on Jul 19, 2013 at 11:14 am
Yesterday’s coverage of the Court focused on the repercussions of two of this Term’s highest-profile decisions. First, in the wake of last month’s decision in United States v. Windsor, in which the Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman for purposes of a host of federal laws, House Republican leaders have now declined to defend a similar federal law that has denied military or veterans’ benefits to legally married gay and lesbian service members. Lyle Denniston covered the story for this blog; BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner also has coverage.
And following last month’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which had been used to determine which jurisdictions must comply with the Act’s preclearance requirement (established in Section 5), a three-judge federal district court has asked Texas and the federal government to file briefs on the question whether Section 3 of the Act, the so-called “bail in” provision, could be used to subject Texas to the preclearance requirement. Lyle Denniston reports for this blog. And now-retired Justice John Paul Stevens speaks out on the Court’s decision in Shelby County in his review of Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights act and the Transformation of American Democracy, a new book by Gary May, for The New York Review of Books: Stevens criticizes the Court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, as “fail[ing] to explain why . . . members of the Supreme Court,” rather than Congress, should decide whether Section 5’s preclearance requirement is still justified. By contrast, Stevens describes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent in the case as “eloquent” and “sum[ming] up exactly why the VRA reauthorization should have been upheld.”
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to Representative F. James Sensenbrenner et al., who filed an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Shelby County v. Holder; the firm’s Kevin Russell was among the counsel on an amicus brief filed by former senators in support of Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor.
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