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'Test cases,' or legal challenges meant to set precedent and change the law, were pioneered by civil rights activists. Test cases brought us some of the Supreme Court's greatest civil rights victories, and some of its greatest failures. But in the past few years, test cases have also become a powerful force in undoing civil rights laws, with test cases directed at everything from the Voting Rights Act to college admissions. And many of those cases are directed by a single man.

In this week's recap of "More Perfect," our look into NPR's new Supreme Court podcast, we're looking at the man behind some of the Supreme Court's most high-profile recent civil rights decisions: Edward Bloom.

The battle over where transgender youth can go to the bathroom has quickly turned into a political and legal flashpoint. The Supreme Court delved into the fight recently, staying an order that would allow transgender Virginia high schooler Gavin Grimm to use the bathroom that matched his gender identity. Then, on Sunday, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Obama administration's guidance on transgender students and bathroom access.

But these fights aren't just about the rights of transgender youth and debates about who can pee where. (Though they're certainly about that.) They're also a battle to change administrative law and the deference courts give to government agencies.

Some cases from the last term will take awhile to make their impact in lower courts. There are only so many abortion restrictions to overthrow, for example. District courts aren't often called to interpret "one person, one vote."

But some cases have quickly impacted litigation, garnering hundreds of citations in district, appellate, and state courts in just a matter of months. These are the decisions that may not make the most headlines, but they seem to be having the most impact.

Last Saturday marked the sixth month anniversary of Justice Antonin Scalia's death. That's six months since he died in his sleep on a Texas hunting retreat, six months since his body was laid out in the Supreme Court's Great Hall, six months since his law clerks were transferred to other chambers.

But even though Justice Scalia is gone, his chambers are still open for business.

Voter ID laws have been having a tough summer in federal appellate courts. Less than a month ago, the Fifth Circuit struck down Texas's controversial voter ID law, finding that it had a discriminatory effect. Just a few days later, the Fourth Circuit overturned a similar law in North Carolina, in a blistering opinion that condemned the "discriminatory intent" behind the law.

Now, both states are looking for the Supreme Court to intervene. On Monday, North Carolina filed an emergency appeal to save its law before the November elections, while Texas has announced that it will soon petition for cert as well.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor capped off a 10-day tour of Alaska on Sunday with a speech at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sadly, the Bronx native didn't regale her audience with tales of Grizzly sightings, glacier climbing, or moose hunting, which is what we would have liked to hear about.

But she did have some words of wisdom for her legislative branch counterparts back in Washington, D.C.: You might work together a bit better if you chilled out and got along, just like they do it in the Supreme Court.

At a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina yesterday, real life Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested that a Hillary Clinton presidency would result in a Supreme Court willing to undermine Second Amendment rights -- and he may have called for Clinton's assassination. "If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks," he said. "Although the Second Amendment people -- maybe there is, I don't know."

It was, to many observers, an unprecedented campaign line, a wink-wink-nudge-nudge call for the murder of your political opponent, over the composition of the Supreme Court. Trump's campaign argues that he was speaking of the "power of unification," not the power of gunpowder. But either way, what's good for the gander is good for the goose, so let's take a look at which of Trump's potential Supreme Court nominees could rally the Democrat's traditional base to "put a stop" to his SCOTUS agenda -- or at least inspire some nominees to "get Borked."

Welcome to our second 'More Perfect' recap, a look at the most interesting historical tidbits from NPR's new Supreme Court-focused podcast. Today's episode delves into the story behind Baker v. Carr, the landmark case that gave us "one man, one vote," rejecting the argument that legislative redistricting was an issue reserved for politicians, not courts. And, according to "More Perfect," it's a case that drove one justice from the bench and may have killed another.

It's a timely history, too, given the resurgence of electoral battles in the past months. In April, the Supreme Court rejected the contention that "one man, one vote" meant "one voter, one vote," throwing out a challenge redistricting in Texas. And voting rights continue to be a source of controversy in the courts. In the past few weeks, appellate courts have thrown out restrictive voting laws in Texas, North Dakota, and North Carolina.

Gavin Grimm probably won't be able to use the boys' bathroom when he returns to school this fall. Grimm, a transgender high school student who was born female but identifies as a man, had sued for the right to use the men's bathroom. About a month ago, a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction against the Gloucester County School Board, in rural Virginia, ordering it to do just that: allow Grimm to use the bathroom that matched his gender identity.

But that order won't be going into effect anytime soon. The Supreme Court intervened in the dispute yesterday, staying the order pending the filing and disposition of the school board's cert petition.

It's been 140 days since Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court, making his the longest pending Supreme Court nomination in history. But you didn't hear much about this milestone from the White House. And if you tuned into the Democratic National Convention last week, you probably didn't hear much about Merrick Garland at all. Indeed, when Hillary Clinton accepted her party's nomination, she barely mentioned the Supreme Court and never once uttered Garland's name.

Which raises the question: have the Democrats given up on seeing Garland appointed to the Supreme Court?