Amid the chaos currently taking place in Washington, D.C, the U.S. Supreme Court is finally hearing in-person oral arguments for the first time since May of 2020. As of now, the Supreme Court has 27 cases scheduled to be heard by December 8, 2021. Many of the upcoming cases are critical to the future of the United States. From issues of abortion to Second Amendment rights and even school choice, the Supreme Court will hear at least five extremely significant cases in the coming days and months.
First, the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center on October 12, 2021. The monumental case challenges H.B. 454, a Kentucky law from 2018 that banned abortions after 11 weeks of pregnancy, except for occurrences of medical emergencies. The bill also outlawed the performance of all abortions that involve the crushing or dismemberment of unborn babies at any point during pregnancy. The EMW Women’s Surgical Center is attempting to argue that the law violates the Fourteenth Amendment, which is the same argument that was used in the landmark Roe. v. Wade case.
Next, on October 13, 2021, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the fate of the infamous Boston Marathon bomber. Specifically, the Supreme Court will ultimately determine whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should receive life in prison or be put to death via the death penalty in the United States v. Tsarnaev. Considering that Tsarnaev brutally killed three innocent people and caused 17 others to lose one or more of their limbs in a ruthless terror attack, this will hopefully be an easy decision for the Supreme Court to make. Tsarnaev must receive the death penalty to provide closure to the victims of the tragedy and to send a resounding message to all who seek to carry out similar attacks in America.
On November 3, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a crucial case for Second Amendment rights. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett, petitioners Robert Nash and Brandon Koch argue that their Second Amendment rights were violated when their applications for a concealed-carry license were denied. The two applications were denied for allegedly failing to comply with a New York law that requires all applicants for a concealed carry license to have “proper cause.” According to a New York court ruling, the proper cause is defined as demonstrating “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.” A decision in support of Nash and Koch could help upend some of the assaults on the Second Amendment coming from New York, as well as other states with extremely restrictive gun-control laws.
In another substantial case about restrictions on abortions, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on December 1, 2021. The case focuses on H.B. 1510, which is a Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in instances of fetal deformity or medical emergencies. H.B. 1510 was signed into law on March 19, 2018, by former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and will likely be used by the Supreme Court to determine the future of abortion in America, or ideally, lack thereof.
Lastly, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that relates to school choice on December 8, 2021. The case Carson v. Makin pertains to the state of Maine’s prohibition of schools that have religious instruction from participating in a program where the state pays the private school tuition for students in areas without public schools. The program was intended to promote school choice for those in rural areas but instead does the opposite by failing to support families who choose to send their children to schools with religious instruction.
A similar case was argued before the Supreme Court in 2020. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court ruled a Montana law that barred families from using school vouchers at schools controlled by churches unconstitutional. To quote Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the 5-4 opinion, “Montana’s no-aid provision bars religious schools from public benefits solely because of the religious character of the schools. The provision also bars parents who wish to send their children to a religious school from those same benefits, again solely because of the religious character of the school.” A ruling in agreement with Carson would bring Maine one step closer to true school choice, as well as establish a precedent that other states cannot exclude religious schools from their own school choice programs.
The forthcoming cases will be a major test for the court, given that this is the first full term since Justice Amy Coney Barret took her seat on October 27, 2020, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court. As the constitutional rights of Americans are under attack each day, the Supreme Court has both an opportunity and an obligation to defend the Constitution against said attacks. By making the proper rulings during this term, the Supreme Court can preserve the Second Amendment, allow states to rightfully regulate and restrict abortions within their respective states, and expand both school choice and the rights of religious schools. Optimistically, the justices will have the courage to make the right decisions.
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