The new conservative majority in the United States Supreme Court, within a week, revoked a constitutional right to abortion, dealt a devastating blow to the government’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis, strengthened Second Amendment protections and ruled in two cases that the court’s liberal justices had warned blew the firewall between church and state.
Donald Trump’s three nominations – Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch – join conservative Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, moving the Supreme Court much further to the right and, as noted writes Judge Sonia Sotomayor, wielding this power by substituting “a rule of judges for the rule of law”.
In their joint dissent in a landmark case that overturned half a century of abortion rights, the court’s three liberal justices said conservatives voted against previous cases “for one and only reason. : because they have always despised them, and now they have the votes to reject them”.
President Joe Biden has derided what he calls an “extremist” court that is “committed to rolling America backwards, with fewer rights and less autonomy.”
Following the cessation of Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationwhich overthrew the precedent in Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. CaseyAbortion rights advocates, providers and civil rights groups have sued in at least 11 states to block “trigger” laws and anti-abortion laws designed to go into effect without Deer.
Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who argued that Dobbs before the Supreme Court, told reporters on July 1 that abortion rights advocates were preparing for this moment, “the beginning of what is a public health emergency.”
State courts have granted temporary restraining orders to block those laws in five states — Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas and Utah — as their legal challenges play out in court.
At least eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee – have completely banned abortion in almost all cases or in have severely restricted access, and more legal challenges are expected as more laws come into effect. As many as 26 states could ban abortion without Deer, with state legislatures prepared to write more restrictive laws without impeding constitutional obligations to protect access to care.
A day earlier, Planned Parenthood providers in Montana — a state that has not banned abortions — announced they would no longer offer medical abortions to patients in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota, and would require proof of residency for treatment, following widespread confusion over a “rapidly changing” legal landscape that could now expose providers to criminal prosecution.
“We just have to understand that we’re dealing with a public health crisis here where people are operating in conditions of extraordinary chaos,” Jennifer Sandman, senior director of litigation at Planned Parenthood, said July 1.
The court decided 58 cases this quarter, marking an increase over the past two years during the Covid-19 pandemic, but still the third lowest number of cases in more than 80 years.
Of those cases, 19 were decided by a 6-3 vote, alongside the court’s growing ideological divide.
“Overall, what the Supreme Court has done over the past few weeks is very concerning and a setback to civil rights and civil liberties,” said Arthur Ago, director of the criminal justice project at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. civilians under the law.
“What the Supreme Court has done is flagged as an essentially conservative mandate,” he said. The Independentemphasizing the expansion of Second Amendment protections and the protection of law enforcement from liability.
In some cases, the court’s opinions could invite new legal challenges that could dismantle 14th Amendment protections — from marriage equality to gay sex — and erode state-level laws to combat proliferation. firearms, or to dismantle the administrative role of the federal government.
University of Southern California law professor Lee Epstein, who directs the Supreme Court database, said The New York Times that the court – which the chief justice sought to steer towards a progressive “middle ground” – instead “morphed into a divided, partisan, maximalist and militant court” which he opposed for nearly two decades.
“At least for now he’s lost the fight,” she said.
In the Dobbs In this case, for example, Justice Roberts could not convince a single conservative judge – after seven months of deliberation – not to overturn a 50-year-old precedent. The chief justice ended up ruling only to leave Mississippi’s anti-abortion law at the center of the case, while the five conservatives struck down deer and Casey entirely.
“That was clearly a ballpark term, but here’s the piece of evidence that shows how little Roberts court is still,” said Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas. Policy. “It’s a court fighting against each other in front of the chief. The bitterness, the intensity, the hostility reflect the powerlessness of the leader because he cannot control either block.
In the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc vs. BruenThe court – by a 6-3 vote – struck down a century-old New York law requiring handgun owners to show “just cause” in order to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, striking a blow to state-level efforts to address gun proliferation and potentially expand the scope of Second Amendment protections.
The ruling could invite legal challenges in at least six other states with similar laws, opening them up to scrutiny and potentially expanding how and where firearms can be carried in public.
“By allowing wide availability, this violence will only increase,” Mr Ago said.
With the decision in Vega vs Tekohthe court determined that people who are not warned of their right to silence cannot sue a police officer for damages under federal civil rights law, even if that evidence was used against them in of their criminal trial.
Jon M Greenbaum, chief counsel for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said the decision strictly limits the means by which the police can be held liable.
“Combined with Congress’ failure to pass the Justice in Policing Act, this case has further reduced people’s ability to deal with police misconduct,” he said.
A decision in West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agencyreleased on the last day of this term, limits the agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants and, ominously, endorses a legal theory in the “major issues doctrine” that would bar federal agencies from much of their authority without explicit direction from Congress
Jason Rylander, senior counsel for the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, said The Independent that the doctrine “has the potential to overturn federal environmental, health, and safety law, forcing Congress to meddle in the details of standard-setting that it has traditionally left to expert agencies.” “.
Two cases involving religion and schools – Carson vs Makin andKennedy v Bremerton School District — prompted a hardline dissent from Justice Sotomayor, who joined Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan in this latest case to warn that the majority “puts us further down a perilous path by forcing states to tangle with religion , with all our rights at stake.”
During this term, the court also revived two Republican-drawn maps of Congress that lower courts struck down for likely Voting Rights Act violations, sending a warning to voting rights groups following the undemocratic fall of the country.
This fall, the court will consider a case from North Carolina that could disrupt election laws across the country — with a ruling likely just in time for the 2024 election — with the potential endorsement of a fringe legal theory, debunked by legal analysts, which grants state legislatures broad authority to decide elections and could stymie legal efforts to block racial gerrymandering.
Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, told reporters on June 30 that legitimizing the theory would “cut this to the knees.”
“It would prevent states from enforcing the right to vote and enforcing bans and partisan and other practices just when that kind of protection is needed more than ever,” he said. “The stakes are pretty high.”
The Independent Gt