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The US Supreme Court -- civil rights and equality in America this week in a series of landmark rulings in one controversial decision the court struck down a key part of the voting rights act of 19651.
Dissenting justice said it amounted to the demolition.
But the law.
For more I'm joined by political diary editor Jason Riley and senior editorial page writer Colin -- so Colin.
Let's take on the voting rights decision first a lot of liberals saying this is gonna send us back to the -- before the voting rights act back to the era of Jim Crow.
Where vote black voters were disenfranchised.
How do you see this decision.
Well I think it's really important to note here that this would not a radical decision.
But the court said here basically was.
The constitution requires that all states be treated equally except in extraordinary circumstances those extraordinary circumstances existed in 1965.
When the voting rights act was passed because there was -- -- and an extreme discrimination in certain states those conditions no longer exist and as.
Chief Justice Roberts wrote.
Current burdens on the states need to be justified by current -- right so they said take the formula that you had 1965.
And reconsider it if you still think that this is important that's fine we can do it that you need to come up with a new formula for which states get this extra screen.
And Roberts had signaled this in 2009 and earlier case inviting congress to -- -- that formula it didn't fit.
And that -- right candidate that was that was an 81 decision by the way right so when Roberts pointed to the democratic into the liberal justices who supported that now signaling.
Even though they oppose this decision to be the into the president's.
View on this that his reaction is decision is disappointment in the decisions very telling.
As telling of the left the view.
The first black president pretending like nothing has changed and voting rights front in the past forty years is just a ridiculous notion to begin with -- but it speaks to why the left likes this provision.
And they don't like it because the worried about.
Vote or access or black voter access.
Black voter registration in the south.
Exceeds what it is and other regions in the last election.
Black voter turnout exceeded white voter turn hard all the case for disenfranchised they like the -- war.
What -- can do to help them determine election outcomes racial gerrymandering.
Black blocking voter ID laws in states -- ballot integrity and so what.
That's why they're so wedded to this provision has nothing to do with the with the ballot.
Access which was the original intent of the voting rights act.
It's been a huge success on that front.
Dan let's move on to the Fisher case where there was a more ambiguous ruling on racial preferences the court basically -- in education basically said Texas and the lower courts must revisit their formula for admitting.
Students and and and would not make race as prominent feature but.
That was a victory for the plane if Abigail Fisher but it did not declare that racial preferences were unconstitutional.
Well it said that they have to make.
Justice Kennedy argued he was in the dissent in Gruber the previous decision which said the diversity was say it was an X -- just -- -- just clarification.
And they have this and this test called strict scrutiny and what.
Kennedy said in this case was that you cannot just gesture in the direction of strict scrutiny and 60 we've tried to have a race neutral program it doesn't work so we're gonna go to a race.
Based program -- you have to prove it you have to do analysis.
And there's a lot of legal analysis going on about this case by people -- written about a ports like Edward lawn -- the project a fair representation who was on.
-- legal team they think that a lot of these universities are really going have a difficult time.
Passing justice Kennedy's test that there's going to be a move away lest they face a wave of litigation of this sort that's.
-- universal view them -- because I have a lot of people think well Justice Kennedy 76 years old he's the swing vote on these cases he did he missed maybe hit one of his last opportunities to really.
And make a firm clear declaration on racial preferences -- our racial preferences constitutional that's the question when -- decided justice.
Thomas gets this and has concurrent.
And has -- -- he pointed this out what the problem here with these baby steps is -- Harm that racial preferences are doing to the intended beneficiaries.
We we have a lot of news research showing.
That it's hurting black graduation rates as kids that sent to schools where there are less likely to gradually instead of going to school so they can -- Succeed it hurts the number of black scientists and doctors that we get.
Because kids are going into fields where it's easier to graduate didn't and and because of the schools -- until until what so there's actual harm being done it's not just about.
About equal protection and so forth they intended beneficiaries of these policies are actually being damaged by the house silicon would you -- -- do you treat yes go ahead column I appreciate I I appreciate Jason's point that's absolutely true in the larger sense.
But I really think that you can't minimize the fact that you had seven justices signing on to this opinion.
That says that racial preferences are extremely this favored and the universities are entitled to know in deference in how they enact those policies in terms of you know trying to put through race based policies when race neutral ones are available I think that's a big deal and I think it signals where the -- -- known.
Dan we got to mention here they're gay marriage.
Rulings which are obviously landmarks as as well.
What does this tell us about the future of gay marriage in America.
Well I think it tells us that the.
Effort to an act gay marriage make it valid and legal in the states will continue but that that the battle will.
Be joined in the states out there and rather than you cannot get were dressed.
In the congress or the federal government that's not going to work the battle will continually over there is a federal statutes of the battle returns to the states and we'll see where where that ends our.
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