The U.S. Supreme Court had a busy week last week, handing down some landmark decisions that help pave the way to make legalizing gay marriage easier, a strange non-decision on affirmative action and another giving states more rights when it comes to voter registration.

For me, one of the most interesting cases of this session was Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

A brave young girl, Abigail Fisher, sued the University of Texas after she was rejected by the school in 2008 primarily because she is white. The school has policies to consider race as one of many factors for entrance. Despite Fisher being more qualified than some of the minority applicants when it came to test scores, community leadership and service – she was rejected.

With a conservative majority, it appeared there may be the votes to strike down affirmative action. However, in a 7-1 ruling, the high court said the case needs more work.

Citing clear directions given in three previous affirmative action cases dating back as much as 35 years, the justices said the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not examine UT’s admissions policies, which include race as a factor, hard enough.

I found this non-decision frustrating. We are coming to a point where colleges who are rejecting the more-qualified students in favor of minorities are wrong.

While there are still issues concerning discrimination, we have made strides. We have an African American president. It is time that the work, test scores and community service accomplishments speak for themselves, and getting extra points for being African American or Hispanic is unfair.

 The nation’s highest court also caused a lot of controversy last week when they struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and sent another case dealing with Proposition 8 in California back to the lower courts, which means gay marriage in our neighboring state is moving forward.

I have said it before, gay marriage should be legalized nationwide, and we should stop spending so much money in the court system to fight it.

Former presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann was quick to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision, saying they are not on the same level as God. Well, neither is Michelle Bachman. Stop making this such a controversial issue. If you don’t agree with gay marriage then don’t attend one of the weddings, don’t teach your kids to believe in it, but respect that there are those who disagree with you and are doing it.

Striking down DOMA is probably going to have the most ramifications as the government sorts out who gets benefits and who doesn’t moving forward. Taking away the argument that marriage can only be between a man and a woman can prove difficult in the days and months to come, but it is a step in the right direction.

In another decision, the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-4 vote, freeing nine states to change their election laws without advance federal approval.

Section 5 of the 1965 law gives federal authorities open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered states must be pre-cleared with Washington.

While President Obama’s administration was disappointed in the court’s ruling, it is clear that his being elected in two separate elections shows the law is no longer needed.

When it comes to this issue, the court got it right.

Arizona is one of the states that had been under Section 5 of the 1965 law, along with Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

(1) comment

John Flanagan

While, in my opinion, the rulings on affirmative action and voting rights can be worked out in the particulars between the Federal Government and the states, the ruling of 5-4 against DOMA was wrong.
Many of us in America hold convictions and principles affirming the tradition of marriage between one man and one woman only. Many of us believe it is immoral and unnatural to allow two men or two women to become "married" in the same way as two heterosexuals. It is reprehensible that this court, affected by the liberal members, has sought to redefine an institution thousands of years held as historically and morally absolute.
As for the argument that those of us who oppose homosexual marriage simply need not attend gay weddings, this is an absolute lie. We who oppose this arrangement on moral and religious grounds are regularly attacked and belittled by supporters in our society who are viciously intolerant and disrespectful of our freedom of speech and viewpoint expression. Those Christian ministries and individuals opposed to affirming this unnatural lifestyle are subject to continuous harassment, discrimination lawsuits, boycotts, and job loss when one's conscience and values conflict with the homosexual agenda.
No, it is not so simple as to state those opposed to gay marriage just get out of the way of this new socially engineered view of progress. That is not enough for the often hostile and aggressive gay militants and their comrades. They want nothing less than total victory, free speech oppression, crushing all peaceful but certain opposition from all quarters, from churches, to academia, to media, to political and social life in America. The tools of anti-discrimination laws, boycotts, career destruction, are part of the arsenal.
This newspaper reported on the Chick-Fil-A incident and how the pro-homosexual and gay marriage advocates desired to destroy a business in our country merely because the owner, who denied services to no one, simply stated his religious conviction and support of traditional marriage. Many came out to support this business, and I was one of millions.
Editorials may be written in support of gay marriage, and almost none of the liberally slanted news media in America really want to affirm the rights of those who oppose it. In the process of catering to homosexuals, the rights of others are being trampled on.
With conviction and determination, those who will not change their views to satisfy an amoral cultural decline, I for one predict continued conflict for years to come. The decision of the Supreme Court can rule in favor of abominations like abortion and in favor of same sex marriage, but this does not settle the issue. There is a court higher than the Supreme Court, and believing Christians will always consider God's word as the final word. Is God really opposed to abortion and same sex marriage? The answer is unequivocal and it is yes.

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