on Nov 26, 2012 at 9:07 am
At this Friday’s Conference, the Justices will consider petitions involving challenges to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. The weekend’s coverage of the Court focuses on the upcoming Conference, as well as discussion of how the results of the election could affect the outcome of Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Lisa Leff of the Associated Press, Andrea Stone of The Washington Post, Michael Kirkland of UPI, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, and Karen McVeigh of The Guardian all preview the Court’s consideration of the DOMA and Prop. 8 petitions, while at Business Insider, Erin Fuchs reports on the debate among gay rights advocates on whether the Court should grant cert. now in the Prop. 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Other coverage focuses on Shelby County v. Holder. At CNN, Jeffrey Toobin observes that “the president’s election—and re-election—may be among the best arguments against the law.” Writing for the Daily Beast, Ben Jacobs points out that “because the major concerns about voter discrimination were in Ohio and Pennsylvania, not the former Confederacy, it’s unlikely that Roberts and the other conservatives on the court will continue to find ‘exceptional conditions’ in the South that require this special scrutiny.” Finally, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post discusses how the legal battles of the election will serve as a backdrop for the Court’s deliberations in both Shelby County and Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., in which the Court will consider whether an Arizona law that requires proof of citizenship for voter registration is preempted by federal voter registration laws.
- Terry Baynes of Reuters previews Monday’s oral arguments in Vance v. Ball State University, in which the Court will consider how to define “supervisor” for the purposes of a federal civil rights law that prohibits racial, religious, or sexual harassment in the workplace.
- The editorial board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger weighs in on Maryland v. King, in which the Court recently granted cert. It urges the Court to permit states to collect DNA from people who are arrested and charged with serious crimes, arguing that “DNA is an investigative tool [that] has helped both to put criminals behind bars and exonerate the innocent.”
- The editorial board of The New York Times argues that the Court’s decision last Term in Miller v. Alabama, prohibiting mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders, “set new expectations about American criminal justice,” and it criticizes states whose “governors and legislatures still operate within the tough-on-crime framework that led to the rise in the wrongheaded imposition of life without parole on so many juveniles in the first place, based on the bogus notion that they were ‘superpredators.'”