The Note: Just Born That Way

Presciently or because of what Hardy calls "hap," the Washington Blade's Lou Chibbaro Jr., this week wrote, "[a]lso under scrutiny is Roberts' potential view on the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The clause was cited by the Supreme Court in another landmark gay rights case, Romer vs. Evans. In that decision, the court overturned a Colorado law that banned cities and towns within the state form adopting ordinances banning discrimination against gays in employment, housing and other areas." " LINK

"We have no way of knowing how Roberts feels on Romer," [said Michael Adams, an attorney and director of education and public affairs for Lambda Legal.]

Maura Reynolds follows up on Newsday's reporting in her Los Angeles Times look at lobbyist John Roberts. LINK

(New York) Timespeople Toner and Glater bang the Roberts drum on the Reagan-era civil rights fights again. LINK

Stylin' Hanna Rosin goes behind the scenes of the Democrats' "Nom Unit" in the Washington Post. LINK

Ohio's 2nd CD:

If you thought the nation's big-foot political reporters were going to take a "wait and see" approach in assessing the meaning of Tuesday's results out of the special election in southwestern Ohio, you'd be wrong.

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein explores the factors that contributed to Hackett's strong performance in the heavily Republican district and wonders what it tells us, if anything, about what to expect in 2006. Note Charlie Cook coming down on the side that it may have had to do more with Taft dissatisfaction than Bush/Iraq dissatisfaction. LINK

One senior GOP strategist offered this up to Brownstein, blindly: "In a district that Republican, these are things you should take very seriously."

Dr. Brownstein made sure to include this blind quote as well: "'I think it means nothing for next year,' said one GOP strategist familiar with White House thinking."

Michael Barone on the US News website looks at the data, checks the blogs, and concludes "...if I were Karl Rove or Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman, I would be thinking hard about how to motivate the Republican base." LINK

Newt Gingrich warns the GOP to stay on its toes in light of Ohio 2. More, from Dan Balz and Thomas Edsall of the Washington Post:

"Republican apathy, dissatisfaction with Bush and congressional Republicans, a GOP scandal in Ohio, and Hackett's energetic, anti-Iraq campaign all may have contributed to keep the race closer than expected, according to strategists in both parties." LINK

"GOP officials in Washington said the race carried no significant implications for the 2006 elections. They noted (sic) that special elections are often poor predictors of election trends and said they saw nothing to suggest real unhappiness with Bush or the GOP congressional leadership."

"White House spokesman Allen Abney said the president is pleased with Schmidt's victory. President Bush called Schmidt from his Texas ranch about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to congratulate her on her win, Abney said," reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. LINK

More from the Enquirer: "Ohio Republican Party spokesman Jason Mauk conceded that the race was a 'wake-up call' to Republicans, reminding them that Ohio remains a competitive, two-party battleground state."

Big Casino budget politics:

A trifecta of must reads:

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