." The meeting starts at 10 a.m. at 428 J St., Suite 800. Click here to read the agenda.



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