August 2010 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of August 2010.
- CA Gay Marriage Ban Overturned (Aug. 4): A federal judge strikes down the voter-approved gay marriage ban in California, calling the law unconstitutional. Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California, claims that the law, which was voted into place with 52% of the vote in 2008 as Proposition 8, discriminates against gay men and women. (Aug. 12): Judge Walker lifts the stay on the banning of gay marriage in California, allowing same-sex couples to marry while higher courts consider the matter. He delays implementation of the order until August 18, however. (Aug. 16): A U.S. appeals court rules that same-sex couples cannot marry in the state of California while the court considers the constitutionality of the ban.
- Senate Confirms Supreme Court Nominee, Elena Kagan (Aug. 5) The United States Senate votes 63 to 37 to confirm President Obama's most recent nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, as the newest Justice. Kagan is only the fourth woman to ever hold this position, and she'll be the third female member of the current bench, joining Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Kagan is the former dean of Harvard Law School; she'll be the only member of the current Supreme Court to have no previous experience as a judge.
- Former Gov. Blagojevich Convicted of Single Corruption Count (Aug. 17): Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (Dem.), who was forced out of office in 2009 for corruption charges, is found guilty of one of the 24 counts against him, making false statements to federal agents. After 14 days of deliberation, the jury claims that they are deadlocked on the remaining counts and are unable to make a unanimous decision. Blagojevich faces up to five years in prison for the conviction, though prosecutors announce immediately they plan on a retrial for the other charges.
- Obama Announces End to Combat Mission in Iraq (Aug. 31) Seven years after the war in Iraq began, President Obama announces the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom with a withdrawal of combat troops. Obama emphasizes that U.S. domestic problems, mainly the flailing economy and widespread unemployment, are more pressing matters to his country. The U.S. will continue to be a presence in Iraq, mainly with civilian contractors but also with a smaller military contingent of approximately 50,000 troops. The remaining troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.