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FROM THIS EPISODE

Some 18,000 gays and lesbians are still legally married in California because they took their vows before Proposition 8 was passed by the voters in 2008. Today, Prop 8 supporters asked that those marriages be nullified. Their main purpose, though, was defense of Prop 8, the ban on same-sex marriage, which is being challenged in federal court.  We hear more about today's closing arguments. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, in his first speech from the Oval Office last night, President Obama explained what he called his “battle plan” for the Gulf oil spill.  Did he succeed in a broader goal: reassuring Americans that he has the disaster under control?  We hear conflicting opinions.  

Banner image: Supporters of same-sex marriage carry signs during a rally at San Francisco City Hall following the California Supreme Court's ruling to uphold Proposition 8 May 26, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Andrea Brody
Christian Bordal

Main Topic The Prop 8 Arguments Are Over, Now It's Up to the Judge 25 MIN, 45 SEC

California voters passed Proposition 8 by a 52% majority in 2008, limiting marriage to one man and one woman, and effectively banning same-sex marriage. In 2009, the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, but allowed existing same-sex marriages to stand. In the most recent Constitutional challenge,  for two weeks in January, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker heard testimony for and against. Today he heard four hours of closing arguments. In California's 100-year-old initiative process, how often has "the will of the people" been overturned by a judge? Will this case go before the Supreme Court?

Guests:
Joshua Ferris, author
John Eastman, National Organization for Marriage (@Chapman_Law)
Ralph Richard Banks, Stanford University
Patrick Egan, New York University

Main Topic The Gulf Oil Spill and the Obama Presidency 26 MIN, 40 SEC

At the White House today, BP agreed to establish a $20 billion trust fund to pay claims from the Gulf oil spill. The fund will be overseen by Kenneth Feinberg, who handled victims' claims in the aftermath of September 11. Last night, in his first speech from the Oval Office President Obama outlined what he called his “battle plan” for the Gulf oil spill.

Guests:
John Tesvich, Ameripure
Jody Freeman, Harvard Law School (@Harvard_Law)
Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone magazine (@7im)
Walter Shapiro, Yahoo News and Columbia Journalism Review (@waltershapiroPD)

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