Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) Wednesday instructed the state Department of Public Health to deliver a notice to county clerks saying that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in California once the injunction on those marriages is lifted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The order comes directly in the wake of the Supreme Court's dismissal of the Prop 8 appeal.

"The effect of the district court's injunction is that same-sex couples will once again be allowed to marry in California," the notice said. "But they will not be able to marry until the Ninth Circuit issues a further order dissolving a stay of the injunction that has been in place throughout the appeal process."

It could be a month or more before that injunction is lifted and clerks are allowed to issue marriage licenses, according to the notice.  

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Wednesday said the Supreme Court's striking of the Defense of Marriage Act violated the "clear will" of the American people.

"Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted," Bachmann said in a statement.

"For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.

"Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people’s representatives through DOMA.," she added. "What the Court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States."

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer was quick to cast the Supreme Court's ruling Wednesday on the Defense of Marriage Act as against the "laws of nature."

"The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable. Matter of time," the conservative radio host tweeted, and he continued to vow to defend marriage as "God has defined it."


Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) called the Supreme Court's ruling on his state's Proposition 8 a "step forward for equality and freedom" -- and went as far as to predict that clerks in California would begin issuing marriage licenses Wednesday.

"I imagine some forward-looking clerks may issue marriage licenses in California today," Takano told MSNBC. "I challenge clerks in California to do so."

Takano told MSNBC that he "sensed a change" in his district and in the state of California, as he was elected as that state's first openly gay member of Congress just four years after Prop 8's passage. He predicted that the celebrations would ripple far beyond both Washington and California. 

"I imagine there will be dancing in the streets tonight in Washington and in cities across the country," he said.

Plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case before the Supreme Court and gay rights activists gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court this morning to await the decisions in the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 cases. See photos below:


Matt Lauer confronted Paula Deen about her allegedly racist recorded comments Wednesday, days after Deen skipped out on an originally scheduled "Today Show" interview and was dropped from lucrative contracts, including the Food Network.

Lauer was blunt about the repercussions the comments and surrounding media firestorm had on Deen's business empire and pressed her to take a critical eye to her own brand.

"Given the same circumstances, would you have fired you?" Lauer asked.

"Would I have fired me? Knowing me? No."

Watch the interview below, courtesy of NBC News

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday he was "frustrated" with the results of an epic special legislative session after he declared at about 3 a.m. that the state's hotly contested abortion bill could not be passed.

Dewhurst said an "unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics" defeated the legislation he said was intended to protect women and babies, according to the Texas Tribune.

Protesters in the gallery erupted in cheers along with Senate Democrats when the clock struck midnight without a final vote having taken place, preventing Republican senators from completing the voting process within the constitutionally prescribed time and effectively defeating the bill.

President Barack Obama congratulated Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) late Tuesday night on the congressman's victory over Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez for the open Massachusetts Senate seat.

"Ed has distinguished himself as a leader on many of the key challenges of our time—from fighting carbon pollution to protecting our children from gun violence to creating good, middle-class jobs,"  Obama said in a statement. "He’s earned a reputation as an effective, creative legislator, willing to partner with colleagues across the aisle to make progress on the issues that matter most. The people of Massachusetts can be proud that they have another strong leader fighting for them in the Senate, and people across the country will benefit from Ed’s talent and integrity."

Obama also thanked Secretary of State John Kerry, the former senator Markey will be replacing for the remainder of his term, for his service in both the Senate and the State Department.

A Minnesota state representative used a racially charged epithet in a tweet he later deleted Tuesday to refer to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

"VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas," State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) tweeted in response to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a core provision of the Voting Rights Act.

After receiving a firestorm of negative responses to the tweet, Winkler deleted that message and apologized in further tweets, claiming that he "did not understand 'Uncle Tom' as a racist term" and that "there seems to be some debate about it."

"I intended to point out the fact that Justice Thomas had turned his back on African-American civil rights," Winkler told the Star Tribune in an interview. "I did not intend it as a racially derogatory term and I probably reacted too hastily in using a word that is very loaded. He said that he thought of the term as simply one that meant turncoat. I guess my judgment is way off." 

Follow Rep. Winkler's responses to his original deleted tweet below:

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) praised the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act Tuesday, claiming that a provision struck from the legislation had "imposed an extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty."

“For nearly 50 years, Sections 4 and 5 have imposed an extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty in certain states, including South Carolina," Wilson said in a statement posted on the attorney general's website. "Over time, great strides have been made and Sections 4 and 5 have become obsolete.

“Today’s decision means the voting rights of all citizens will continue to be protected under the Voting Rights Act without requiring a different formula for states wishing to implement reasonable election reforms, such as voter ID laws similar to South Carolina’s," he continued. "This is a victory for all voters as all states can now act equally without some having to ask for permission or being required to jump through the extraordinary hoops demanded by federal bureaucracy.”

Wilson isn't the first South Carolina GOP politician to defend the Supreme Court's decision: earlier in the day Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) called the ruling a "win for fairness" and a win for the state of South Carolina.