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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent


SCOTUS expected to rule on college admissions, immigration and religion


Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent


June is always a busy time for the Supreme Court, issuing the majority of its rulings throughout the month. The high court issued three decisions on 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. For five more cases of interest, click here

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard:

The justices are being asked to answer a very important question: Can colleges and universities use race as a factor in their admissions process? Harvard and the University of North Carolina both admit to using race as one factor of many when reviewing high school students’ applications. The petitioners argued the two universities illegally racially discriminated in their admissions process. SFFA said Harvard was particularly biased against Asian Americans and “penalized” them for their personalities. As for UNC, SFFA argued the university refused to adopt a race-neutral method of acceptance. 

Both UNC and Harvard gave very similar answers when explaining why they consider race.

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

Biden v. Texas:

This case centers on whether the Department of Homeland Security under the Biden administration must continue to adhere to the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, often referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. A lower court ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the policy, which forces migrants to stay in Mexico while they wait for asylum hearings. Part of the issue is whether the lower court’s ruling interferes with the Executive Branch’s powers over foreign policy and immigration. 

Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco, California:

This case involves immigration policy, but at its core is a question about the separation of powers between the states and federal government. If the federal government makes a rule but then stops defending the rule in court, is a state permitted to defend the rule if it is in the state’s interests? That’s the question the justices will need to answer.

Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants to defend the Trump Administration’s “public charge rule” in court. The rule states that if an immigrant comes into the country and it’s likely they’ll become a “public charge”, or someone who needs financial assistance from the government, then they are inadmissible. 

Carson v. Makin:

The separation of church and state is the focus in this case. In Maine, not every school district has its own secondary school. Some districts will make arrangements with private schools or other public schools to place students, while other districts provide financial aid and allow families to decide where to send their children. But, the state allows tuition payments to go to only “nonsectarian” private schools, or those that do not teach religion. The opinion in Carson v. Makin will add another layer of clarity to a recent decision that ruled that states subsidizing private education cannot stop public funds from going to a school based on the institution’s religious status. 

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District:

A high school football coach’s prayers made it all the way up to the highest court in the country. At issue is whether former coach Joseph Kennedy’s post-game prayers are protected free speech or government speech because he was a district employee–in which case his prayers are not protected and can be legally banned.

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 up – Can colleges and Universities consider race as a factor in their admissions? The justices will answer that question in their Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard decision.

In Biden versus Texas, the high court will decide whether the Department of Homeland security must continue to enforce migrant protection protocols, now known as the remain in Mexico policy. The Trump era rule required migrants to remain in Mexico while they waited for their asylum hearings. 

Arizona versus San Francisco poses this question: If a federal rule is no longer enforced by the federal government – can a state continue to enforce the rule on its own? 

Religious freedom is at the center of two cases. In Carson v. Makin. The high court will rule whether Maine was right to ban a student from using state-aid to pay for a private school which provided religious instruction. 

The high court must also decide if a high school football coach’s post-game prayers are protected free speech, or government speech because he was a district employee, and therefore lack first amendment protection. 

For our 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.