The United States Supreme Court is entering its last month of the present session, and as usual, is leaving its most blockbuster decisions to the last weeks of its term.
Every June is momentous on the Supreme Court, as for instance, the upholding of the Obama Health Care Plan last June.
But this June is possibly more crucial when looking at history, as well as the issue of civil rights and civil liberties!
The most important cases are on Gay Marriage, Affirmative Action, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
With so much at stake, with 13 states having legalized gay marriage, and more to come in the next year, it would be wonderful if the Supreme Court went the whole distance, as it did in Loving V. Virginia on interracial marriage in 1967. It would be a major victory for civil rights and civil liberties, and stop the right wing attempt to fight gay marriage dead in its tracks! The hate mongering would go on, but if the Court ruled that two men or two women can be married, it could not be overcome by religious extremists by law!
Affirmative Action has been in effect since 1972, and remains highly controversial, but is now in danger or being ended as a method to promote the advancement of minority groups and women.
The Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1965, and renewed in 1982 and 2006, is now in danger of being curbed or ended, on the false basis that the record of Southern and other states on voting rights in the past no longer applies, but that leaves open the possibility of new voting rights violations in the future.
It is assumed that there are four votes on the Court to uphold all three cases–those of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elana Kagan.
It is also assumed that three votes to prevent gay marriage and end affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act are certain–those of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito.
It would be a major surprise if any of these seven votes ended up differently.
The two “swing” votes are those of Chief Justice John Roberts, who has become somewhat unpredictable after, surprisingly, backing ObamaCare last June; and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, the true “swing” vote alone, since Sandra Day O’Connor left the Court seven years ago.
Will Kennedy side with the liberals on the Court on all three cases? It seems highly unlikely at this point, but a good bet on gay marriage at the least, but the Court could choose to decide that case in a very limited manner, not an all encompassing decision.
We shall see on all three cases very soon!