By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court handed down decisions which saved a major component of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), struck down state laws banning Gay marriage and preserved a key part of a 60s era anti-housing discrimination law.
These rulings highlighted the court’s 2015 session and frustrated conservative political and religious groups, hoping for an opening to dismantle ACA, President Barack H. Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
“The Court made the right decision on the law, which is good for millions of people, including 300,000 Virginians who have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance marketplace,” said Gaylene Kanoyton, President of the Hampton NAACP and Celebrate Healthcare LLC.
By a vote of 6-3 Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing endorsing the subsidies which provide financial aid to millions of low- and middle-income Americans to help pay for insurance premiums through state and federal ACA health exchanges regardless of where they live.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts declared in the majority opinion.
Bans on Gay Marriage Struck Down
Gay couples may now marry, thanks to a 5-4 Supreme Court decision deemed a victory for the Gay rights movement. The high court struck down
conservative state laws which had denied them the right over the years.
“No longer may this liberty be denied,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion.
Kennedy’s reading of the ruling elicited tears in the courtroom, euphoria outside and the immediate issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in at least eight states.
The Obama administration hailed the court’s decision and as night fell Friday June 26. the White House lit up in the rainbow colors of the LGBT movement.
Court Upholds Fair Housing Law
In a surprise ruling on housing discrimination, the court said discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal.
The justices said people objecting to lending, zoning, sales and rental practices can base their legal claim on the disparate impact those practices have on Blacks or other minorities.
Read full story in New Journal and Guide, July 2-8, 2015