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Moore v. Harper tops list of Supreme Court cases to watch this term

Oct 03, 2022

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The Supreme Court is beginning its new term and Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson is taking her seat for the first time. Justice Jackson, who replaced Justice Stephen Breyer, will not change the court’s 6-3 conservative ideology, but she will have a very important say in cases that could forever change voting, college admissions and immigration.

Here are the biggest cases to watch:

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard: 

The justices will decide whether colleges can use race as a factor in admissions.

The ruling could overturn a previous decision, Grutter v. Bollinger, that states considering race in order to have a diverse student body does not violate the Equal Protection Clause and Title Six. The petitioners also want a ruling on whether Harvard is penalizing Asian American students by participating in racial balancing.

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow stated, “Considering race as one factor among many in admissions decisions produces a more diverse student body which strengthens the learning environment for all.”

This case is scheduled for Oct. 31.

Moore v. Harper:

The justices will determine whether state courts can nullify and replace regulations for federal elections put in place by legislatures.

It stems from a lawsuit in which the North Carolina State Supreme Court blocked a Republican-drawn congressional map. A trial court then appointed three experts to draw a new map and adopted it. The case revolves around the independent state legislature theory that only legislatures have the authority to regulate federal elections and state courts cannot interfere.

United States v. Texas:

This is the second term in a row in which the justices will rule on the Biden administration’s ability to enforce immigration policy as it sees fit. 

A September 2021 memorandum by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas instructed ICE to prioritize deportations for immigrants who are a threat to national security, public safety and border security. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued it led ICE to skip deportations for immigrants with criminal records.

The case will be argued the first week of December.

Merrill v. Milligan:

The justices will determine whether Alabama’s 2021 redistricting process violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Alabama has seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The petitioners argue it is wrong for the state’s new congressional map to only include one majority Black district because 27% of the state’s residents are Black. They assert there should be two majority black districts. The petitioners contend this was done to minimize the power of Black voters to elect their candidates. The case was brought forward by a group of registered voters and the Alabama NAACP.

It is scheduled for Oct. 4. 

Side bar: 

There will be one more important change this term. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, seating will be available to the public during oral arguments and masks will be optional. The court will continue providing a live audio feed. 

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The Supreme Court is beginning its new term and Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson is taking her seat for the first time.  

Justice Jackson, who replaced Justice Stephen Breyer, will not change the court’s 6-3 conservative ideology, but she will have a very important say in cases that could forever change voting, college admissions and immigration. 

Here are three of the biggest cases to watch. 

Number one: Students for Fair Admissions versus Harvard. 

The Justices will decide whether colleges can use race as a factor in admissions. The ruling could overturn a previous decision that states considering race in order to have a diverse student body does not violate the Equal Protection Clause and Title Six. The petitioners also want a ruling on whether Harvard is penalizing Asian American students by participating in racial balancing. 

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow stated: “Considering race as one factor among many in admissions decisions produces a more diverse student body which strengthens the learning environment for all.” This case is scheduled for October 31st. 

Number two: Moore versus Harper. 

The Justices will determine whether state courts can nullify and replace regulations for federal elections put in place by legislatures. It stems from a lawsuit in which the North Carolina state Supreme Court blocked a Republican drawn congressional map. A trial court then appointed  three experts to draw a new map, and adopted it. The case revolves around the independent state legislature theory which says only legislatures have the authority to regulate federal elections and state courts cannot interfere.


Number three: United States versus Texas.

This is the second term in a row in which the justices will rule on the Biden Administration’s ability to enforce immigration policy as it sees fit. 

A September 2021 memorandum by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas instructed ICE to prioritize deportations for immigrants who are a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued it led ICE to skip deportations for immigrants with criminal records. The case will be argued the first week of December. 

Now, there will be one more important change this term. For the first time since the COVID pandemic began, seating will be available to the public during oral arguments and masks will be optional. The court will continue providing a live audio feed. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan. 


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