With approximately two weeks remaining in its current term, the Supreme Court is set to hand down several high-stakes rulings in coming days.
The high court is first expected to rule in Fisher v. University of Texas, the case challenging the college's use of race in its admissions criteria. The court heard oral arguments in the case last October, during which several justices sharply questioned affirmative action's constitutionality.
The justices will then likely rule on Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. At issue is whether it is constitutional for the federal government to require preclearance for voting system changes in districts and states with a history of racial discrimination.
Finally, the Supreme Court will decide on two landmark gay marriage cases -- one on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and another on Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.
Decisions typically come on Monday and Thursdays, and the court's final scheduled session for this term is on June 24. However, the court may add additional dates to its schedule. SCOTUSblog predicts the rulings on same-sex marriage are most likely to come on June 26 or 27, based on the court's past decision patterns.
I've read that the Supreme Court has previously asked Congress to address the Voting Rights Act because they think it needs to be fixed, or adjusted, or narrowed (I can't remember what exactly they had a problem with) so that makes me think it's likely going to be struck down. It's just one of those things, those things being protections against voter suppression, that, while needed, are probably not easy to hold up in a legal sense.
I don't see how DOMA can survive. I would be flabbergasted to see it survive with even a 5-4 decision. Prop 8 is probably also going down since in California we'd already started issuing marriage licenses and they were retroactively taken away and that should require a lot of justification that just isn't there.
Here are my predictions on two of the cases before the Supreme Court:
On Prop 8, the Supreme Court will rule that the proponents of prop 8 did not have standing to represent the case and therefore California's District Court's decision on Prop 8's constitutionality stand. Prop 8 will be gone.
On DOMA, the Supreme Court will go a little further and rule that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits the recognition by the federal government of marriages of same-sex couples is unconstitutional and will strike it down. It will, however, not address any other section in the DOMA legislation, so states that do not recognize marriages between same-sex couples will not be forced to do so.
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