Confounding those who expected the Roberts Court to deliver a blow to the use of race in university admissions, Justice Anthony Kennedy today authored a 4-3 opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin upholding the constitutionality of the University of Texas’ modest use of race as one factor among many in choosing a diverse student body.
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June 26 marks the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment requires every state to allow same-sex couples to marry. This was a life-changing ruling for me and for other lesbians and gay men across the country...
On June 9, 2016, the Supreme Court in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle held, 6-2, that Puerto Rico and the United States are a single sovereign for Double Jeopardy purposes, which means that they cannot both prosecute an individual for the same offense. Sandwiched between the majority and dissenting opinions was an unusual two-page concurrence authored by Justice Ginsburg and joined by Justice Thomas. More than the unusual pairing, the opinion was notable for essentially inviting parties to bring an issue to the Supreme Court, a rare move from an institution known for its shrinking docket and defensive denials of review.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Williams v. Pennsylvania, holding that a judge’s failure to recuse himself from a case in which he was previously involved violated the Constitution’s Due Process Clause, it was obviously a win for the convicted defendant. Moreover, by helping to ensure that our justice system is an impartial one, the decision was also a win for anyone who might one day find himself or herself in court.