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Were the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings hollow victories?

Updated

The Supreme Court’s rulings this week left those in the fight for equality with mixed emotions.

The setbacks came in the court’s ruling in both the Fisher v. University of Texas case that struck down affirmative action in education and the Shelby County v. Holder case which struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

The week wasn’t a complete loss for progressives, as the court deemed the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and found that the backers of Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage, had no legal standing.

Host Melissa Harris-Perry and her Saturday panel discussed the Supreme Court’s rulings on Proposition 8 and DOMA, opening up the question once again of whether they were hollow victories that need to be measured with caution.

RELATED: Host Melissa Harris-Perry gave her first reaction to the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings on host Thomas Roberts’ msnbc show. Video here.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry thought the court’s rulings were not hollow, but powerful. “The language of the ruling was strong and clear and powerful and emotional.” Wolfson went on to say, “We want that moral weight of the Supreme Court.”

The language of the ruling that he’s referring to comes from Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion. Not only did he write that DOMA is unconstitutional because it violates the 5th amendment, but also creates a stigma. “DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority.”

Kennedy went further, writing that DOMA tells people that same-sex couples are unworthy. “DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others.”

In the next term the court is set to hear cases on: power plant pollution, recess appointments, and protest buffer zones around abortion clinics.

Watch more of the Supreme Court conversation below.

Were the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings hollow victories?

Updated