Constantine: Saved by a Smoke

constantine-nbc-06-no-smoking

Over the course of the last few episodes I’ve reassessed my initial criticism of NBC’s Constantine series. Yes, the acting is still terrible. Yes, the direction is still sloppy and unfocused. Yes, the story is inconsequential. Yes, the ensemble characters seem to disappear and reappear without purpose.

But in the second half of the short season they’ve gotten one thing absolutely right, and it nearly redeems the entire series: John Constantine is a chain smoker. If nothing else (and there isn’t much), the producers and NBC should be applauded for staying true to the character and keeping his most well known trait in full view.

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A surprising number of judges who rule for gay marriage are Republicans

US-JUSTICE-GAY-MARRIAGESince the Supreme Court’s Windsor case in 2013 striking down the restrictive federal definition of marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act, there has been a flurry of court activity in nearly all 50 states. Almost all of it has resulted in overturned marriage bans. As the news has rolled in from dozens of states over the last year and a half, I’ve tried to keep out for an pro-marriage equality rulings from Republican or Republican-appointed judges. Today I challenged myself to actually compile them all.

It took several hours scouring websites beginning with Freedom to Marry‘s exhaustive (but imperfect) list of state and federal court rulings, then filling in the blanks at Wikipedia and Judgepedia. I have included and highlighted circuit court panel rulings on previously decided cases. Here’s the full list.

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