Posted in General, Political Landscape
June Could Bring Some Big SCOTUS Rulings for 2021
June is the last month of the Supreme Court’s annual term. And, like so many of the rest of us, it likes to save the best for last. The United States Supreme Court generally issues some of its highest-profile rulings each June. During this SCOTUS term, there are a few things that people are likely to be watching:
- Just how conservative (and how reliably conservative) is the newest SCOTUS justice, Amy Coney Barrett? Is she more like an Alito or more like a Roberts?
- Similarly, how conservative (and how reliably conservative) is the second-newest SCOTUS justice, Brett Kavanaugh?
- How drastic of a shift on the court will the three Trump appointees (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett) produce? Since the court is now 6-3 Republican appointees to Democrat appointees, rather than 5-4, how will this look when it comes to actual rulings? The three liberals must gain two conservative defectors in order to form a five-justice majority, rather than needing just one, as was previously the case.
- Will Roberts and some of the other more centrist conservative justices continue to occasionally side with the liberals in an effort to bolster the Court’s image as a nonpartisan institution?
“Ballot harvesting is the gathering and submitting of completed absentee or mail-in voter ballots by third-party individuals, volunteers or workers, rather than submission by voters themselves directly to ballot collection sites” -WikipediaWhat will happen? Court watchers seem to be mostly of the opinion that the Roberts court will uphold these two measures. They are more divided, however, on the question of whether the Roberts court will issue a narrow decision confined to these two particular Arizona measures, or whether SCOTUS may issue a more sweeping decision that would sanction other states’ voting security measures as well. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia: gay rights vs religious freedom When screening foster parents, Philadelphia, like many other cities, relies on third parties to do much of the heavy lifting. This can include socially-oriented businesses, nonprofits, religious organizations, anything. One of those third parties is a Catholic social services agency that objects to gay marriage, and has requested that Philadelphia permit them to decline to place children with same-sex couples. Philadelphia’s position is that all its third party contractors must follow the same set of anti-discrimination rules (which rules prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples). The Catholic agency cites its own religious freedom. What will happen? Court watchers seem to be, based on oral argument, somewhat skewed toward concluding that the Roberts court will side with the Catholic social services agency. While it is unlikely, a broad ruling here could potentially signal the court’s willingness to revisit Obergefell. Conclusion Buckle up, folks. It’s going to be an interesting June. And of course, as always, if you have any questions about how one of these cases might affect your business, please feel free to contact me to discuss your concerns.