Blog Archives

Big Wins For Gay Marriage

On the last day of the its term the Supreme Court today handed twin victories to the cause of marriage equality.

If there was an empty seat in the courtroom I couldn’t see it.

Justice Kennedy had the first opinion, U.S. v Windsor, in which the Court found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.And of course Justice Scalia read a lenghty dissent.

The second victory for same-sex marriage was by default in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts where the Court found that the petitioners in support of California’s Proposition 8 lacked standing, thereby allowing the lower court’s ruling to stand.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court

Supreme Court Waters Down Voting Rights Act

A 5-4 divided Court today struck down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, effectively putting the burden on victims of voter descrimination to seek relief. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for a majority that included Justices Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy and Alito.In a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, Justice Ginsburg wrote, “Hubris is a fit word for today’s demolition of the Voting Rights Act”.

Lyle Denniston’s take on the opinion is here.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court

Fisher Fails to Finish ‘Firmative Action

On the first day of what promises to be a steamy week in Washington, at least outside the Supreme Court building, the Court announced its opinion in a long awaited affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas. When the case was argued back in October it appeared that the University’s use of race as an admissions factor might be struck down.Instead, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court said such programs must meet the test of “strict scrutiny” as well as being“narrowly tailored”.

Surprisingly, for a case argued at the beginning of the term, there was but one dissenter in the 7-1 decision (Justice Kagan took no part), Justice Ginsburg.

 ”The Court rightly declines to cast off the equal protection framework …”, writes Ginsburg. “Yet it stops short of reaching the conclusion that (it) warrants.”

Justice Alito took a sip from his coffee cup.

 

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court

The End of the Civil Rights Era?

6a00d8341cd0df53ef017d415a08a7970c-800wi
Notables of the civil rights movement sat in the audience as the Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments in a major challenge to the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder6a00d8341cd0df53ef017d415a1141970c-800wi
From 1965 when President Johnson signed it into law to the election of the first African-American president, the Voting Rights Act has been the most important and successful civil rights law ever passed. So successful that a slim majority of the Court seem to think that its most important part, Section 5, is so outdated it’s no longer constitutional.
6a00d8341cd0df53ef017ee8cdf4b8970d-800wi

Justice Scalia,below, to Solicitor General Verrilli on why the were no votes against the 2006 reauthorization in the Senate, “I think that’s attributable to a phenomenon that has been called the perpetuation of racial entitlements.”
6a00d8341cd0df53ef017ee8ce0398970d-800wi

Bob Barnes has WaPo story here.

 

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court

RIP John Payton

One of the nation’s greatest civil rights attorneys NAACP Legal Defense Fund president John Payton passed away yesterday.  SC030401wide_PaytonHe is shown here arguing before the Supreme Court in Gratz v. Bollinger, April 1, 2003.

In Memoriam

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Arguments, History, Supreme Court
2013_Blawg100Honoree_300x300
TWITTER @courtartist

Blog Updates

Enter your name and email below to receive blog updates via email.