The Supreme Court heard arguments this week about the Fair Sentencing Act, a law signed by President Obama back in 2010 that reduces the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine offenders (who tend to be black) and powder cocaine offenders (who tend to be white). The court is trying to decide whether the new sentencing guidelines should apply retroactively, which is what the administration prefers.

“Complicating the issue for the court is a reversal from the Obama administration,” reports the Washington Post. “When the law was passed, the administration’s prosecutors told judges that the reduced sentences should apply only to those who committed their offenses after the legislation was enacted. But after Democratic lawmakers complained, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. changed the policy and said the new structure should be applied to those who had not yet been sentenced, regardless of when their offenses occurred.”

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