Today's Supreme Court Decisions: Voting Rights, Baby Girl
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The Supreme Court has ruled in several key cases today:
- Most notably, the court has struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets the formula that determines whether certain parts of the country with a history of racial discrimination need to get federal "preclearance" before enacting voting changes. It is now up to Congress to develop a new formula, which has existed since the 1960s.
- In the case of "Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl" the court rules in favor of the adoptive parents, and that the Indian Child Welfare Act does not provide enough legal standing for the biological father to claim custody.
Get Up To Speed on the Key Decisions: Our SCOTUS Reading List
Still to Be Decided
- The Same-Sex Marriage Cases:
-- Hollingsworth vs. Perrry: Challenges Prop. 8, which amended the California state constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry.
-- Windsor vs. United States: Challenges the federal definition that marriage — and the associated benefits — is between a man and a woman.
USA Today Primer | WNYC Breakdown | United States v. Windsor (Scotus Blog) | Holligsworth v. Perry (Scotus Blog)
- The Voting Rights Act Case:
On Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which mandates that certain parts of the country get “preclearance” from the federal government before making election law changes.
Primer from The Root | Heritage's Shelby 101 | Shelby County v. Holder (Scotus Blog)
- The Indian Adoption Case
On whether an unwed biological father, who initially renounced his custodial rights to his daughter, can rely on a federal law – the Indian Child Welfare Act – to block her adoption by the couple who had cared for her since birth.
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (Scotus Blog) | "Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl" (Radiolab)
- The Affirmative Action Case (Decided Monday):
A white plaintiff, denied admission, claims that University of Texas’s policy of taking race and class into account when admitting students constitutes racial discrimination. Court ruled to send the case back to the lower court.
Fisher Opinion (PDF) | Analysis from Geoffrey Stone | WNYC Explainer | Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Scotus Blog) | Sherrilyn Ifill Op-Ed (NYTimes) | Valerie Strauss Response to Iffil (Washington Post)
- The Workplace Discrimination Case (Decided Monday) Court issues a pro-business decision that claims workplace discrimination under Title VII of the voting rights act only counts in cases where a supervisor has hiring and firing power over an employee.
Vance Opinion (PDF) | Analysis from Geoffrey Stone | NPR Recap | SCOTUSBlog Info
- The Voter Registration Case (Decided Last Week): Read the Decision | More on Arizona vs. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (Scotus Blog)
- The Gene Patenting Case (Decided Last Week): Noah Feldman's Analysis | The Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. | Full Opinon (PDF)