Alex Witt   |  June 29, 2013

What did we learn about the Supreme Court?

Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post joins Richard Lui to breakdown the landmark decisions of the Supreme Court this past week.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> same-sex marriages in california have begun following the supreme court 's decision against prop 8 this week. some of t they were forced to answer some of the biggest questions of our time. let's look at these decisions. yay on affirmative action . how do you define the court after this week?

>> strategic. for the affirmative action case the court ruled seven to one. it can stand but they stood behind a more tight definition of what policies can move forward. ultimately it's not looking all that positive for affirmative action programs when they go back to the lower courts given the new standards. that's a strategy there. that was keying up for the next day when the voter rights act was struck down. that was a block bluster. do something about this or we will. that was an 8 to one decision and by a five to four vote with chief justice roberts actually did away with the formula that defines pre-clearance for the states covered under section 5.

>> let's talk about those votes. i'm sure you were scratching your head. voting with three liberal judges against prop 8. on doma we had the more traditional law with kennedy voting with all four liberals. what did these decisions teach you about the politics of the justices here.

>> it teaches me that justice kennedy was squared to death of following his convictions which would have benefitted the states and all marriage equality for the whole country. instead he wanted to go a little more slowly and that's why he rolled with the liberals on doma with a more cabin view of equal protection in a way that didn't affect other states. they all called the majority out in doma and said the other shoes don't get dropped, you're just not willing to do it now. prop 8 case , you saw them say that the opponents who appealed the decision once the state got out of the case in california should have had standing to get in there. that's how the california referendum s referend referendum system works. chief justice roberts and scalia joined with the three liberals to insulate from the consequences of his constitutionalism. they said there's no standing. we're not going to reach the merits. we leave it.

>> voting rights and affirmative action we're talking about voting rights for a bit. one they allowed affirmative action stand and they say voter protection is not needed anymore. what's your perception. how does this court look at the issue of race?

>> not very happily. we've known for quite some time with the five conservatives they are looking to roll back a lot of gains that were made during the civil rights era and through congress and the war in court, the liberal war in court during the season. it came to their constitutional views with the color blind constitution under reagan and under nixon a bit. the people don't have the same rights as others have. it's pretty much effective for all for african-americans in this country. we should go no further. things have changed. they're not willing to look deeper with issues for discrimination.

>> mike sacks. lots to talk about. busy week for you. i'm surprised you're still awake.