The Supreme Court Decisions: History In The Making

By Tiffany Pennamon, Editorial Intern

This week has seen controversial Supreme Court cases uprooted and redefined as the country moves forward in changing times. On the 24th of June, the Supreme Court declared Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 “unconstitutional.” Today, the 25th, the Supreme Court granted gay and lesbian couples the right of equality under the law in states where same-sex marriage is legal. With this, they are to recieve the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. The second decision to dismiss Proposition 8 lifted the ban on same-sex marriage in California, giving same-sex couples the right to legally marry again. Read the full article here.

President Obama released a statement saying, “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Favoring the Supreme Court’s decision to move forward in equality for gay rights, Mr. Obama felt conversely of the Voting Rights Act citing that the nation took a step backwards in the fight to end voting discrimination.

By eliminating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965–“the formula the federal government uses to determine which states and counties are subject to continued [federal] oversight”– was struck down. Declared “outdated and unworkable,” Section 4 or Section 5 of the act cannot be enforcd effectively. This decision caused major outrage for those that believe their voting rights will be supressed-mainly by the states that the Act previously had to pre-clear. Supporters of the decision say that voter equality and non-discriminatory voting acts will be enforced strictly and thoroughly in all 50 states.

The nation still has a long way to go when it comes to equal and civil rights. What will the changing times bring forward? Only time will tell.

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