Losses and Wins in Supreme Court: How Does It Affect You?

All eyes have been on the Supreme Court  this week, as it handed down decisions on the Voting Rights Act, Defense of Marriage Act, and California's Proposition 8.

For those concerned with human rights and civil rights for everyone (and it's hard to understand how you can support them for just some people), it's been a complicated week to react to.

What is the fallout likely to be in the community development field? Many groups are likely to be dealing with decreased political clout through gerrymandering and attacks on voting rights. Mock, in a more detailed piece, notes that most of the effects of the Voting Rights Act changes will be on the local level, with multiple small changes it will be hard to keep up with fighting against.

On the other hand, many of our individual constituents will benefit from increased stability through federal recognition of their families.

I fear a possible uptick in tension between “winners” and “losers” (is it just me, or is hard to see the timing of this as coincidental, as it's such a perfect way to fracture progressives?). I think it's important to look for ways to both celebrate the wins and decry and fight the unacceptable losses. To skip either would be to do a serious disservice to our common humanity and commitment to equality.

What have the reactions been in your neighborhood? What consequences do you predict? Take our survey you might be quoted in next week's Shelterforce Weekly.

(Photo of Supreme Court, CC BY-SA, Flickr user openDemocracy.)

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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