The end of the Supreme Court’s mandate is approaching. But nearly half of the decisions on the High Court’s docket have yet to be cleared of a warrant that risks being a blockbuster in more ways than one.
On just under 30 remaining cases, there are rulings that will have dramatic implications for abortion rights, gun control, immigration, climate and religious freedom, among other less publicized issues. , but nonetheless critical.
Meanwhile, the high court is under internal investigation following a leaked draft opinion which rocked the legal and political world last month and revealed the judges are on the point to undo cue point Roe vs. Wade decision that guaranteed the right to abortion almost 50 years ago.
Perhaps the most anticipated decision concerns a case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationregarding a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy that experts say directly opposes what the Supreme Court ruled in Roe – that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability .
Since the High Court heard oral arguments in the case in December, seeming to signal a move to weaken or overthrow Roe, experts have made it clear that the federal protections established by the 1973 case may be coming to an end. But in May, a rare breach of confidentiality at the Supreme Court appeared to confirm that the High Court was on the verge of overturning abortion rights guaranteed by the landmark ruling.
In the draft majority opinion that surfaced in May, Judge Samuel Alito wrote that the judges had ruled that the 50-year-old abortion rights ruling “must be overturned,” adding that “Roe had clearly wrong from the start”. But the Supreme Court, in a statement, later said the draft did not represent the High Court’s final decision.
A major Second Amendment ruling is imminent amid a string of massacres in recent weeks — from a supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, to a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen is a challenge to a century-old New York gun law that requires anyone seeking a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to establish a ‘legitimate cause’ or need special for self defense.
The case comes more than a decade after the High Court ruled that the right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense is protected by the Second Amendment, and with the Bruen case, it may also extend this right outside the house. .
During pleadings in November, judges appeared to signal a move to strike down New York’s gun law in a ruling that would make it easier to carry a gun in the state — and perhaps beyond, any as a spike in gun violence in New York and elsewhere in recent months has reinvigorated the gun control debate.
High Court Considers West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, which affects the agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases and can have major consequences not only for the Biden administration’s ability to make inroads into its climate agenda, but even for any federal agency to make major decisions alone.
The disagreement arose in 2015, after the Obama administration instituted the Clean Power Plan, which set targets for each state to reduce emissions from power plants. After several states challenged the rule, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked it before it could go into effect. Then the Trump administration repealed the rule, arguing it overstepped the EPA’s authority, and replaced it with its own policy that offered power plants more leniency. The decision to repeal the Obama-era policy was later challenged, and on Trump’s last day in office, it was overturned by a federal appeals court.
A group of companies and Republican-led states, including West Virginia, have asked the High Court to review the lower court’s decision. Since then, the Biden administration has not taken over the Obama administration’s policy, choosing instead to write its own rule.
The end of the term should be consequential for immigration.
A case, Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco, over whether states can uphold a Trump-era immigration rule known as the ‘public charge’ rule, after the Biden administration refused to uphold it before the courts. The disputed rule expanded the definition of the term “public charge,” which in immigration law describes those who may be declared ineligible for green cards because the government says they are likely to be overly dependent on public assistance. .
Another case considered by the Supreme Court, Biden v. Texas, concerns whether the Biden administration can end a controversial Trump-era policy that forces people seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico until their cases are processed.
Migrant protection protocols, often referred to asStay in Mexicowas implemented by the Trump administration in 2019, returning nearly 70,000 asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico under conditions criticized by human rights groups, which have reported cases of kidnappings, rapes and other crimes against migrants under the programme. .
In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden ended politics last year. But Texas and Missouri filed a lawsuit in April, arguing its removal contributed to increased migration and that the policy was improperly rescinded. A federal judge later ruled that the Biden administration should reinstate the policy, finding that the administration failed to provide adequate reasoning when it overturned the policy and in doing so violated procedural law. administrative, which governs the making of executive rules. The case was expedited in oral arguments in April after the Biden administration asked judges to decide the case during the current term.
The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on two other immigration-related cases before their summer break — Johnson v Arteaga-Martinez and Garland v Gonzalez — both of which concern whether non-citizens who are to be deported but seek protection from removal based on a threat to their home country can get a bail hearing within six months of their detention.
In April, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the city of Boston violated the freedom of speech of a Christian group by refusing to fly its flag in front of city hall. But two other religious freedom cases await decisions in the coming weeks.
Like the City of Boston decision, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is concerned with whether a high school football coach’s postgame prayer constitutes government or private speech. The coach lost his job at a public high school in Washington because of prayers, which his attorney says are protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and free exercise of religion. The school district, on the other hand, argued that the coach’s prayers posed a risk to the district, possibly violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another. , among other concerns.
Judges are expected to weigh in on another religious freedom case in the coming weeks. Carson v. Makin is a challenge to a Maine program that allows certain students to use federal funds to attend private schools if they don’t have access to a public school in their district. But the program does not extend to private schools that require religious instruction, which opponents say violates the Constitution. While the case is specific to Maine, it may have implications for state or local governments beyond — perhaps requiring that taxpayer funds be used to pay for religious schools.