On this day, June 28th, in legal history, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down their decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and ruled that quota systems could not be used in college admissions, but programs that incentivize accepting minority applicants are permissible.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke was a landmark Supreme Court case decided on June 28th, 1978. The Court ruled that a university's admissions criteria, which used race as the sole basis for admission decisions, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case revolved around Allan Bakke, a white male applicant who was rejected from medical school at the University of California at Davis due to a racial quota system. The Court determined that the quota system was unconstitutional and a violation of civil rights laws. They applied strict scrutiny, stating that the government must have a compelling interest and narrowly tailored means to justify race-based actions. The Court acknowledged that race could be considered as a factor in admissions, but rejected the use of a quota system that excluded candidates based solely on race.
The Supreme Court has upheld a Pennsylvania law in a narrow 5-4 decision that requires companies to face lawsuits within the state when they register to do business there. The ruling leaves room for a potential future challenge to the law on different constitutional grounds. Opponents of the law expressed concern that it could lead to other states adopting similar registration requirements. The case involved a former employee of Norfolk Southern Railway Co. who wanted to bring a lawsuit against the company in Pennsylvania, even though it is not based there.
Justice Samuel Alito, while ruling in favor of the plaintiff in this case, suggested that the law could be challenged under the commerce clause in the future. The court's decision was based on a precedent set in a 1917 case involving a similar law in Missouri. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Elena Kagan and Brett Kavanaugh, dissented, arguing that the ruling infringed upon the authority of other states to adjudicate disputes involving their citizens.
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a tax case regarding foreign earnings, raising concerns about the extent of Congress' taxing powers. The case revolves around internal revenue code Section 965, which aimed to prevent foreign earnings from permanently evading US taxation during a transition to a new international tax regime. The plaintiffs, Charles and Kathleen Moore, are seeking a refund of $14,729 through their challenge to the tax. However, the case has broader implications, as the government estimates the tax will generate $340 billion over a decade. The Moores and other groups argue that allowing the tax would provide Congress with the authority to pursue new revenue streams, such as a federal wealth tax. The Moores' representatives argue that the tax is not authorized under the federal government's power to tax income as defined by the Sixteenth Amendment. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals previously dismissed the suit, ruling that taxable income doesn't have to be realized. The Moores argue that only realized income is taxable under the Sixteenth Amendment, and the tax violates the constitutional requirement for direct taxes to be proportionally applied to each state's population. The case has garnered interest from organizations like the US Chamber of Commerce and the Cato Institute, which submitted briefs urging the Supreme Court to take up the case. The outcome of the case will have implications for Congress' taxing powers and the interpretation of the Sixteenth Amendment.
The US Supreme Court has rejected a legal theory that would grant state legislatures unchecked power over elections. In a 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled against Republican state legislators in a case involving North Carolina's House of Representatives districts. The legislators sought to embrace the "independent state legislature" doctrine, which would remove the role of state courts and state constitutions in regulating federal elections. Critics argue that the doctrine poses a threat to democratic norms and could lead to further voter restrictions and extreme partisan gerrymandering. The Supreme Court's ruling still allows federal courts to review certain election-related cases and potentially challenge state court decisions. The decision does not establish a clear legal test for determining when state courts have overstepped their bounds in election matters. The issue is expected to resurface in future cases when state courts reject legislatively drawn maps and take it upon themselves to draw districts.
A law professor at the University of Colorado, Paul Campos, has filed a lawsuit against the university and its law school dean, Lolita Buckner Inniss, alleging pay discrimination and retaliation. Campos, who is the only Latino faculty member, claims that he is paid less than his white colleagues. He also accuses Inniss of retaliating against him for raising concerns about his compensation and for taking parental leave. According to a 2021 pay study conducted by the university, Campos earned nearly $14,000 less per year than white law faculty. In addition, Campos alleges that he received a low faculty rating, which he believes was influenced by racial bias and retaliation for taking paternity leave. He claims that Inniss further retaliated against him by removing him from the law school's faculty evaluations committee and preventing him from teaching a course. Campos argues that the university has failed to provide evidence of offensive and biased language, as alleged.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has lost his bid to dismiss most of the criminal charges brought against him by the U.S. government. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan denied Bankman-Fried's request, clearing the way for his trial scheduled for October 2. Bankman-Fried is accused of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar fraud by stealing funds from FTX customers to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research. Prosecutors also allege that he misled investors and made illegal contributions to U.S. political campaigns in the names of his colleagues. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty and denied stealing funds but admitted to inadequate risk management at FTX. The judge ruled that the charges against Bankman-Fried were valid and that the alleged misappropriated funds constituted property. Bankman-Fried had also argued that some charges were improperly brought without consent from the Bahamas, where he was arrested and extradited. A second trial is scheduled for March 11 on charges brought after his extradition.