Opinion | Supreme Court decisions on abortion, guns, more loom from newly radicalized institution

Still, the court, despite dire predictions to the contrary, protected and reaffirmed abortion rights. It cut back on affirmative action but did not eliminate it. Rehnquist himself, who repeatedly expressed his disdain for Miranda, the 1966 decision protecting the rights of suspects in custody, voted as chief justice to reaffirm the ruling. Having found in 1986 that it was constitutional for states to criminally prosecute private homosexual conduct, the court, in the span of a dozen years from 2003 to 2015, reversed itself on that question, overturned the Defense of Marriage Act protecting states from having to recognize same-sex unions and, finally, declared the existence of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

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