The People's Court

On race and gay marriage, the Supreme Court finds for a changed country

The Supreme Court saved its hot-button rulings for last, as usual, and the Justices delivered something to please--and outrage--every band of the cultural spectrum. They delighted progressives by striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and rejecting a lawsuit that sought to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage in California. The same folks were furious, however, when the court rolled back a key enforcement mechanism in the historic Voting Rights Act and ordered an appeals court to look skeptically at the University of Texas' affirmative-action program. Those opinions were hailed by many conservatives.

Further signs of seesaw struggle on a...

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