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Affirmative Action, Gay Rights, and Free Speech: What The Supreme Court's Rulings Mean for America

Last week, the Supreme Court handed down, as they usually do as the term comes to an end, a flurry of highly anticipated major decisions. Two of them made a lot of…

Last week, the Supreme Court handed down, as they usually do as the term comes to an end, a flurry of highly anticipated major decisions. Two of them made a lot of news: one effectively ended affirmative action in American higher education, and another ruled that a Colorado web designer could refuse to create a wedding website for a same-sex couple. 

The mainstream media’s prevailing sentiment over the last week has been that these are the sorry consequences of a conservative majority court. This court overturned Roe v. Wade last year in a major setback to women’s rights; now they’ve undone decades of precedent that helped historically disadvantaged students have a chance at the American dream, and they’ve weakened gay rights. 

When President Joe Biden was asked at a press conference last week whether or not this is a “rogue court,” Biden basically said yes. He muttered, “This isn’t a normal court.”  

Is that true? Is this court “not normal”? Or do these decisions actually reflect a legitimate reading of the Constitution? 

To help separate signal from noise and fact from hyperbole, today we have three legal experts from different sides of the political aisle to hash it out. Harry Litman is an attorney who has clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Thurgood Marshall and Anthony Kennedy. He is also a host of the podcast Talking Feds. Jeannie Suk Gersen is a professor at Harvard Law School and writer for The New Yorker. She clerked for David Souter. And Sarah Isgur is a columnist for The Dispatch and an ABC News contributor. She clerked for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and served as the Justice Department spokeswoman during the Trump administration.

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