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US Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Voting Rights Act, No DOMA, Prop 8

The Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States

And we start with an opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, who yesterday showed off the kind of maturity that a Supreme Court Justice is suppose to exhibit by not rolling his eyes while another justice speaks. Oh sorry, he totally did that. He kept rolling his eyes while Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg was reading her dissent on a particular opinion. The first opinion of the day was about obtaining land by the government in Florida.

This must reverse Haley v. United States (for those who don’t get the reference, please watch more Mel Brooks movies).

We do not have opinions from either Justice Elena Kagan or Justice Sonya Sotomayor today.

Okay, the next one on the Supreme Court docket is Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. According to SCOTUSblog “Assuming for the sake of argument that the biological father is a parent under the Indian Child Welfare Act, neither of the two sections at issue bars the termination of his parental rights.” This is a victory for adoptive parents. According to them at issue was “ Whether a non-custodial parent can invoke the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-63, to block an adoption voluntarily and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent under state law; and (2) whether ICWA defines “parent” in 25 U.S.C. § 1903(9) to include an unwed biological father who has not complied with state law rules to attain legal status as a parent.”

The Voting Rights Act: Section 4 was struck down. “Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. Its formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.” It was a five-to-four decision. According to the decision, the VRA was fine back in 1966, but since then, it has become outdated. This apparently does not preclude the widening of the VRA to cover the entire country, but it can no longer be applied to just a narrow number of states.

According to the Court “Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions”

In her dissent, Justice Ginsberg states “In the Court’s view, the very success of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy.” Justice Thomas would do away with the whole thing if possible, which is not entirely surprising.

That was it. That means same-sex marriage will be tomorrow.

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