-1965 Voting Rights Act
"This term, which opens Monday, October 1, promises to be almost as controversial. Whether the results will be as happily surprising for liberals is a much tougher question. Where the Court’s biggest cases last term dealt with the relative powers of the federal and state governments, this term they focus on equality. The Court has already agreed to hear a challenge to the University of Texas’s affirmative action program. It is also very likely to hear a constitutional challenge to a central provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, as well as at least one and possibly two cases concerning same-sex marriage (issues I will discuss in subsequent blog posts).
At stake in all of these cases is the meaning of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law, a right that the nation has struggled over since its inception and that still means radically different things to different people. Does equality allow a university to take racial diversity into account in its admissions process? Does a commitment to equal voting rights justify making certain states and counties seek the Justice Department’s approval of any change in their voting laws, as the Voting Rights Act has required since its enactment in 1965? And perhaps most controversially of all, does equality demand that Congress, or the states, treat same-sex marriages the same as marriages between a man and a woman?"