June 20 Supreme Court Decisions: Two Opinions That Could Come Down Today

This morning, SCOTUS will possibly be releasing a decision on one or both of the following topics: voting rights or affirmative action. 

The constitutionality of affirmative action will rely on the decision made for the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. For this case, the Supreme Court could possibly either rule to remove affirmative action from public universities or perhaps limit the way in which race is used in the admission process. This decision has the potential to have a notable impact on the racial breakdowns of public universities depending on the degree of change made between the current affirmative action policies and the decision itself. 

Challenging section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which requires that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the Attorney General approve any attempts to change any changes in the voting requirement or process, the decision made for the case of Shelby County v. Holder could possibly strike down the preclearance requirement. If section 5 is deemed unconstitutional, this decision could be made on the basis that the preclearance requirement violates the Tenth Amendment. Furthermore, a decision striking down section 5 would allow the states and areas that fall under the “covered jurisdiction” such as Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi among others, to freely implement changes in their respective voting procedures without scrutiny from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the Attorney General.