Vol. 127 No. 1 Midway through the oral argument in Maryland v. King, Justice Alito spontaneously interjected: “[B]y the way, I think this is perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this Court has heard in decades.” The juxtaposition between the breeziness of his comment and the solemnity of its content befit the case, which is best characterized as a sleeper in a Term overshadowed by monumental rulings on gay marriage, voting rights, and affirmative action. What looked on its face like just another Fourth Amendment dispute – with civil libertarians on one side and law enforcement on the other – garnered no special attention. But King is no ordinary Fourth Amendment case.
Vol. 127 No. 1 In his second inaugural address in January 2013, President Barack Obama associated the struggle for gay equality with that for racial equality by conjoining, alliteratively, Stonewall with Selma (along with Seneca Falls). The President went on to proclaim that “[o]ur journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
Vol. 127 No. 1 Retirement with dignity was denied to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). If ever a statute rose to iconic status, a superstatute amid a world of ordinary legislation, it was the VRA. In the course of not quite half a century, the Act was pivotal in bringing black Americans to the broad currents of political life – a transformation that shook the foundations of Jim Crow, triggered the realignment of partisan politics, and set the foundation for the election of an African American President.