AirTalk for June 24, 2013

Supreme Court steps into major political fight and out of affirmative action case

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Orders On Pending Cases

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

People wait to enter the U.S. Supreme Court building June 24, 2013 in Washington DC.

This morning, the high court decided it will hear a case soon that pits Republicans against President Obama.  It centers on whether executive powers allow high-level appointments to be made while Congress is in recess -- thereby side-stepping Senate confirmation. Last year, President Obama made three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. If those appointments get invalidated, it could have implications for hundreds of recent NLRB decisions.

One of the bigger rulings anticipated this term arrived with a whimper this morning. The court was asked to review the constitutionality of race-based admissions used by the University of Texas. Instead, the justices are sending the case back to the lower court to apply greater judicial scrutiny in reviewing how the school uses race to achieve diversity. The decision was nearly consensus with only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissenting.

What were her arguments? Why did the lower court seemingly fail to do the work in its first ruling? What standards should that lower court use in its second look?

Lisa McElroy, Assoc. Prof. of Law, Earle Mack School of Law, Drexel University

Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute (think tank advocating Libertarian principles) and editor-in-chief of the “Cato Supreme Court Review”

Jody Armour,  Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California

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