Today, the Supreme Court rejected school diversity plans that take account of students’ race in two major public school districts. The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could also "imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it further restricts how public school systems may attain racial diversity." The opinion was 5-4, but Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion stating that while he felt the plans violated the equal protection clause as they are, race may be a component of school district plans designed to achieve diversity. He further said that to the extent that Roberts’ opinion can be interpreted to foreclose the use of race in any circumstance, he disagreed with that reasoning.
In the case involving a mentally ill killer in Texas, the court ruled 5-4 to block his execution. The man's lawyers argued that he suffers from a severe documented illness that is the source of his delusions and cannot comprehend that he is being put to death for the crime he committed. "This argument, we hold, should have been considered," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion.
In a third case, the Court further eroded antitrust protections by abandoning a 96-year-old ban on manufacturers and retailers setting price floors for products. In a 5-4 decision, the court said that agreements on minimum prices are legal if they promote competition and future accusations of minimum pricing pacts will be evaluated case by case. The Supreme Court declared in 1911 that minimum pricing agreements violate federal antitrust law.