[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the California Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] today that a private country club must offer spousal discounts to same-sex domestic partners. The court found that the country club's policy of allowing members' spouses to golf for free while charging members' domestic partners was "impermissible marital status discrimination." In the majority opinion, Justice Carlos Moreno wrote that the court interpreted the language of California's Domestic Partner Act [PDF text] "to mean there shall be no discrimination in the treatment of registered domestic partners and spouses." The decision reversed the rulings of two lower courts. AP has more.
In other state legal news ...
- The US Environmental Protection Agencytold 28 states [EPA news release] Monday that if they fail to submit state plans for reducing power plant pollutants that form smog and soot and drift downwind, the EPA will write the reduction plans for the state. In March the agency announced the Clean Air Interstate Rule [JURIST report] which requires states in the East, South, and Midwest and the District of Columbia to reduce such pollutants. North Carolina petitioned the agency in 2004 to set emission controls for major emissions sources in upwind states, saying that the state can not meet federal air quality standards if upwind states do not reduce their pollutants. Read moree on the EPA's Clean Air Interstate Rule. AP has more.
- Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich [official website] has vetoed three firearms-related bills, saying they would weaken current law that aims to keep firearms out of criminal hands. The bills would have required police to purge background check data 90 days after the check is performed, eliminated a waiting period for gun owners trading one firearm for another and overridden local laws regulating the transportation of firearms. The governor signed legislation last week [press release] requiring all handguns that are sold by federally licensed firearms dealers in the state to include a safety lock and signed a law [text] requiring gun sellers, who are not federally licensed firearms dealers, to request a background check from state police before selling guns at gun shows. The Chicago Sun-Times has local coverage.
- The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled [text] that the state's law banning sex offenders and others who have been convicted of crimes against children from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day-care center is constitutional. The court found that while an offender's right to choose where to live is an important interest, the Legislature acted with an important public interest in mind when creating the law [PDF text]. The law has also been upheld [PDF text] by the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, but an order preventing the law from taking effect has not been lifted in federal court. Iowa's Quad-City Times has local coverage.