Supreme Court braces for controversial new term

Washington (CBS)

The Supreme Court will return to office on Monday for the start of a new term, and judges will return to politics, including side amendments, religious freedom and abortion, while battling the hurt public perception of the High Court . The legitimacy is settled to take over a business that is divided in two.

The judges stand on the bench in front of a limited audience due to public health concerns, but are summoned for a direct discussion in the majestic courtyard of the tribunal for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. ..

In the first months of its new mandate, the tribunal will deal with three high-profile disputes, including issues that are the subject of political prosecution. The controversial battle is whether the broad conservative majority in the Supreme Court will make drastic decisions or opt for incremental changes in areas where it will have a significant impact on the lives of Americans. And that will further clarify whether there will be a rift between the six Tory judges.

“Whether the more conservative side of the court will act as a block this quarter, or whether there will be subtle differences or differences between the six judges as far as they go.” Shed more light: Roman Martinez, a court-claimed partner from Latham & Watkins, told CBS News.

The court has always added procedure to the role, but will hear the controversy over gun rights and abortion. We’re also waiting for offers from Asian American students who disagree with Harvard’s admissions policy, but judges can take months to decide whether or not to participate in affirmative action discussions. . There is sex.

An ongoing political debate over the structure of the Supreme Court is approaching a new term, with some court observers warning it could restrict its independence. The Democratic Party is stepping up a campaign to add seats to nine courts to dilute a conservative majority, and the Biden presidential committee of the Supreme Court announced in November that it would expand courts and limit the terms of judges. We are ready to publish a report on the proposed reforms.

“The Supreme Court is a very important body in our constitutional system,” Martinez said. “It is important that the courts become independent and isolated from political pressure, and I fear that this campaign to ban the courts lays the foundation for political movements to reduce the independence of the courts. Make.”

The only serious issue for the Supreme Court to consider, coupled with questions about its credibility and attacks on its legitimacy, was the increased oversight of the court when the nine judges returned to the bench.

“It’s not a term that will get them to solve very disruptive problems,” William & Mary Law School professor Allison Orrsen told CBS News. “They have to face them head-on.”

Amendment Article 2

On November 3, the judge will hear a debate on whether Article 2 of the constitutional amendment grants the right to bear arms outside the home in self-defense.

The legal battle revolves around New York’s licensing system for carrying concealed pistols in public, which has been approved by lower courts. In order to obtain a license to carry firearms in public, the applicant must demonstrate a “justification” and a “special need for self-defense distinct from that of the general public”. Two New Yorkers who were denied a concealed port license challenged the state framework, saying it was an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment.

However, New York Attorney General Letitia James says the law “conforms to the historic scope of Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment” and promotes the state’s public safety and preventive interests. of crime.

The Supreme Court has refused to participate meaningfully in the gun rights discussion since the 2008 and 2010 decisions. This established the right to keep guns in the home for self-defense.

Larsen strengthens the right of the Second Amendment to conservative judges, even if the court makes narrow decisions in this case or limits the right to carry firearms in public. He said it was likely to contain words.

“If the court finds that Article 2 of the constitutional amendment protects the right to carry firearms outside the home, it is very serious about the rights they explicitly stated in Heller, and she is Heller against Colombia. He said in reference to the 2008 decision in the special zone.

The Supreme Court has also been asked to challenge gun control in New Jersey. You are prohibited by law from owning a magazine that can hold more than 10 cartridges, but you can suspend proceedings until a decision is made to make them public.


The most notable case on the Supreme Court’s merit record this season is an offer for Mississippi to enforce a law banning abortion after 15 weeks, and judges will hear the discussion on Dec. 1.

The abortion dispute has been the largest before judges since the planned parent-child relationship judgment against Casey in 1992, reaffirming central ownership of the Roe v. Wade case, and state regulation ” will do ”women seeking abortion. “An excessive burden” cannot be imposed, he said. Before survival, it is generally considered a gestation of 22 to 24 weeks.

Mississippi officials said in a petition to the Supreme Court last summer that the question posed in their proceedings “does not require the court to overturn Roe or Casey”, but rather “disputes in its own case.” I asked the court to “adapt”.

However, after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in May, Mississippi officials claimed Roe and Casey were “woefully wrong” and “hopelessly unworkable.” He urged the court to dismiss Roe and Casey completely.

“Reversing case law is always a big deal,” Martinez said. “And I think the nine judges are taking it very carefully and seriously before they dismiss the case. They approach it in a slightly different way, but this is all a big deal. We recognize that there is always a strong pull in favor of smaller decision making. “

Abortion advocates fear a move in favor of Mississippi could pave the way for more Republican-led states to pass legislation restricting access to abortion, leaving the state for ” a half-century “. He told the court that he was demanding that he drop his case and invite her. It states that abortion should be banned completely. “

Meanwhile, Larsen, even a conservative judge in a court against Law, searches for a gradual way to curtail his possession rather than unblocking the case or completely overthrowing Law and Casey. I predicted it might be.

To achieve this, it can give the state more leeway for the court to narrow or eliminate the feasibility line or to legislate in the area of ​​”medical uncertainty”. noted.

Larsen also said that the repositioning of cases by authorities in Mississippi (which now requires the law to be overturned) warrants the dismissal of the proceedings.

“The decision to rethink the precedent is important. This tribunal has never taken the task lightly, as it can have serious consequences for both the state and the institutional tribunal, ”said Larsen. The group of law professors insisted on a submission to the High Court. “Given these interests, the court should not consider overturning nearly half a century of case law when the issue is not properly raised in a discretionary appeal. “

Also to hear legal proceedings in Arkansas and Missouri banning abortions due to possible fetal abortion, and New York regulations requiring employer health insurance plans to cover abortions. The judge’s request is also pending in court.

About six weeks later, a challenge to Texas law, which bans America’s most restrictive abortion, landed in the Supreme Court after dividing 5-4 earlier this month for refusing to block the bill. Abortion providers are now asking judges to immediately review their procedures and quickly follow up on their challenges before an inferior court decision.

Freedom of religion

In recent years, religious groups have tended to succeed in the Supreme Court, which is expected to continue this quarter in religious freedom proceedings, including Maine’s Tuition Assistance Program.

The question in the legal battle is whether the state is unconstitutional by prohibiting students participating in student support programs from attending schools that provide religious education with their support. How is it?

The proceedings in the Supreme Court and Paul’s partner, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Kannon Shammugam, said the dispute was “the most important First Amendment” in court this year. Declared. This touches the realm of the Constitution, which, along with gun rights and abortion cases, “in many ways tells us best about how judges view the law.” paddy field.

“Especially in the last four years we have three new members who have had a relatively limited ability to comment on these issues, so this term will tell us a lot based on these three cases. Probably, ”he said in preview. A warrant sponsored by the Federalist Association last week.

Death sentence

The court will also assess the fate of Boston Marathon bomber Johar Zarnaev. His death sentence was overturned by a lower court last year over the issue of jury exposure to the media ahead of trial.

President Biden’s Justice Department has asked the High Court to reactivate the death sentence on Zarnaev, who was convicted in 2015 for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

The judge also added the case of a death row inmate from Texas to the record. The request for his minister to lay hands on him and pray to hear him during his death was denied. The High Court blocked the execution of prisoner John Henry Ramirez and filed a plea on November 1.

The pressure of retirement

The Progressive Group is a campaign to remove Judge Stephen Breyer, a senior member of the Liberal Bloc from the court, to allow Mr Biden to appoint a successor while the Democratic Party has tight control over the Senate. Keep on going.

Mr Breyer declined the call to step down from his previous term, but Tom Goldstein, who founded the SCOTUS blog and insisted in court, said last week the 83-year-old was likely to retire at the end of his new term in June. ..

“Judges are aware of the political cycle,” he said at a Federalist Association event.

Breyer, along with Justices Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett, will publicly defend the court to dispel the notion that the judges are Loeb’s politicians amid public approval. I raised my voice.

Some believe the Supreme Court faces a threat to its legitimacy, but Goldstein said he “has built a huge source of public respect.”

“I see no danger of abandoning the types of public institutions as they consider legal, essentially whatever the court does,” he said.

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