Supreme Court

Cliven Bundy, Ronald Sterling, and Affirmative Action

Imara Jones

The spectacle of racist rancher Cliven Bundy and racist NBA owner Donald Sterling underscore why minority political and economic rights cannot rest solely upon majority rule. America is changing but it’s not changing fast enough to do away with key protections, and that’s what the Court seemingly did not get.Before turning to the way in which the race-infused antics of rancher Cliven Bundy and Los Angeles Clippers chief Donald Sterling upended the Supreme Court’s rationale of a race-free America, it’s important to quickly review the action the Court took.

The 2014 Vote: Do You Stand With Obama?

Rep. Steve Israel

This country has come too far since the Voting Rights Act's initial passage in 1965 to move backward. House Democrats will continue to fight to ensure that participation in our democracy remains unfettered and that all votes will be properly counted. During President Obama's first term, Republicans made their top priority loud and clear: to make President Obama a one-term president. We’re all glad they failed. But if Republicans maintain or build on their majority after November, President Obama’s legacy—and the nation’s economic recovery—will be in jeopardy.

Fighting the New Wave of Voter Suppression

Khalil Abdullah

The same morning Hillary Clinton was using her highly visible stature at the recent American Bar Association convention to call for increased protection for Americans’ right to vote, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law that strips all residents of same-day voter registration, shortens early voter registration and imposes onerous voter ID requirements. “We view the attacks on voting rights in North Carolina to be among the most extreme and regressive we’ve seen in the country,” said Eddie Hailes, managing director and general counsel for Advancement Project.

Feds to Take Texas to Task Over Voting Rights Act

Corey Dade

When Texas' Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott gloated on Twitter just hours after the Supreme Court hobbled the Voting Rights Act that "Eric Holder can no longer deny Voter ID in Texas," he had to know that the Obama administration would respond. Attorney General Holder delivered the counterpunch on Thursday, targeting Texas, the political poster child for voter suppression, in a new strategy to protect minorities under the remaining parts of the landmark law. 

Remembering Medgar Evers

Corey Dade

Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and the timing couldn't be more significant: Any day now, the Supreme Court could strike down a pair of landmark remedies owed in part to Evers' activism. Uncertainty hovers over observances that began at Evers' gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery last week, as the civil rights community warily awaits rulings that might fundamentally change, if not outright limit, minorities' access to college and participation in elections.

Supreme Court Ruling Further Violates Individual Privacy

Adrienne T. Washington

Preeminent Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree said the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday legitimizing Maryland law enforcement’s use of an overreaching procedure of collecting genetic data in serious crimes will likely lead the way to more troubling privacy violations of the 4th Amendment's protection against “unreasonable search and seizure.”b ‘This opens up a Pandora’s Box on how far law enforcement can go with technology as evidence tools going forward,” Ogletree said.

NAACP Magazine Takes Justice Scalia to Task Over Voter Rights Comments

Terrell Jermaine Starr

Anyone keen on the Supreme Court’s ongoing arguments over the legality of certain parts of the Voter Rights Act surely has not forgotten Justice Antonio Scalia‘s “racial entitlement” remarks from earlier this year–especially The Crisis, the NAACP’s flagship publication. The award-winning magazine pulled no punches with its response, using its cover to feature an illustration of Justice Scalia with a Confederate flag bandana wrapped around his mouth. 

From Prison to Law School: How Former Felon Shon Hopwood Dedicated His Life to Law

Matthew Rudow

Like most second-year law students, Shon Hopwood will be spending most of the winter huddled over casebooks, frantically typing notes in lecture halls, and scrambling to balance academic, family, and extracurricular obligations. This juggling act may not be easy, but he is used to hard times. Less than five years ago, Shon Hopwood was an inmate in FCI Pekin, a federal prison in Illinois, serving a sentence for armed bank robbery.

All Eyes Are on Supreme Court Over Fate of Voting Rights Act

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The GOP’s hoped-for trump card to stave that off as long as possible is the Supreme Court. The conservatives on the court read the election tea leaves and three days after President Obama’s re-election announced that they would take up a challenge to the Act. They dropped strong hints that they may well vote to gut the Act. Justice Anthony Kennedy said he was troubled by the provisions. Chief Justice John Roberts bluntly said that things have changed in the South and that blacks supposedly vote everywhere in the South without any barriers or prohibitions. 

Fate of Affirmative Action Rests on Supreme Court Decision

Khalil Abdullah

On October 10 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that could upend affirmative action policies nationwide. The plaintiff, Abigail Fisher, is suing the state over her rejection for admission into the University of Texas, which considers race in allotting a percentage of available seats after the top 10 percent of high school seniors are admitted. Fisher, who is white, did not place in the top 10 percent. She contends the race-based portion of the institution’s admission policy is a violation of her constitutional rights

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