As Roberts rings in 2016, he’ll likely be thinking about the very important case the court will be hearing early in the New Year. Let’s hope that he’s also thinking about the resolutions he made when he joined the court and what the consequences would be — for the country, for the court, and for his own legacy — if he doesn’t keep them.
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As this morning’s argument showed, this case has now become a vehicle for the Court’s conservatives justices to second-guess the university’s well-founded judgment that the sensitive use of race helps to ensure a diverse student body, provide pathways to leadership, and break down stereotypes that stand in the way of equality for all.
Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, said it was clear after today's argument that the case comes down to Kennedy. "He was tough to read, asking questions of both sides, but given his appreciation at the end of last term for a key piece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy - a robust Fair Housing Act - his vote in this case shouldn't be counted out. The Constitution's text and history are clearly on the university's side," she said.
The theory that the Framers of the 14th Amendment adopted was to include everyone in the population so as to ensure "that everyone's voices are accounted for in representation," said David Gans of the Constitutional Accountability Center.
CAC's Elizabeth Wydra joined Ian Masters to discuss oral argument in the voting rights case Evenwel v. Abbott.
If Sue Evenwel hopes to set off a reapportionment revolution, she needs five votes to scrap our Constitution’s fundamental rule of equal representation for equal numbers of people. By the end of 60 minutes of oral argument, it is far from clear whether a majority of the Court is ready to take away representation in state legislatures from millions of individuals and throw our nation’s political system into turmoil.
The appropriations issue between the legislative and executive branches "should be addressed through traditional appropriations and other legislative processes, not the courts," Wydra, of the Constitutional Accountability Center, wrote on behalf of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and party leaders involved with the drafting and enacting of the Affordable Care Act.
Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington legal research center, referred to the 14th Amendment’s protection of all people, not just voters, and said she saw agreement among the justices in their questions: “There seemed to be little appetite from the justices this morning to upend this quintessentially American system of equal representation.”
CAC's David Gans appeared on Press Play with Madeleine Brand to discuss the Evenwel and Fisher cases, which will be argued at the Supreme Court this week.
Blum’s campaign seeks to turn the Fourteenth Amendment into an obstacle to efforts to ensure real equality, denying the government the power to redress our nation’s long history of racial discrimination.
The court is being asked to "start a reapportionment revolution, radically changing the way states and local governments draw election districts," said David Gans, a lawyer at the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington.