Written by Alex Wiederspiel
Last updated on June 29, 2013 @ 7:41PM
Created on June 29, 2013 @ 5:40PM
The Supreme Court ended its October 2012 term this week and issued several historic rulings that could affect you one way or another. No matter what side of these issues you're on, there can be no denying that the U.S. Supreme Court made at least one historic ruling this week.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in an Affirmative Action case that will allow Universities to continue using limited race-conscious policies in their college admissions process. Though they sidestepped a ruling on it's Constitutionality by sending the case back to the lower courts, the Supreme Court voted in a 7 to 1 decision in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin to continue the use of Affirmative Action.
One WVU student told 5 News he was relieved by the outcome of the case. "There should be something there that makes it a little bit easier for students to get into school. I just don't think it should be a catch-all. But there should be someone overlooking this process," said Branford Marks.
We will likely see Affirmative Action return to the Supreme Court next term when they will hear a case out of Michigan about suspending Affirmative Action policies at publicly funded Universities.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court was split 5 to 4 and ruled part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 needed to be changed. Sections 4 and 5 of the law protect minority voters, but the Supreme Court ruled that the law's formula for determining which areas need federal oversight to avoid discriminatory policies was out-of-date based on the differences in race relations between 1965 and today. A lot of minority voters were upset by the decision, but Congress will have a chance to update the law if they can come to an agreement.
"I think that by allowing states that have a history of racial discrimination to make changes to their election laws without advanced federal approval is going to create more road blocks for minority voters to get out there and vote," Branford added.
And on Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling in a 5 to 4 vote that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional in not legally recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples. The ruling also paved the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. LGBT supporters were for the most part, pleased with the court's decision.
"Clearly we saw the way the Supreme Court interpreted these cases they saw this as a 14th Amendment Issue and we're still so far behind. This is, at least in my lifetime, definitely the biggest thing that's happened to LGBT individuals," WVU Sociology professor Daniel Brewster told 5 News.
In spite of these rulings, the Court abstained from making any sweeping declarations in any of the cases, indicating that we will likely see these issues be brought to the Court again.
The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments again in October.
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