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SCOTUS decisions on abortion, gun rights, immigration approaching

Jun 07, 2022


June is always a busy time for the Supreme Court, as it issues the majority of its rulings throughout the month. The high court issued three decisions Monday, yet 30 opinions remain this session. Below are five of the 10 most important decisions we’re following that are expected in the coming weeks. We’ll provide coverage of five more closely watched decisions Wednesday. 

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: 

This is the most high profile case to be heard by the Supreme Court this term. Dobbs will have a lasting impact on abortion rights in the United States. The justices will decide whether pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. At the center of the case is a Mississippi law that banned all elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

If justices rule that the Mississippi law is constitutional, they will effectively overturn Roe v. Wade and the nearly 50 years of precedent that women have a constitutional right to an abortion. However, the ruling would not make abortion illegal; it would allow each state to make its own law. A draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was uncharacteristically leaked in May, showing Roe will be overturned if the draft stands. That leak prompted a number of protests at the Supreme Court and the justices’ homes.

The case is named Dobbs because Dr. Thomas Dobbs is the state health officer of the Mississippi Department of Health and the law states the plaintiffs must sue the head of the regulatory authority. 

New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen:

The justices are considering the constitutionality of a New York state law requiring unrestricted concealed-carry license applicants show a need for self-defense for the application to be approved. The petitioners in the case, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, were denied unrestricted licenses because the licensing officer determined they did not establish a non-speculative need for armed self-defense in all public places.

Paul D. Clement, counsel for the petitioners, argued New York’s law made it “all but impossible” for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights because it placed the decision in the hands of a local official “vested with broad discretion.” New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood argued Supreme Court precedent, in addition to state and federal law, allows restrictions on when and where gun owners can carry their weapons in places like courthouses, airports, stadiums and arenas. 

West Virginia v. the Environmental Protection Agency:

The court could deal a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against climate change. The case revolves around the Clean Power Plan, enacted by the Obama administration. Congress gave the EPA authority to issue rules limiting carbon emissions throughout the energy sector. This case challenges that authority. The rule was in and out of courts after the Trump administration repealed it in favor of its own Affordable Clean Energy rule. The decision could have a lasting effect on the authority Congress gives to the Executive Branch. 

Oklahoma v. Castro-Heurta: 

The court will determine whether a state has the jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native Americans who commit a crime against a Native American on a reservation. 

The exact question the court is addressing: “Whether a State has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian country.” 

It stems from a child neglect incident on the Cherokee Nation reservation in Oklahoma. If the state were to win, it would have consequences for criminal jurisdiction on reservations nationwide. If the court rules in favor of Victor Manuel Castro-Huerta, current jurisdictional norms will remain in place, and his Oklahoma state court conviction in the case involving his five-year-old stepdaughter would be overturned. However, Castro-Huerta has already pleaded guilty in federal court for the same crime.

Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP:

The court is deciding whether two North Carolina state legislators can defend a voter ID law in court, even though it is already being defended by the state’s attorney general. The North Carolina NAACP took the law to court saying it violates federal voting rights laws and the constitution. The law was being defended by the state’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Stein, but the two top Republicans in the state legislature, Sen. Philip Berger and Rep. Timothy Moore, wanted to intervene because they said Stein was providing an inadequate defense.

The Supreme Court’s term is wrapping up, and that means decisions on important cases will be released over the next month. Here are five of the 10 cases we’re watching:  First and foremost – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. If the Justices rule in favor of Dobbs, it will effectively overturn Roe vs. Wade, and send the issue of abortion back to the states.

Next: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. BruenThe case revolves around a New York state law requiring unrestricted concealed-carry license applicants show a need for self-defense. The Justices will decide Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law- abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self- defense. 

West Virginia v. The EPA could impact the Biden Administration’s climate change policy and change the way Congress gives authority to the executive branch. The Obama-era Clean Power Plan was the initial basis for the suit. 

In Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta the justices will decide whether a state has jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native Americans who commit crimes against Native Americans on a reservation. This stems from a child neglect incident within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 

Voting rights are at the center of Berger v. the North Carolina NAACP. But the court will really decide whether two Republicans in the state’s legislature can defend a voter ID law in court after they claimed that it was being inadequately defended by the Democratic Attorney General.

For full coverage of the high court’s decisions, check out at Straight Arrow or follow us on tiktok and twitter. Straight From DC, I’m Ray bogan.