Supreme Court to decide landmark cases on abortion, guns and religion

WASHINGTON, DC — Time is running out as the Supreme Court still has three weeks on its official schedule to decide 29 cases — including six major ones, half of which are likely landmark — or extend its sessions through July, with rulings deep to take on abortion, the Second Amendment and religious liberty.

The term of office of the Supreme Court runs from the first Monday in October until the first Monday in October of the following year. But even though the court’s mandate technically continues through the summer and early fall — allowing judges to rule on emergencies or deal with housekeeping matters — the court “stands up” when all the cases of the current mandate have been decided. This usually happens during the last week of June.

What then begins is not vacation time. Judges could take a few weeks vacation during this time, just like other Americans, and use the time to lecture, travel or perhaps work on a book. But justices are also spending time preparing for cases they will hear in the fall and preparing to vote on more than 1,000 petitions piling up with lower courts asking the Supreme Court to reconsider a case. Their paralegals and clerical staff continue to work during this period under the supervision of the judges.

But for the public, the end of June marks the end of the Supreme Court’s term. Final decisions are made – inevitably at least a few big ones – and the judges disappear from public life for a few months.

However, the court now faces mid-June with 29 cases still pending out of the 59 cases the court has heard this quarter. (By the way, in recent decades the court has typically decided between 70 and 80 cases per term.) That’s a lot of decisions to make in two and a half weeks.

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. Seated from left to right are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, standing left to right are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

More than that, six of those cases are major cases. One is Biden vs. Texasabout President Joe Biden’s attempt to end one of former President Donald Trump’s signature policies, the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs), better known as “Remain in Mexico,” without which the number of illegal aliens entering this country would be far higher.

Another is Carson v. Makina case brought by the First Liberty Institute and the Institute for Justice regarding school choice where the State of Main discriminates against families who wish to send their children to Christian schools.

A third is West Virginia vs. EPAon whether Biden’s EPA has nearly unlimited power to issue sweeping environmental regulations that could transform the US economy.

The remaining major cases are so significant that at least one – and potentially all of them – are simply historic, sure to have a profound impact on the direction of the country.

One is New York State Rifles and Pistols Association vs. Bruen, on whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms extends outside the home. The only two major gun rights cases decided by the Supreme Court involved citizens who wanted handguns in the home for self-protection, and now the court will consider how that right applies in the everyday lives of citizens. .

Another is Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, about a former U.S. Marine high school football coach who was fired from a public school for his custom of offering a short silent prayer on his team’s football field after every football game of Friday evening. This case could be a landmark decision on three separate First Amendment issues: free speech rights in schools and/or for government employees, the right to freely exercise their religion for government employees, and the meaning appropriate to the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the government from adopting an official religion.

Finally – of course – is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationchallenging a Mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks, in which it now appears a Supreme Court majority is set to overturn Roe vs. Wade by arguing that the Constitution does not include an implied right to abortion. One way or another, Dobbs will figure prominently in the history books regarding this time period in America.

UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Pro-life activists demonstrate outside the United States Supreme Court on Monday, May 23, 2022. Safety precautions are heightened in anticipation of the court's overturning of Roe v Wade.  (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Pro-life activists demonstrate outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC, Monday, May 23, 2022. Security precautions are being heightened in anticipation of the court’s quashing of Roe v Wade. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

An abortion rights activist demonstrates outside the United States Supreme Court on Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Washington.  A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court may be on the verge of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday.  Regardless of the outcome, the Politico report represents an extremely rare violation of the court's secret deliberative process, and on a matter of momentous importance.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Pro-abortion activist protest outside the United States Supreme Court on May 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Some authors say that it should not be a problem for the court to decide 29 cases during this period because, for example, in 1982 the court still had 69 cases to decide out of 141.

But that was another era. The court dedicates more working hours to each case now than it did then, aiming for better decisions that give more effective advice to lower courts and the rest of the nation. While some believe the court should take on more cases than it currently does, even if far fewer than 141 – your current author thinks 90 cases would be a better target number – finalizing 29 cases in three weeks is a heavy burden. charge.

More than that, with no disrespect to the October 1981 term of the Supreme Court – which includes June 1982 – these cases are not in the same ballpark as the blockbuster cases currently pending before the justices. There is simply no comparison of legal importance to the nation between Nixon versus Fitzgerald (presidential immunity from civil suits) and Dobbs. This year’s cases could shape America’s future. Such cases require an extraordinary number of man-hours.

The Supreme Court will likely publish cases on at least two days in each of the next three weeks. If there are any cases left at this stage, all eyes will continue to be on the court as his term extends until July.

Ken Klukowski is an attorney who has served in the White House and the Justice Department, and is a Breitbart News contributor. Follow him @kenklukowski.


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