WASHINGTON (AP) — A historic Supreme Court term ended with a flourish of major rulings that marked a bitter defeat for racial minorities and a groundbreaking victory for gay rights — all in the space of a day.
The justices struck down parts of two federal laws — the Voting Rights Act and the Defense of Marriage Act — that were passed with huge bipartisan majorities of Congress.
Yet only one justice, Anthony Kennedy, was on the winning side both times.
The rulings demonstrated two truths about the court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts.
He put to rest questions about his conservative credentials from his vote last year to uphold President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. But Roberts can move the court no farther to the right than Kennedy wants.