FAST FIVE: From Affirmative Action To Andy Warhol: Buckle-Up For A Wild Supreme Court Term

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Bakke, the court has never achieved clarity on the constitutional use of race beyond barring any preference “for no reason other than race or ethnic origin.” Then-Justice Lewis Powell declared, “This the Constitution forbids,” but the court has been unable to say with any coherence and consistency what else it forbids in a line of conflicting and vague 5-4 rulings.

Bollinger, the court divided 5-4 on upholding race admissions criteria used to achieve “diversity” in a class at Michigan Law School.

That was the case in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in 2018, in which a baker was found to be in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple due to his religious objections.

While that is a decline from other years, it still reflects almost a third of the cases brought before the court.

Yet, every overturned precedent likely will be treated as sacrosanct and inviolate despite years of conflicted rulings.

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