The American public is waiting anxiously for the Supreme Court to hand down a judgment on affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act, and marriage equality; as of June 14, we’re still waiting.
If they’ve all blended together in your mind by this point, here’s a quick rundown:
Affirmative action: A lawsuit, Fisher v. University of Texas, is challenging the university’s affirmative action policy; the suit claims that the University of Texas’ affirmative action policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Of note is that the school accepts Texas students who were in the top 10% of their class regardless of race, and in 2008 this made up 81% of their undergraduate admissions. Plaintiff Abigail Noel Fisher’s 3.59 GPA put her in the top 12%.
The Voting Rights Act: Read the full text of the act here. Up for debate is the constitutionality of section 5, which forbids any sort of intellectual test to qualify to vote. It was enacted to prevent racial inequalities in registering to vote; white people were given laughably easy questions, while people of color were given questions deliberately selected to be too difficult for them to answer.
California’s Proposition 8: Forbids same-sex marriages from being performed in the state, although marriages from elsewhere are recognized.
Defense of Marriage Act: Forbids same-sex marriage from being recognized at the federal level.
The Supreme Court did rule on June 13 that human genes cannot be patented by companies, a huge victory for medical science.
SCOTUSBlog has predicted that an official opinion on gay marriage is most likely to come on June 26 or 27.