Although the Supreme Court last week issued the term’s two most important opinions, breaking the nearly 50-year-old precedent on abortion and gun rights extension for the first time in a decade, this blockbuster term isn’t over.
Seven disputes remain to be decided.
A look at what’s left:
The judges grapple with the case of Joe Kennedy, a former Washington state high school football coach at a public school who lost his job for praying at the 50-yard line after games.
The school district said it suspended Kennedy to avoid the appearance that the school subscribed to a particular belief, in violation of the constitution’s founding clause.
Kennedy told CNN in an interview that “Every American should have confidence in public and not worry about getting fired over it.”
“I think it’s important to keep our promises, especially to God,” he said.
The Liberal judges on the court — Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — made clear during oral arguments that they were concerned that players would feel compelled to pray by the school.
The judges consider whether the Biden administration can end a Trump-era border policy known as ‘Stay in Mexico’. Lower courts have so far blocked Biden from ending the policy.
Under the unprecedented program launched in 2019, the Department of Homeland Security may return certain non-Mexican citizens who have entered the United States to Mexico — rather than detain or release them in the United States. States – while their immigration procedures were finalized.
Critics call the policy inhumane and argue that it exposes asylum seekers with credible claims to dangerous and appalling conditions. The case raises questions not only about immigration law, but also about a president’s control over policy and his diplomatic relations with neighboring countries.
The judges will decide a case over the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants, in a dispute that could harm the Biden administration’s efforts to cut emissions. It comes at a time when scientists are sounding the alarm about the accelerating pace of global warming.
The court’s decision to intervene and hear the case affected environmentalists as there is currently no rule. A lower court has wiped out a Trump-era rule in 2021, and the Biden administration’s EPA is currently working on a new rule.
But the fact that there were now enough votes to address the issue came across to some as an aggressive subsidy, indicating that the court wants to limit the scope of the EPA’s authority even before a new rule is on the books. .
The so-called “Pill Mill” case comes amid a nationwide opioid crisis, pitting a doctor’s ability to dispense controlled substances for pain relief against government pressure to prosecute those doctors who prescribe dangerous drugs for lack of medical justification.
Lawyers for two doctors convicted of prescribing dangerous opioids without valid medical justification in violation of federal law are behind the challenges. The doctors are appealing their convictions and lengthy sentences, arguing that a jury should have been able to assess whether the doctors reasonably believed they were acting within professional boundaries.
The dispute comes as some members of the court have expressed concerns about the overuse of federal criminal law that could threaten innocent conduct.
In another dispute, the court could weaken employment protections for veterans. Le Roy Torres, a veteran and former employee of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the state agency he could no longer serve as a state agent and sought a similar job to accommodate his service-related disability. When denied the job, he filed a lawsuit under a federal law designed to protect the reentry rights of returning veterans.
But Texas responded that states are immune from such lawsuits filed under the federal Uniform Service Labor and Reassignment Rights Act passed under the authority of the Congressional Armed Forces. Now the court will rule on a clash teasing Congress’s authority to provide the national defense against a state’s ability to decide when to charge. The ruling could affect thousands of national-level active and reserve service members who work for government agencies.
Victor Manuel Castro-Huerta, a non-Indian, has been convicted of child neglect in a case involving his stepdaughter, who is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
His conviction was overturned after an appeals court ruled that the state lacked jurisdiction because the crime took place in the Indian country. Now the court will decide whether a state has the power to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in the Indian country.
In 2020, the majority believed Oklahoma had no jurisdiction to prosecute an Indian who had committed a crime in an Indian country, in an opinion drafted by Judge Neil Gorsuch and partnered with the court’s Liberals.
Carlos Concepcion (who was convicted in 2009 of a crack cocaine offense) was convicted as a professional offender just before the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced criminal penalties for federal crimes involving crack cocaine.
In 2018, Congress passed the First Step Act, which retroactively made the FSA changes and reduced penalties. In 2019, Concepcion asked for a reduced sentence, saying he should no longer be considered a career offender. He said the court should consider factors when making such a decision, including his rehabilitation after the crime.