The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide several key cases in its 2022-23 term, which begins Monday.
More than two dozen appeals are currently on the docket. Several dozen more are expected to be added in the coming months. The caseload is usually resolved in February, with the deadline effectively ending at the end of June.
Other major appeals that may yet be added to the court’s calendar cover issues such as gun rights, vaccination mandates in schools and businesses, and restrictions on social media content.
Important petitions that are already in the Supreme Court argument file:
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Fair admission students v. University of North Carolina Y Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College
BIDEN, HARRIS JOIN KENTANJI BROWN JACKSON AT INQUIRY CEREMONY BEFORE FIRST TERM OF COURT
Arguments Monday October 31
AT ISSUE: Separate challenge on whether higher education institutions can continue to use race as one of several “positive” factors in admissions, to achieve a diverse student body.
THE CASE: A coalition of Asian-American students say they are being unfairly discriminated against, forcing them into a higher college admission standard at the expense of Black and Latino students.
THE ARGUMENTS: The organization representing the students is urging the high court to overturn its 2003 precedent in Grutter v. Bollinger, who upheld “narrowly tailored” and “holistic” race-aware affirmative action programs, provided that schools do not base such admissions decisions solely on race, or rely on a quota system. Opponents of affirmative action say colleges are violating Title VI by penalizing a certain class of applicants and rejecting feasible race-neutral alternatives. The schools strongly deny any discrimination and say their consideration of race is limited, noting that lower courts agreed with their discretionary justification. The Biden administration filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Harvard’s admissions policies.
THE IMPACT: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, in her 2003 majority ruling, said race-conscious admissions policies should be limited in time, with the expectation that they will no longer be needed in 25 years. The current case could have huge national implications in other areas such as employment and public procurement. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will not hear Harvard’s case because she completed her term on the school’s Board of Supervisors this spring.
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WORKPLACE SPEECH/LGBTQ+ RIGHTS: 303 Creative LLCv. Elenis (storylines TBC)
AT ISSUE: Whether the application of a public accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or remain silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
THE CASE: Graphic artist Lorie Smith seeks an exemption to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA), saying it would “force” her to design and publish custom wedding websites that promote messages that violate her personal beliefs and prevent her from posting in her. her own company website an explanation of those beliefs, specifically her opposition to same-sex marriage. The state says its law is being applied fairly to everybody businesses, making it illegal to refuse public services based on “disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.”
THE ARGUMENTS: Lower courts have upheld EACH, saying the state has compelling reasons to protect the “dignified interests” of marginalized groups. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker in the “Masterpiece Cakeshop” case involving the same law, but on limited grounds, sidestepping fundamental questions about its religion and freedom of expression rights. Both this and the website case are also limited in scope, dealing with businesses that have an “artistic expression” component that does not apply to most employers.
THE IMPACT: Despite Smith’s request, the high court specifically No address whether that law also violates the faith-based free exercise rights sincerely owned by the artist. The court’s conservative majority has been more receptive in recent years to upholding religious freedom in disputes over school choice funding plans and public employee prayers on school grounds. Separate appeals over wedding photographers could reach judges in the coming months that may address religious freedom issues.
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REDISTRICTING ELECTION DISTRICTS: Moore vs. Harper (TBA arguments)
AT ISSUE: Whether state courts have improperly seized the powers granted by the US Constitution to state legislators to govern federal elections and redistricting.
THE CASE: This is a challenge by North Carolina Republicans to a state court ruling that threw out General Assembly-drawn congressional districts, which would have made Republican candidates the likely winners in 10 of the 14 electoral districts of the state.
THE ARGUMENTS: The Supreme Court is now being asked to invoke the “independent state legislature doctrine” for the first time. ISL supporters say that Article 1 of the Constitution, in particular, “the times, places, and manners of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof,” gives state legislatures the authority exclusively to regulate federal elections, without supervision. by state courts or state constitutions. Civil rights groups call it an effort to inject hyper-gerrymandering into the redistricting process, and some have used the theory to question the election results in the 2020 presidential election. The question for the justices will be to define the limits of the word “legislature”.
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THE IMPACT: On Oct. 4, the justices will hear a separate argument on the pro-GOP congressional map of Alabama, which civil rights groups say dilutes the voting power of minority voters, in a state with 27 % of black population. What the justices decide in both statewide disputes could have a huge bearing on the 2024 election and beyond.
IMMIGRATION: United States vs. Texas (November TBA storylines)
AT ISSUE: I challenge a 2021 DHS policy that halts most deportations of migrants and prioritizes removal only of those deemed a serious threat to public safety, or cases of terrorism or espionage.
THE CASE: Following a lawsuit from Louisiana and Texas, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction freezing the “Civilian Immigration Enforcement Guidelines” policy. The Biden administration then asked for the high court’s intervention.
THE ARGUMENTS: GOP-led states say the situation along the Mexican border is a growing crisis and that they are suffering financial, security, education and health care problems associated with the new policy.
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But the Justice Department criticized the injunction from a single federal judge, saying it amounted to a “nationally court-mandated review” of the executive branch’s enforcement priorities, noting that federal authorities are better equipped to handle detention. of illegal immigrants, with their limited resources.
THE IMPACT: Several red- and blue-leaning states have challenged immigration policies in recent years involving both Republican and Democratic administrations. In the Supreme Court’s last term, justices debated separate appeals on asylum seekers and the public benefits available to newly arrived immigrants.
Traditionally, the courts have limited the ability of states to challenge federal immigration enforcement policies, or implement their own. But the current conservative majority on the high court seems more eager to consider challenges from the states.