Legal Briefs: A Peek at Fred Baron's FBI File, and Cathedral of Hope's Prop. 8 Response

Whilst awaiting a sit-down with a source, allow me to marry two unrelated legal matters, baby:

Texas Watchdog has been Freedom of Information Act-ing out, requesting from the FBI the files of several "prominent Texas political figures" once they've expired. Today's installment is ... Fred Baron, the late asbestos litigator and John Edwards money man. The feds' look-see has nothing to do with the latter, but everything to do with allegations a decade ago that his firm was teaching plaintiffs how to lie in asbestos-claims cases. It was, in fact, the subject of this March 2001 Observer cover story -- which appears in the FBI file, matter of fact. Only, per the file, then-U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins told the bureau to forget about it, since this particular provision made looking into the matter one giant "administrative nightmare."...

And: No doubt you've heard by now that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. And while it'll most certainly wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court, Rev. Jo Hudson, the senior pastor at Cathedral of Hope, sends along this "pastoral response" to the good news, no matter how temporary:

Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker declared the California state law that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman unconstitutional. I applaud this ruling and believe that Judge Walker has issued a just and fair ruling that pleases God. The journey to full marriage equality for all Americans is still before us. But I have faith that the God who created each of us and called it good is with us in this journey and will see it through. As the world's largest predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender congregation, we stand with the 18,000 same-sex couples who have already been married in California and with the hundreds that have been married here at the Cathedral of Hope in our 40 years of ministry. We also stand with every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender person who has courageously made covenant with someone they love despite the laws in our nation. This is a day of celebration and joy and we have seen the realm of God come closer to the earth and for that I give God thanks.

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