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AFTER THE SCANDAL DIES DOWN, REFUGE AT THE BANKER’S CLUB Opening his remarks Wednesday at a debate over a federal constitutional amendment on marriage, Boalt Hall School of Law professor John Yoo started by saying it was good to get away to a less “radical” atmosphere than “the People’s Republic of Berkeley.” The event, hosted by the Federalist Society, was held at the top of the Bank of America Building in San Francisco. Yoo weathered an onslaught of criticism from students this year after the release, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, of a memo he wrote when he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in 2002. Clearly, Yoo doesn’t count himself among Berkeley’s liberals. But he’s also not among the fans of President Bush’s strategy to put language in the U.S. Constitution that would limit marriage to a one-man, one-woman union. Christopher Meekins, an associate at White & Case in Los Angeles, spoke against the proposed federal amendment at last week’s event hosted by the San Francisco Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. John Eastman, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, argued in favor. Yoo advocated a different kind of constitutional amendment — one that would allow each state to decide how to define marriage but at the same time excuse them from having to recognize definitions from other states. That approach would allow for experimentation, he argued, so more data could be collected on the results of allowing same-sex marriage. Yoo said he’s expressed similar thoughts before, with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. That led him to poke fun once again at local politics, saying, “I don’t even know if The Wall Street Journal editorial page is allowed to circulate in San Francisco.” — Pam Smith 13 PILLSBURY LAYOFFS The mood turned sour at Pillsbury Winthrop last week when the firm laid off 13 administrative staffers. Firm management “is pretty rigorous about monitoring staffing levels,” said Pillsbury Winthrop spokeswoman Crystal Rockwood. The firm determined that it “made sense to consolidate or move” the positions to keep the firm running efficiently. “It’s never easy,” she added. Five administrative staff members in San Francisco were let go. The rest worked in the New York, San Diego, Orange County and Northern Virginia offices. Many of the staffers who were terminated had worked at the firm for 15 to 20 years, according to one secretary who was laid off. The secretary, who asked not to be named, said, “It was age discrimination.” In 1997, four women accused then-Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro of age discrimination and eventually settled their suit against the firm for an undisclosed amount. — Adrienne Sanders PRO-PROP 64 AD ROLLOUT The two committees formed to support Proposition 64, aimed at limiting Business and Professions Code � 17200, have begun spending some of the millions roll-ing in from auto dealers and big corpora-tions. Supporters have raised more than $10 million since the two committees were formed last year. More than $800,000 has come in during the month of August alone. Last week the two committees shelled out big bucks for a full-page advertisement in The Sacramento Bee, urging legislators not to fall for the legislative “fix” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged from the sidelines. The ad — at a rate of $20,000 a day — is aimed at deriding SB 185, a last-minute try by state environmentalists to reach a com-promise on 17200 before the November election. Prop 64 supporters also held a confer-ence call to hammer home the idea that 17200 hasn’t been a useful tool in enforce-ment of state environmental regulations. Participants included two partners at Nos-saman Guthner Knox & Elliott — Carol Brophy and Bion Gregory, who served 25 years as the state’s legislative counsel — and Allan Zaremberg, president of the Califor-nia Chamber of Commerce, which is back-ing Prop 64. A memo co-authored by Gregory and Brophy concluded that a review of state case law found “no significant environ-mental victory on behalf of a citizen group” as a result of using 17200. California League of Conservation Vot-ers Board President Tom Adams rebutted the memo in a letter Wednesday to Legisla-tive Affairs Secretary Richard Costigan, claiming, “Proposition 64 will, without a doubt, substantially weaken environmental enforcement.” — Jill Duman

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