States have significant authority to ensure the integrity and reliability of the electoral process, but they may not accomplish those ends by using means that result in racial discrimination. The Voting Rights Act does not permit arbitrary, discriminatory state laws that make it harder for racial minorities to exercise their right to vote. Simply put, there is no “voter identification” exception to the Fifteenth Amendment’s guarantee that the right to vote shall be enjoyed equally by all regardless of race.
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The Court’s decision in the case may have delayed final resolution of the question presented, but the Justices’ opinions in Spokeo make clear why Robins should ultimately get his day in court. They provide an important affirmation that Congress has the power to give consumers a right to sue when corporations violate their federal legal rights.
From abortion and affirmative action, to immigration and contraceptive coverage, hot button issues have dominated the Court this year. But there are many other incredibly important cases that could be decided before the term ends in June, on issues ranging from access to the courts and racial discrimination in jury selection, to judicial conflicts of interest and the severe financial crisis in Puerto Rico.
If anyone is “playing politics” with the Supreme Court, it is Sen. Lankford and his Republican colleagues, who are blocking Garland from even getting a hearing and a yes-or-no vote. America needs a fully staffed, fully functioning Supreme Court that can decide cases of profound importance to law enforcement and prosecutors who keep our nation safe, while ensuring that the people's constitutional rights are protected. It is time for Lankford to do his job and call for hearings and a vote.
When it comes to Supreme Court oral arguments, sometimes the justices’ questions feel more like answers with a question mark at the end. At oral argument in United States v. Texas, the questions asked by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely key votes in the case, seemed like real questions. Fortunately for proponents of the administration’s immigration executive action—which could prevent, on a temporary basis, millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported—the lawyers for the administration had good answers, and the lawyers on the other side didn’t. When it comes time for the justices to cast their votes in the case, they should do what the law requires and reject this challenge to the administration’s immigration initiatives.
Counsel for House Republicans may be the only one speaking on behalf of members of Congress at oral argument on Monday, but as noted earlier, current House Republicans are not the only members of Congress who have made their voices heard in this case. When the Justices decide what to do in the case, they will consider not only what today’s House Republicans have to say, but also what bipartisan current and former members of Congress who support the Administration have said in their legal filings that are already before the Justices. What all of those briefs make clear is simple: while some current Republican members of the House of Representatives may not like the President’s immigration actions, there is no doubt that those actions are lawful.
In short, not only is Texas’s challenge to DAPA an overtly partisan effort to upend a decades-old bipartisan consensus on immigration policy, but its lawyers’ arguments flout the legal framework codifying that consensus. Given recent decisions by Kennedy and Roberts endorsing that framework and opposing partisan misuse of the courts, good reason exists to expect the Supreme Court to reject this lawsuit and relegate the immigration wars to the political process, where they belong.
When the Supreme Court hears oral argument in United States v. Texas, the challenge to President Obama’s executive action on immigration, later this month, one of the big issues the Court will be considering is whether the federal courts should be considering the challenge at all.
After Justice Antonin Scalia died, many speculated that originalism would die as well, without one of its most tireless adherents on the bench. Not if Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has anything to say about it. While Justice Ginsburg is rarely classified as an originalist, during her tenure on the Court, she has written a series of brilliant text and history opinions, powerfully making the case that Constitution’s text and history point in a progressive direction.