A Brief Look at Other Victories and Defeats


From SB5 in Texas to the Voting Rights Act to the defeat of DOMA, this has been a bittersweet week. But among all of the apprehension and excitement, a few things happened that you may have missed. We don’t usually cover politics too heavily on the Rumpus, but the flurry of judicial activity seems worth a mention.

In regard to the affirmative-action case Fisher vs. UT Austin, the Supreme Court decided to send it back to the circuit court for additional review.

“For supporters of affirmative action, I’d put it in the category of disaster averted rather than victory achieved,” said David A. Strauss, a law professor at the University of Chicago. He said a trial, potentially followed by another round of appeals, could mean the case will remain in the spotlight for years.

On June 25th, in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Supreme Court ruled that “the Indian Child Welfare Act does not block termination of a Native father’s parental rights.” In comparison to Natives, non-Natives raise a disproportional percentage of Native babies and this new ruling will serve to further chip away at tribal sovereignty.

On June 17th, the Supreme Court ruled that you no longer have the right to remain silent if arrested. In fact, your silence—pausing, fidgeting, or looks of discomfort—can now be used as an admission of guilt.

Plus Texas’s governor, Rick Perry, is calling for another special session next week to give SB5 another try in spite of Wendy Davis’s heroic efforts.

One step forward, two steps back.

Abigail Bereola is a writer and the Books Editor for The Rumpus. On Twitter, @sherarelytweets. More from this author →