June 29, 2015

#SCOTUS to again rehear Fisher v UT — Dolezal angle?

The Supreme Court remanded the Fisher case, about the University of Texas' affirmative action policies, to appellate court level last year, while giving that court the instruction to apply the standard of "strict scrutiny" to her case. And, chock full of conservatives and all, the Fifth Circuit did just that and still upheld UT's policy. And, once again, the plaintiff, backed by professional far-right legal groups, appealed, and has gotten cert granted again.

SCOTUS is apparently only rehearing her case because her same wingnut-backed lawyer, Edward Blum, along with an Orwellian-named group, Students for Fair Admissions, has similar cases involving Harvard and University of North Carolina. That said, the Nine could have denied cert to all three.

The only other possible reason I can think of, off the top of my head, and no, I'm not joking, is Rachel Dolezal. Her "passing," and some of her stated reasons why, may have gotten four justices to want another rehear. And, no, I'm not kidding. I can see how her comments could be anti-affirmative action ammunition, especially that she had linked her self-identification as African-American not to affirmative action in general, but affirmative action in academia.

That said, giving the Fifth Circuit's second ruling upholding UT, I agree with this op-ed that Fisher should have moved on. But this case is clearly not about Fisher any more — it's about legal-theory wingnuttia.

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To wrap up this year's Supreme Court term:
Liberals had a definite loss on environmentalism, as SCOTUS overturned the DC Circuit and said EPA went beyond Clean Air Act standards on mercury regulations. It's unclear how the EPA will proceed, since it already offered its estimates of benefit monetary value versus costs, though not doing a formal CBA.
• Lethal injection got the OK to continue with another drug replacing a barbiturate originally in the mix; Sonia Sotomayor authored a hot take dissent.
• ALL clean government supporters got a win with Arizona's redistricting commission being OKed.

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