(UnitedVoice.com) – Former President Donald Trump’s most lasting legacy may be the appointments of three conservative US Supreme Court Justices. As the nation’s highest court, the US Constitution tasks it with preserving liberty and putting checks and balances on the executive and legislative branches. Now that it’s June, the court is finishing its deliberations and is preparing its rulings for public consumption and scrutiny.
Since the Republican-confirmed justices outnumber Democratic ones 6-3, the court is expected to move decidedly right on legal and social issues. Conservatives waited decades for the opportunity to see the High Court rule based on objective Constitutional law instead of modern-day subjective legal theory. Over the last few weeks, the Court ruled 9-0 in numerous consecutive cases. Some believe the Court is intentionally signaling Congress a big thumbs down over threats to pack the Court and force liberal-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer to resign. However, more controversial decisions are looming that could test the strength of the new Court’s conservative majority.
Controversial Cases that Could Test the Conservative Majorities Strength
Over the years, Conservatives grew tired of Chief Justice John Roberts siding with Liberals on important issues and acting as a wild card. It’s hoped that the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett will make Roberts’ inclination to sway moot. Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg in October 2020 after the liberal icon passed away last summer. Barrett’s strong leaning to the right may give the court a much-needed Conservative boost in several upcoming controversial cases.
Obamacare is on the docket again, and its future hangs in the balance. Now that the individual mandate was repealed in the 2017 tax law, a coalition of state Republican attorneys general is asking the court to rule the provision unconstitutional definitively and invalidate the entire law.
Many question whether the court will throw out the entire law. Instead, it may sever the mandate and keep the rest of the law in place. As the Court decides, liberal pundits and activists are throwing out exaggerated claims that 20 million Americans will lose their healthcare.
Arizona Voting Restrictions
In early March, the court appeared to side with Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona. During virtual oral arguments, justices asked questions that indicated they could rule in favor of making it difficult to prove violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The case centers around two measures.
The first makes it a crime for anyone other than family or caregivers to submit a person’s early ballot on their behalf. The practice is commonly referred to as “ballot harvesting.” The second disqualifies a ballot cast in-person at a precinct not assigned to the voter.
Religious Liberty vs. Gay Rights
When the Court legalized gay marriage in 2015, it was only a matter of time before adoption issues took center stage. The court heard oral arguments in the City of Philadelphia vs. Catholic Social Services. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia refused to place foster children with gay couples, arguing it was against their religious beliefs. The city said the archdiocese was discriminating against gay couples.
Justices appear to be leaning towards religious liberty, as has been their practice the last number of years involving gay rights versus religious liberty cases.
Free Speech in School
If you love drama, this case is full of it. It hinges on a cheerleader, the “F” word, and the degree to which school districts punish students for what they say away from school property. In this case, a teen who didn’t make the varsity cheerleading team went online and castigated coaches after school hours and away from school property. The school banned her from the cheerleading squad for a year over her Snapchat post.
The Justices indicated it was a complex case to balance free speech and school protections. However, Justice Breyer stated his concern that every county across America would do nothing other than punish students for swearing off-campus and suggested the school district’s position was overhanded.
Stay tuned over the next month as the court’s rulings are released publicly. It’s bound to create political anxiety and more Democratic calls to pack the court if liberals see even one case go against them.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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