Supreme Court is Back in Session and The Docket is Already Full of Pivotal Cases
The highest court in the land is set to open and this term is sure to be filled with cases that will impact this country in significant ways. The clash between conservatism and liberalism often reach the Supreme Court and their decisions often directly impact our culture for generations to come.
Think about the impact of moral cases like Roe vs. Wade and you can see how these 9 people have the power to decide the direction in which our culture goes and that’s why we need to be paying attention.
Cases involving religious liberty, which has been steadily eroding, have far reaching consequences and this court is unpredictable. We can only hope that the Court remembers what our founding fathers intended, which is a strict interpretation of the Constitution in a country built on conservative principles.
Each year there are 7000-8000 cases appealed to the Supreme Court, but the Court chooses to hear about 100. The Court has already chosen some cases that will be reviewed this term. Here are just a few cases to keep an eye on.
“The Supreme Court will reconvene on the first Monday in October for its new term. This will be the first term that the high court has begun with a full complement of justices since Neil Gorsuch joined the Court last April to replace the late Antonin Scalia.
Already, the Supreme Court has major cases set for review, and others waiting for consideration by the justices. Here are some of the important cases the justices have already accepted for review:
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has been defending cake artist Jack Phillips since 2012. Even though Jack gladly serves everyone, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission punished Jack, saying he had discriminated by declining to create a custom wedding cake in celebration of same-sex marriage, which conflicts with his Christian religious beliefs on the definition of marriage. The Court has not yet set a date for the oral arguments, but they are likely to occur before the end of the year, with a decision before the end of the Court’s term in late June.
Also, ADF has appealed another right of conscience case to the Supreme Court. In Arlene’s Flowers, the Washington Supreme Court upheld a ruling against florist Barronelle Stutzman, who declined to create custom flowers for a longtime customer’s same-sex wedding. The Supreme Court could consider this case with Masterpiece Cakeshop, or hold it for the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece, and then send the case back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of the new opinion.
Trump travel ban cases
The justices will hear oral arguments October 10 on two cases challenging the Trump Administration’s executive order temporarily suspending the entrance of nationals from six predominantly Muslim nations pending establishment of “adequate standards … to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists.” These cases have a cluster of complex legal issues, including the First Amendment. The justices will decide whether the executive order targets Muslims in a manner that violates the Establishment Clause.
Wisconsin redistricting case
The justices will hear Gill v. Whitford on October 3, which involves a challenge to the boundaries of the districts for electing Wisconsin state legislators. The claim is that Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally gerrymandered the boundaries to increase the number of Republican legislators elected to the Wisconsin Legislature. A decision in this case could possibly force states to redraw the lines for their legislative districts. The justices will wrestle with whether the courts should address complaints about political gerrymandering of district lines like this, or just leave them to the political branches of the government to sort out.”
This term welcomes the newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch, who now occupies the vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia. The court has a close balance of liberal and conservative justices and then the wildcard votes in the middle, so predicting any case would be a futile effort with this Court.
We will have to wait, perhaps many months, to see what decisions are made by the Supreme Court this term. But there is no doubt that many of their decisions will settle issues that are extremely polarizing and divisive. Of course, that never means the end of discussion in this country, and it shouldn’t!