The Supreme Court handed down their long-anticipated decision on Fisher v University of Texas II yesterday, eight years after Abigail Fisher (who is White) first filed suit challenging holistic review at the University of Texas. Fisher alleged that the University’s holistic admissions process, which includes race-conscious affirmative action, denied her admission to the school. The Court had previously heard Fisher’s case, and essentially punted it back to the lower courts asking them to take a second look. When the Fifth Circuit again ruled in favour of the University of Texas, the Supreme Court was once again challenged to weigh in.
There was a lot at stake with this decision in the case now known as Fisher II: a decision against the University of Texas’ admissions program could effectively dismantle affirmative action programs across the country.
But, in a 4-3 vote, the Supreme Court elected to reaffirm the Court’s earlier perspectives on affirmative action as outlined in the landmark Grutter case which first explicitly established the “compelling interest” of colleges and universities to address issues of campus diversity through the limited and narrow use of racial information.
Scalia’s death will have immediate impact on several high-profile cases scheduled to be decided this Supreme Court session, and legal scholars at SCOTUSblog say the predicted tie votes will likely lead to reargument in the next session after a new Supreme Court Justice is appointed to fill the vacancy left with Scalia’s passing.
Meanwhile, the fight over whom President Obama will nominate to the nation’s highest court — or, even whether the Senate will obstruct these proceedings until after a new president has been inaugurated — has already begun. Just hours after Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed that Senate Republicans would refuse to confirm any person nominated by President Obama to the Supreme Court.
43 years ago today, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that would serve as an important foundation principle for the establishment of reproductive rights for women. In a 7-2 decision, the Justices ruled that the government had no right to interfere with a woman’s decision to seek (or not seek) an abortion for non-medical reasons; this choice, they declared, was protected by our constitutional right to privacy.
Since then, Roe v. Wade has had an incredible impact on women, enabling an unprecedented social, political and economic mobility for women in general.
First – I hope you’re registered to vote. If you aren’t registered, you can do so here.
I think it’s really important for us to participate in our nation’s democracy and be part of the political discourse, and voting is certainly an integral part of that. But that’s not the main reason why I think it’s important for members of the AAPI community to register to vote and actually vote.
REGISTER TO VOTE because this isn’t just about you. This is about those who don’t have that right but still deserve to be heard. Your vote includes the voices of our families, friends, and fellow community members who – for one reason or another – are not eligible to vote.
Just because people aren’t voters, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by how people vote. I can’t vote and yet I am affected by policies regarding immigration, education, and social justice. I go to public school and see the influence of voters everyday in the curriculum, the allocation of resources, and the quality of teaching. I am affected by immigration policies, as many of my family members live overseas or are recent arrivals. I am affected by actions of politicians who may or may not believe in climate change and in investing in efforts to promote environmental sustainability.
However, I’m one of the lucky ones because I won’t be ineligible for much longer, as I can register to vote when I turn 18. But what about the millions in our community who aren’t as lucky?
In addition to briefs filed by the Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the brief filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) was signed by over 160 national AANHPI groups and individuals, including by this blog. Other signatories hail from all parts of the AANHPI diaspora, in terms of ethnicity, gender and group focus.