Madison’s article (2012) ‘As Supreme Court Reconvenes, Civil Rights Issues in the Fore’, discusses legal issues the Supreme Court needs to rule on after reconvening (p. 1). The court is about to reconvene with a lot of civil rights cases awaiting its determination. The civil rights cases which the court will rule on relate to race, election rights and homosexual rights.
The first case that the court will hear is the legality of affirmative action in admission of new students in higher learning institutions. The article argues that the way the court determines the case will affect future student admissions in universities and colleges. The affirmative action law compels institutions of higher learning to observe racial diversity when admitting new students.
The interpretation to be made by the court will have serious consequences for many higher education institutions. A narrow interpretation of the law would affect many small institutions. A broad interpretation would compel many educational institutions to reform their admission policies.
The case about the definition of marriage as upheld by the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ is very sensitive. DOMA recognizes marriage between heterosexual couples and not same sex couples (Madison, 2012, p.1). The court will decide if this hinders same sex couples from enjoying state benefits and welfare programs.
The court will also rule on whether voters in a state can withdraw marriage rights enjoyed by same sex couples if the state constitution allows it. The court also needs to determine the legality of election laws in some states which require each voter to have a photo identity before being allowed to vote.
The Supreme Court will have to decide on the legality of these laws and their impact on voting rights. The court’s ruling could have a direct effect on Section 5 of the ‘Voting Rights Act’ in states where these election rules are still practiced. The author simplifies complex legal issues and presents them in a manner that makes it easy for readers to understand (Madison, 2012, p.1). The issues discussed by the author in the article have a direct impact on the lives of all American citizens.
Evaluation of the Article
The reveals the critical civil rights issues which the court needs to rule on and analyses their significance to the society. The issue of affirmative action in educational institutions is very sensitive to minority populations. Many higher education institutions in the country use race as part of their criteria during admissions.
This article shows how affirmative action is used to create racial equality and diversity in higher education institutions. Madison (2012) observes that the Supreme Court’s ruling is likely to have a big impact on how colleges in the country admit new students in future (p. 1).
Madison (2012) discusses issues related to same sex union couples and the legal rights accorded to them by the constitution (p.1). She focuses on the argument that the way DOMA defines marriage, denies same sex couples access to benefits and other state programs.
This is a sensitive matter because the Supreme Court has to rule on the constitutionality of the act. Same sex marriages have become more common in the past decade and several states recognize their legality. This ruling will influence how the federal government implements its family welfare programs across the country.
This is an election year and the voting laws in each state determine how citizens are going to cast their ballots. The issue of voters carrying a photo identity before being allowed to vote is very contentious. The ruling could alter the ‘Voting Rights Act of 1965’, which some critics argue denies a section of US citizens the right to vote because of their race.
Madison (2012) emphasizes that, Supreme Court rulings have a big impact on civil rights cases brought before it (p. 1). The biases in this article are limited to the opinions of various legal experts who share their thoughts on legal issues that await ruling by the Supreme Court. The article shows how government policies regarding various civil rights issues are likely to change based on the way the Supreme Court rules on these cases.
Larkin and Slattery (2012) confirm that the civil rights cases which are yet to be determined by the Supreme Court are very significant (p.1). The ‘Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin’ is controversial. A ruling in favor of the plaintiff would stop race being used as a criterion in college admissions to achieve racial diversity in student populations. The ruling on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is also very sensitive to many black voters in southern states who view the requirement as discriminatory.
The interpretation the court will take on the constitutionality of DOMA will have an impact on the legality of same sex unions in the US. The rights enjoyed by same sex couples as stipulated under the constitution will be significantly affected by the determination of the case. It is important to note that the impending Supreme Court rulings will have a big impact on civil rights as understood by many people in the US.
Larkin, P. & Slattery, E. (2012, September 21). Overview of the Supreme Court’s October term, 2012. The Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/courts/report/overview-the-supreme-courts-october-term-2012
Madison, L. (2012, October 1). As Supreme Court reconvenes, civil rights issues in the fore. CBS News. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/as-supreme-court-reconvenes-civil-rights-issues-in-the-fore/