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LABroadsheet_ 03-28-2012_ A_ 1_ A1_ WEST_ 1_C K Y M TSet: 03-27-2012 23:26


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It’s Showtime for Dodgers Magic Johnson’s group to buy for $2 billion; McCourt keeps small land stake By Bill Shaikin and David Wharton


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, citing serious concerns about equipment failures at the San Onofre nuclear power plant, has prohibited Southern California Edison from restarting the plant until the problems are thoroughly understood and fixed. The plant has been shut down for two months, the longest in San Onofre’s history, after a tube leak in one of the plant’s steam generators released a small amount of radioactive steam. Since then, unusual wear has been found on hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water. Neither regulators nor Edison have said when they believe the plant will reopen. San Onofre is a major supplier of power for Southern California, producing about [See San Onofre, A11]

Dana Verkouteren Associated Press

SOLICITOR GEN. Donald Verrilli Jr. defends the insurance mandate before the Supreme Court. Comments

by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Anthony Kennedy suggest the court could strike down the rule.

Health mandate gets hard look Key justices are skeptical of government’s power to require insurance By David G. Savage and Noam N. Levey WASHINGTON — The legal fate of President Obama’s embattled healthcare law has always turned on winning over the center of

Mel Melcon Los Angeles Times

VITO VINCENT visits The Grove in L.A. His TV

credits include “The Colbert Report” and “30 Rock.” COLUMN ONE

Clawing his way toward stardom Vito Vincent wowed everyone in New York, but Hollywood has proved to be a much tougher town. By Nita Lelyveld


oor Vito Vincent, who came to Hollywood chasing a dream. He’s been in L.A. for nearly a year without landing a single acting gig. Once he was homeless in New York. But before he came West last May, Vito was living a Cinderella story there. His career was taking off. He’d appeared in print and TV ads. He’d been on a pilot, guest-starred on “The Colbert Report” and scored a

small spot on “30 Rock.” Even now, emails arrive with offers on the other coast. But here, nothing — and not for lack of trying. People all over town have Vito Vincent’s head shots. And whenever he’s out in public, he generates buzz. When shoppers at The Grove spy him sitting on a patio or going up the glass steps at the Apple store, they inevitably stop what they’re doing to gaze, snap cellphone photos, try to touch him. Still, Vito Vincent doesn’t have an agent. He can’t even get an audition. What exactly does a talented tabby cat have to do to catch a break in this town? Vito’s biggest acting role to date is Christiane Amanpurr. [See Cat, A12]

the Supreme Court: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. But as the court considered whether the federal government could require most Americans to get health insurance, Kennedy appeared to deal the president and his allies a heavy blow. The mandate, he said, “changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.” Kennedy called the insurance requirement “concerning” and suggested it might be “unprecedented.” Predicting decisions based on justices’ comments during arguments can be risky. And on the second day of oral arguments over the landmark law, Kennedy and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. at times seemed to agree with the government’s view that because everyone is likely to need medical care at some time, Congress might have more latitude to require purchase of insurance than of some other product. But those moments were exceptions. Overall, the skepticism about the insur-

ance mandate expressed by Roberts and Kennedy seemed to set the stage for a 5-4 decision, with the court’s five Republican appointees pitted against its four Democratic appointees. Such a ruling would strike out the heart of Obama’s healthcare law, his signature domestic achievement, in the middle of the presidential campaign, which could become a significant, and unpredictable, factor in the election. Not since the mid-1930s has the Supreme Court struck down a major regulatory act of Congress. A ruling against the mandate would not necessarily overturn all of the healthcare law. The question of how much might be left is one the justices will grapple with in Wednesday’s arguments, the finale of three days of debate over the law. But on Tuesday, at least, the administration’s supporters were dispirited. “It certainly didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would for the government,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee [See Healthcare, A10]


Plan could bar new coal power plants

China’s trademark squatters sit tight

The Obama administration’s proposed rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions would virtually rule out such facilities. NATION, A9

State parks saved from closure Victoria Will Associated Press

Critic: ‘I just ♥ Ron Swanson’ Mary McNamara, an otherwise fair and sober-minded critic of television, admits she has a soft spot when it comes to the “Parks and Recreation” character played by Nick Offerman. CALENDAR

A group led by Lakers legend Magic Johnson emerged Tuesday night as the new owners of the Dodgers, ending months of uncertainty for the storied but troubled baseball franchise. Johnson, who guided the Lakers to five NBA championships during the “Showtime” era of the 1980s, is a partner in the group along with longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten and movie executive Peter Guber. The controlling owner would be Mark Walter, chief executive officer of Guggenheim Partners, a Chicagobased financial services company. Walter and McCourt met privately in New York on Tuesday, coming to an agreement only hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three final bidders. The winning group paid $2 billion for the team — a record for a sports franchise — according to an announcement issued jointly with previous owner Frank McCourt. “I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise,” Johnson said in the statement, adding the new owners “intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section.” After taking the team into bankruptcy last year, McCourt had sought to retain control of the parking lots surrounding the ballpark. Under the deal, Johnson’s group will control those stadium lots. But it also was announced that McCourt and [See Dodgers, A13]

Private and public donations promised to the state will allow 11 parks to stay open this summer. LATEXTRA Complete Index ...... AA2 Weather Page ......... AA8 Printed with soy inks on partially recycled paper.


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‘When you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this … unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?’ — Justice Anthony M. Kennedy LEANING TOWARD THE MANDATE

‘The people who don’t participate in this market are making it much more expensive for the people who do ... and the result is that everybody else’s premiums get raised.’ — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By David Pierson BEIJING — The Kardashian sisters don’t sell their clothing and perfume in China, and you can’t buy authentic J. Crew khakis here. But both names are already trademarked by Chinese businesspeople looking to profit from American enterprises that want to tap China’s booming retail market. Extortion? Nope. It’s called “trademark squatting.” And it’s legal in China, where trademarks generally are awarded to those who are first to register them with government author-

Gary Friedman Los Angeles Times


Lakers legend known for community work, will own small Dodgers stake.

ities. If these and other U.S. companies want to use their own names, they probably will have to pay the Chinese holder for the rights. That’s a major contrast to the U.S., where the law tends to favor the first user. And it has led to a crush of applications in China to tie up the names and logos of well-known foreign brands, either to resell them or use them on Chinese-made products. About 600,000 trademarks were filed in China last year, according to Thomson Reuters research. That’s about three times more than in the U.S., the [See Trademarks, A6]


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