SCOTUS rulings due on abortion, religion, guns and border
WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — The Supreme Court still has yet to release opinions on 13 more cases in June before it closes out one of the most contentious sessions in recent history. The court will release opinions Thursday and Friday and may add issuance days until the end of June.
Here are four of the most important cases awaiting decisions this term:
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion access in the U.S. could be reversed by a new set of Supreme Court justices this term. The 50-year-old law gives federal constitutional protection for abortion rights up until the point of viability, determined to be around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The number of weeks until fetal viability has been a polarizing issue for decades and challenged in multiple states looking to ban abortions much sooner in pregnancies.
The case was accepted this term by the higher courts after the only abortion clinic left in Mississippi sued the state over its 2018 law banning abortions after 15 weeks — cutting off access two months sooner than Roe allows.
A leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito from February signals that the justices have initially voted to overrule Roe, which would send abortion laws to the states with no federal standard. If this happens, abortion access would be banned completely or severely restricted in more than half of U.S. states.
Kennedy v. Bremerton School District: A high school football coach engaged in prayer with some of his student players during and after games. The school district in Washington state asked him to stop “improperly using his public employment to promote religion,” hoping to protect themselves from a lawsuit. Coach Joseph Kennedy refused and was suspended. He then sued the school district for violating his First Amendment rights and rights to private speech, because he claimed he didn’t demand any students participate in the prayer circle.
The court will determine if this act is protected speech and if an employer can prohibit it to avoid violating the Establishment Clause — which states you cannot force people to engage in religious exercises or profess beliefs.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen: To obtain a concealed-weapons permit in New York, state law requires applicants to show “proper cause,” and “good moral character.” Two residents challenged the law after being rejected, and some gun owners say this infringes on the Second Amendment right to carry a firearm for self-defense. Overturning the law could make it easier to legally carry a handgun in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii and Massachusetts, where similar regulations would be vulnerable.
Biden v. Texas: The Supreme Court will rule on whether the Biden administration will be obligated to keep the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico Policy, which denied entry to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers at the southern border while their cases were being processed. The current White House has said the law exposes immigrants to unsafe conditions and implied they were working on more humane ways to ease pressures on the system. President Biden tried ending the policy that kept migrants waiting on their cases in Mexico, but a federal judge in Texas forced the administration to restart the program in December.