It’s almost the opening day of the country’s most important court, the Supreme Court of the United States. While there may not be a fanfare present to usher in the first day of the new term on Monday, there will surely be fireworks this season from the Supreme Court.
This year we barely had time to miss the Supreme Court.
This year we barely had time to miss the Supreme Court. Typically, judges sign our directories in June with a “HAGS! Superficial. (Have a great summer!) And disappear for months as they give well-paid speeches in faraway places. This year they have been sticking around, dealing with many so-called ghost folder the decisions. They allowed Texas’ restrictive abortion law to go into effect and hailed President Joe Biden’s attempt to extend the federal moratorium on deportations and his efforts to end the “stay in Mexico” policy of former President Trump.
Now they are going back to their regular programming. They have already made oral arguments in a number of key cases that could reshape our legal and political landscape and exacerbate existing company fault lines.
On December 1, the court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Mississippi Law, which bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law contradicts the current Supreme Court precedent, set almost 30 years ago in a case called Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the tribunal upheld the “essential conclusion” of its landmark 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade. The Casey court ruled that once a fetus is viable, states can ban abortions, but predictability states can only implement restrictions that do not represent an “undue burden” on the ability to abort. ‘a woman to get an abortion.
Because fetal viability usually begins at around 24 weeks pregnant, there appears to be no way to honestly align Mississippi law banning abortions at 15 weeks pregnant, with the Casey standard. Twenty-four weeks is over 15 weeks, and a ban is more than an undue burden. By agreeing to review Mississippi’s abortion law, at least four members of the tribunal almost certainly signaled that they were comfortable overthrowing Roe and Casey. That number is likely closer to six, the same number who voted to allow Texas’s abortion law to remain in effect.
On November 3, the court will hear arguments on the second most controversial and consequential question facing judges this quarter: if the state of New York can mandate that there are good reasons for people wishing to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, such as self-defense.
The Supreme Court, at large spite of some of its more conservative judges, has been largely reluctant to take on the big Second Amendment cases since he hit a District of Columbia law in 2008 that banned the carrying of unregistered handguns and banned the registration of handguns, but allowed the chief of police to issue one-year licenses for handguns. The DC law also required people who legally own registered firearms to keep them in a non-functional condition (such as by binding them with trigger locks) at home. Judge Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority of the court, notoriously concluded that the Second Amendment includes an individual right to bear arms, as opposed to a right granted only to the militia, and that this right includes the right to bear arms. ability to own a working weapon in his house for self-defense.
The court’s ruling in the gun case it will hear on November 3 will tell us what power states have to restrict a person’s ability to carry a gun outside the home. In addition to New York, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island place restrictions on carrying weapons concealed outside the home. All of these laws could be on the chopping block.
The court will be discussing much more than abortion and gun control this quarter.
On Wednesday the court will consider whether the government can prevent a prisoner in Guantánamo Bay from obtaining information in a lawsuit against the CIA contractors who tortured him. The legal question in this case is whether the government can use the privilege of “state secrets” to prevent the disclosure of information relating to national security. The court’s decision could affect other pending cases, such as the separate case of five men indicted by the US military court in Guantánamo Bay for aiding the men who carried out the 9/11 attacks.
The court will be discussing much more than abortion and gun control this quarter.
A week later, on October 13, the court will hear arguments in a case concerning Djozhar Tsarnaez, who, along with his brother, is one of the two Boston Marathon bombers. Tsarnaez’s death sentence was overturned by an appeals court because the trial court failed to question potential jurors about the media coverage they had devoted to the case and excluded evidence from the sentencing phase for her brother’s involvement in a separate murder case. The Supreme Court will decide whether the death penalty should be reinstated.
November will be First Amendment month at the Supreme Court as judges hear one case dealing with freedom of religion and two dealing with the scope of the free speech clause. On the first of this month, the court will hear the case of condemned to death John Ramirez, who claims, in part, that he has a constitutionally protected right to have his Baptist pastor lay his hands on him and pray aloud as he is put to death. Texas has so far rejected these requests. Previous cases to reach court in this area relate to whether a death row inmate can have a spiritual advisor present in the execution chamber, and not what actions that advisor can take once inside. .
On Thursday, the court agreed to hear a challenge filed by a Christian group, Camp Constitution, against the city of Boston. Camp Constitution wanted to use a town hall flag pole to hoist its flag, which bears a Latin cross. “What about the separation of Church and State? ” you ask. Well, Camp Constitution complains that Boston allows tons of other groups to use its flag poles, such as those celebrate gay pride and Juneteenth. The two lower courts to consider the case ruled in favor of the city.
In a case regarding the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, on November 2, the court will examine the public censorship of the Houston Community College System Board of Trustees against one of its members for things he said about the other board members. This member claimed that the censorship violated his First Amendment rights, a claim that the Federal District Court dismissed, ruling that the censorship was nothing more than “declaration»The dissatisfaction of the board of directors. Court of Appeal at variance. The case asks more broadly whether a local elected body has the power to censor one of its members as a result of that member’s speech.
And there’s another case to come regarding the free speech clause, this one addressing the ever-growing problem of money and politics. When Texas Senator Ted Cruz loaned money to his 2018 re-election campaign, he admits he did it to challenge a federal law that caps the amount of money candidates can at $ 250,000. raise after the elections to repay their personal loans to the campaign. Cruz loaned $ 260,000 to his campaign the day before the election and wants to be able to raise money after the election to pay off his entire loan of $ 260,000. He says the law violates the First Amendment by adding to political discourse for no good reason. The government says the law is needed to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption that could occur when candidates raise money after elections to help pay off personal debts to the campaign.
This is the Supreme Court’s first full term with its new Conservative majority of six to three.
This is the Supreme Court’s first full term with its new roster and a strong Conservative six-to-three majority. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was sworn a few weeks after the start of last year’s term.
Only fools make predictions, so let’s go. Ten months from now, when the court’s term ends, Roe and Casey will no longer be the law of the land. They will either be expressly or implicitly eviscerated. States will no longer have the power to restrict the ability of people to carry concealed weapons outside their homes, or that authority will be severely curtailed. Cruz, and his colleagues, will be able to collect as much money as they wish after an election to repay their personal loans to their campaigns.
There are other significant cases the court will consider that may change our understanding of the contours of the First Amendment and state secrets privilege. But if the only two cases the court heard throughout the period were the abortion and gun control cases, we can already predict that thanks to at least five people in a country of nearly 330 million of inhabitants, our world is about to be very different.