This Week in the Supreme Court, Vol. I: King Challenges Maryland’s Sovereignty

Each week, The Flipside reports the highlights from the week’s proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States.

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments on Maryland v. King. The State of Maryland argued that since the Declaration of Independence was written, King has lost its ability to govern the state of Maryland, citing several precedents from international law in support of its sovereignty. Advocates of King counter-claimed that Maryland has clearly violated the legal covenant of “put your name on what is yours,” thus invalidating its claim. Justice Alito appeared in favor of King, quietly muttering that Maryland “isn’t worth statehood.” Justice Thomas, whose home state of Georgia might be considered under similar jurisdiction as Maryland, seemed perturbed by the argument. Thomas refused to speak.

On Thursday, the court heard arguments for Shelby County v. Holder. The case asked whether sections of the Voting Rights Act are still constitutional, considering that a black guy is the president. Justice Scalia, who was apparently never subjected to racial discrimination of any sort, despite his Italian American heritage, called the law “a perpetuation of racial entitlement.” When asked why exactly the county, which, according to the latest census data, is overwhelmingly white, wanted the specific part of the law overturned, officials from Shelby County had no comment other than a surprisingly sinister sounding laugh.

During the weekly conference on Friday, Justice Breyer asked whether his new robe makes him look fat. According to the initial vote, the court was split 4-4, with Breyer recusing himself.

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