5 Supreme Court cases to watch during the 2021-2022 term

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The Supreme Court has already agreed to consider several important cases during its next term, and it will likely add more soon. Here’s a look at five of the most important cases the Supreme Court will hear during its 2021-2022 tenure.

1. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

This is the largest abortion case in the past 30 years. In essence, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to reconsider – and potentially overturn – its wayward rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In 2018, Mississippi enacted the Gestational Age Act, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks gestation except in a medical emergency or serious fetal abnormality.

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The state legislature has spelled out two conclusions in law: 1) 75% of all nations do not allow abortions beyond 12 weeks gestation, and 2) the heart of an unborn human begins to beat after five to six weeks of gestation and at nine weeks all “basic physiological functions are present.

The legislator has also identified several state interests regarding this law. He identified a desire to protect the life of the unborn child, the medical profession and the health of the mother. Most abortions are performed after 15 weeks using the dilation and evacuation procedure where the unborn child is crushed and torn before pieces of the dead child are removed from the uterus.

Not only did the Mississippi legislature consider this practice to be “barbaric” and “humiliating to the medical profession,” but it also highlighted the serious medical risks associated with it, such as pelvic infections, blood clots, heavy bleeding, and the Depression.

The respondent, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, challenged the constitutionality of the ban in Federal Court. The district court struck down the law, declaring it unconstitutional. In Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the lower court ruled that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional bans on abortions before 24 weeks gestation, around the time an unborn human becomes viable.

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Mississippi public health official Thomas Dobbs appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which upheld the district court’s ruling. He then appealed to the Supreme Court, which subsequently granted a review.

It’s hard to overstate the potential impact of this decision, whether it is a decision upholding lower court decisions and reaffirming Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which would be a big blow to the pro-life movement, a moderate move that would gradually diminish previous abortion precedents, or a broad move completely overturning previous decisions.

2. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen

This will be the first time in 11 years that the Supreme Court will consider an important Second Amendment case.

New York is requiring its residents to obtain a license to legally possess a firearm, whether to keep it at home or take it outside. To obtain a license, a licensing officer must determine whether the applicant is of good character, has no history of crime or mental illness, and that “there is no valid reason for refusing the license. Licence “.

Applicants must also have a “valid reason” to legally conceal the carrying of a handgun – the open carrying of a handgun is totally prohibited. New York law does not define “good cause”, but the courts have clarified that this standard means that one must “demonstrate a particular need for self-protection distinct from that of the community at large or persons exercising the same. profession ”.

The mere fact of having the “generalized desire” to cover up, according to the courts, “does not constitute a” good cause “. “

Petitioners Robert Nash and Brendan Koch have been denied a permit to carry a handgun in public despite including in their applications their desire for self-defense and having undergone extensive safety training. Licensing officers determined that they had not presented a valid reason because they had not demonstrated “a particular need for self-defense that distinguished [themselves] of the general public. “

The petitioners filed a lawsuit challenging this standard, arguing that it violated the Second Amendment. The District Court and the 2nd Circuit, however, found their appeals excluded due to an earlier decision of the 2nd Circuit, Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, which held such restrictions to be constitutional.

According to Circuit 2 in this case, Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald clarified that the right to bear arms “is at its peak in the home”, but that governments have more leeway to regulate possession of guns. ‘guns outside the house so that New York’s “just cause” standard was constitutional.

The question before the Supreme Court is whether New York violated the applicants’ Second Amendment rights by denying their applications for concealment permits in self-defense.

3. Carson vs. Makin

The Carson and Nelson families are challenging Maine’s ban on applying public funds from the Tuition Assistance Program to high schools that, in addition to teaching academic subjects, provide religious education.

The petitioners argue that this law prevents their families from using funds for schools they consider best for their children and, more importantly, violates their constitutional rights under free-practice clauses, establishment and equal protection.

The petitioners filed a lawsuit and lost in both the Federal District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. Although the Supreme Court ruled in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, that states cannot exclude families or schools from participating in a student aid program solely because of a school’s religious status, lower courts have relied on a distinction between l ‘use and status -based restrictions.

The lower courts held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue prevented states from excluding schools from government programs on the basis of the school’s religious status, but it did not address whether states could prohibit how the funds were used. for religious education.

In other words, as long as the school is only nominally religious, it cannot be excluded, but if it promotes religion, a state can exclude it from receiving funds on this basis.

The question before the Supreme Court is whether a state violates the First Amendment or the 14th Amendment by prohibiting students from electing to use student aid funds for schools that provide religious education.

4. CVS Pharmacy Inc. v. Doe

This case raises the question of whether policies that have a disparate impact on groups with disabilities violate the anti-discrimination provisions of the Rehabilitation Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Respondents, using pseudonyms of “John Doe”, are people enrolled in employee-sponsored health care who have HIV. The petitioners, all wholly owned subsidiaries of CVS Health Corporation, supply John Does with their medication.

Respondents sued CVS after it implemented a new drug policy that required all specialty drugs (drugs that typically treat chronic conditions and usually more expensive) to be mailed if respondents wish to purchase them. at their price in the network. If respondents or any other registrant choose to purchase specialty drugs in person from a pharmacy, they will be charged a higher rate.

Respondents argue that this delivery mandate prevents them from receiving help from pharmacy benefit managers who can provide them with consultations about their medications, prevents pharmacists from tracking potentially life-threatening drug interactions, and exposes them to potential risks such as drug abuse. shipping errors, thefts and violations. to their medical privacy.

The respondents allege that this change denies them meaningful access to medical care, which would constitute a violation of the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act.

The outcome of this case will clarify whether, and if so, to what extent, seemingly neutral policies can be considered discriminatory if they have a disparate impact on a distinct group.

5. United States v. Zubaydah

This case concerns the privilege of state secrets, which was established by a Supreme Court precedent in United States v. Reynolds. In United States v. Reynolds, the Supreme Court ruled that courts must exclude privileged evidence if it threatens national security interests.

Abu Zubaydah is a former associate of Osama bin Laden who was detained in Pakistan by the CIA for being an enemy fighter and placed in a detention center in Poland. While there, the CIA used improved interrogation techniques on Zubaydah.

Poland has opened a criminal investigation into CIA operations there, and Zubaydah has asked a US Federal District court to order the US government to provide Poland with information relating to his detention. The district court was initially willing to grant discovery of these documents until the US government blocked it, citing the state secret privilege established in the US v Reynolds case.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit overturned and remanded the decision, arguing that the lower court could allow a limited discovery because some of the documents would not threaten national security interests.

The question before the Supreme Court is whether the 9th Circuit erred in its assessment of these documents regarding their potential to harm national security.

Of course, these are just a few of the cases the Supreme Court will consider under this term. He will also review important death penalty cases, including one involving the Boston Marathon bomber and another involving an inmate’s access to a spiritual advisor during the execution process, as well as a host of other important cases.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal


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