The Austin Chronicle

One Court, Three Decisions

SCOTUS rules on three Texas cases impacting abortion, affirmative action, and immigration

By Mary Tuma and Richard Whittaker, July 1, 2016, News

In a state where our governor (and former attorney general) jokes that he wakes up, goes to the office, and sues the federal government, it's really no wonder so many pivotal cases before the U.S. Supreme Court today emanate from Texas. With futures at stake, Texans have anxiously awaited influential decisions on abortion rights, immigration, and affirmative action. Leaving all three rulings to the final weeks of its term, SCOTUS put the anxiety to rest by dropping a trio of opinions that deeply impact some of Texas' most vulnerable – low-income women, immigrant workers, and students. In rulings to celebrate, justices upheld the University of Texas' right to employ affirmative action in its admissions and struck down two parts of Texas' onerous 2013 anti-abortion law, House Bill 2. However, it wasn't all progress: A 4-4 deadlock halted (for now) expanded protections for undocumented workers, a reminder of the GOP's anti-Obama obstructionism in selecting a ninth justice. Unless Senate Republicans yield and give current nominee Merrick Garland a hearing, there will be no more than eight justices when the court reconvenes on the first Monday in October – and the fallout from an understaffed court could continue well into the 2016-17 term. Mary Tuma

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.