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SUPREMES HAVE 4 CASES THEY MUST STILL DECIDE

03 Jun 2013

SUPREMES HAVE 4 CASES THEY MUST STILL DECIDE

National Journal reports, “With a little less than a month remaining in the current Supreme Court term, several major cases are still outstanding that could have widespread political impact. Windsor v. U.S. – Defense of Marriage Act This is the first of the two Supreme Court cases that involve same-sex marriage. At issue is the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed in 1996 that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Same-sex couples, therefore, are not granted the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples are given, such as medical leave and bankruptcy, Social Security, and pension benefits. Hollingsworth v. Perry – Proposition 8 Following a California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the state in 2008 52% of voters banned the practice in a ballot initiative later that year. While marriage licenses were put on hold, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled the proposition was unconstitutional, thereby allowing same-sex marriages to continue in the Golden State. Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin – Affirmative Action Abigail Fisher, a white woman who was rejected for admission to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, is suing the university for its admissions process that she says unfairly uses racial quotas. The case before the Supreme Court is exploring the issue of racial preferences in college-admission processes by public universities. Shelby County v. Holder – Voting Rights This county in Alabama argues that Section 5 in the Voting Rights Act, which requires several state and local governments to seek Justice Department approval when changing voting statutes, is outdated and unconstitutional.
SUPREMES DECLINE TO HEAR PLANNED PARENTHOOD CASE
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a case that would have banned Planned Parenthood—and other organizations involved in performing abortions—from receiving Medicaid funds, CBS News reports. The case, in which officials in Indiana sought to overturn a 7th U.S. Court of Appeals decision, involved a state law that targeted Planned Parenthood. Indiana is one of a dozen states that either considered or passed legislation that sought to keep funding from organizations that performed abortions. Federal courts must now decide if an injunction should be used to keep the overturned law from going into effect. National Journal rounds up four cases the Supreme Court must decide.
DEMOGRAPHICS and AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
With the Supreme Court set to rule on an affirmative-action case later this month, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein points out that the country’s changing demographics have altered the debate over affirmative action. “When the Supreme Court decided Bakke [in 1978], whites still made up 80% of America’s population, including almost three-fourths of those under 18. But minorities now constitute more than 36% of the total population and are on track to become a majority of the youth population before 2020.”

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