Each year, the United States Supreme Court agrees to hear certain cases, and the 2021-22 year is no different. The high court usually hear the big and important cases. Zack Smith and Alexander Phipps at The Heritage Foundation previewed what they considered to be “five of the most important cases the Supreme Court will hear in its 2021-2022 term.” Here are their five choices.
1. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
This is the most important abortion case in the last 30 years. Essentially, the Supreme Court will have an opportunity to reconsider – and potentially overrule – its wayward decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
In 2018, Mississippi enacted the Gestational Age Act, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of gestation except in cases of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality.
The state legislature set forth two findings in the law: 1) 75% of all nations do not permit abortions past 12 weeks’ gestation, and 2) an unborn human’s heart starts beating after five to six weeks’ gestation and by nine weeks all “basic physiological functions are present.” …
It’s hard to overstate the potential impact of this ruling, whether it be a decision upholding the lower courts’ decisions and reaffirming Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which would be a huge blow to the pro-life movement, a moderate ruling that would gradually diminish prior abortion precedents, or a broad decision completely overturning its previous decisions.
2. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen
This will be the first time in 11 years that the Supreme Court will review a significant Second Amendment case.
New York requires its residents to obtain a license for lawful possession of a firearm, regardless of whether they plan to keep it at home or take it outside. To obtain a license, a licensing officer must determine whether the applicant is of good moral character, lacks a history of crime or mental illness, and that “no good cause exists for the denial of the license.” …
3. Carson v. Makin
The Carson and Nelson families are challenging Maine’s prohibition of applying state funds from the state’s tuition assistance program towards secondary schools that, in addition to teaching academic subjects, provide religious instruction.
Petitioners argue this law prevents their families from using the funds towards the schools they consider to be best for their children and, more importantly, that it violates their Constitutional rights under the free exercise, establishment, and equal protection clauses…
The issue before the Supreme Court is whether a state violates the First or 14th Amendments by prohibiting students from choosing to use student-aid funds towards schools that provide religious instruction.
4. CVS Pharmacy Inc. v. Doe
This case raises the issue of whether policies that disparately impact disabled groups violate the anti-discrimination provisions of the Rehabilitation Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The respondents, using “John Doe” aliases, are enrollees of employee-sponsored health care who are afflicted with HIV. The petitioners, all wholly owned subsidiaries of CVS Health Corporation, provide the John Does with their medication….
The outcome of this case will clarify whether, and if so the extent to which, facially neutral policies can be deemed discriminatory if they disparately impact a distinct group.
5. United States v. Zubaydah
This case involves the state-secrets privilege, which was established by Supreme Court precedent in United States v. Reynolds. In United States v. Reynolds, the Supreme Court held that courts must exclude privileged evidence if it threatens national security interests.
Abu Zubaydah is a former associate of Osama bin Laden who was detained in Pakistan by the CIA for being an enemy combatant and put in a detention facility in Poland. During his time there, the CIA used enhanced interrogation techniques on Zubaydah.
Poland launched a criminal investigation into the CIA’s operations there, and Zubaydah asked a U.S. federal district court to order the U.S. government to provide Poland with information pertaining to his detention. The district court was initially willing to grant discover for these materials until the U.S. government blocked it, citing the state secrets privilege established in the United States v. Reynolds….
The issue before the Supreme Court is whether the 9th Circuit erred in its assessment of these materials concerning their potential to harm national security.
The five outlined cases include abortion, Second Amendment, religious freedom, treatment of disabled persons, and national security issues – all important matters. However, as Smith and Phipps reminded their readers, these are “only a few of the cases” that will be heard by the Supreme Court this term. Other cases are “important death penalty cases” and “a host of other important cases.” We should all pray for the justices that they will judge the cases according to the Constitution and not be swayed by political pressure.