U.S. Supreme Court Decisions  

US Supreme Court

An Arizona Superior Court judge ruled that a pre-statehood ban on abortions can be enforced. Judge Kellie Johnson granted a request by the state's attorney general to lift an injunction against the ban put into place when the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade in 1973. With the injunction lifted, the law banning abortions is effectively reinstated. "The court finds that because the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 has now been overruled," Johnson wrote, citing the Supreme Court's recent Dobbs decision, "it must vacate the judgment in its entirety." In her ruling, the judge also stated the Arizona legislature has passed several statutes concerning abortion in the nearly 50 years since the injunction and those laws will now become precedent. The judge made specific mention of a 2021 law in which the Arizona legislature criminalized all abortions except to save the life of the mother.
Abortion RightsUS Supreme CourtArizona

President Biden signed a second executive order in response to the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade. The new order directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider further actions it can take to "advance access" to reproductive health services. In particular, the order raises Medicaid as a potential means for low-income women to cross state lines to receive abortions. Biden's executive order also directs HHS to consider issuing new guidance for compliance with nondiscrimination laws and it instructs HHS to improve research and data collection so as to accurately assess the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling on maternal health.
Abortion RightsRoe v. WadeBiden AdministrationUS Supreme Court

The Justice Department announced the establishment of the Reproductive Rights Task Force in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. According to a statement, the task force will monitor state legislation and enforcement that infringes on federal legal protections, prevents women from seeking abortions in other states, impairs individuals' ability to inform and counsel each other, bans Mifepristone, or imposes criminal or civil liability on federal employees who provide abortion services.
Abortion RightsUS Supreme Court

President Biden signed an executive order aimed at protecting abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. While it will not restore access to abortion in those states that have restricted or will restrict the procedure, the order is intended to help educate people on their existing rights. In his remarks at the signing, Biden urged Americans to vote in order to codify Roe as federal law, acknowledging that to do so the Senate needs "two additional pro-choice senators" to change the filibuster rules. In addition, he said that if Republican lawmakers are able to pass a nationwide abortion ban, he would veto it.
Joe BidenAbortion RightsUS Supreme Court

A majority of Americans surveyed in a new poll by the Pew Research Center disapprove of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade's constitutional right to an abortion. In a survey of 6,174 individuals from June 27 to July 4, the poll found 57% of respondents disapprove of the court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, compared to 41% who approve. Overall, 62% of Americans surveyed said that they believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Pew Research CenterAbortion RightsUS Supreme CourtUS Polling

Google announced that, in the coming weeks, it will erase location history if it identified that an individual had visited an abortion or other medical facility. In a blog post, a Google representative said the change in its location data gathering is due to the personal nature of some places people visit, including "medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, [and] cosmetic surgery clinics."
GoogleAbortion RightsUS Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the 104th Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Constitutional Oath and Justice Stephen Breyer administered the Judicial Oath. In his retirement letter to President Biden, Breyer reiterated that he informed the president in January of his intent to retire and noted, "You have nominated and the United States Senate has confirmed the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson to succeed me in the office." "It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law," Breyer added.
John RobertsBiden AdministrationKetanji Brown JacksonStephen BreyerUS Supreme Court

References

  1. Supreme Court Holds Swearing In Ceremony for Ketanji Brown Jackson
    c-span.org

  2. untitled
    supremecourt.gov

    Breyer's retirement letter to Biden

In West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the EPA, restricting it from regulating power plant emissions through the Obama-era Clean Air Plan. In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the majority ruled that Congress did not authorize the EPA to use the approach. “Congress did not grant EPA…the authority to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the Agency took in the Clean Power Plan,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion. Justice Elena Kagan, writing the dissent for the three liberal justices, said, "Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let's say the obvious: The stakes here are high...The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening."
US Supreme Court

A district court blocked Louisiana's "trigger" laws that would have made nearly all abortions illegal in the state following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade. The court order occurred in response to a lawsuit from abortion providers calling the bans unconstitutional. A group representing the providers, The Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that the state's abortion bans are "vague," do not have a "clear and unambiguous effective date," and "lack adequate standing for enforceability." A hearing for the providers' lawsuit has been set for July 8.
LouisianaAbortion RightsUS Supreme Court

References

  1. Order of the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans
    reproductiverights.org

    Copy of the order via The Center for Reproductive Rights

  2. June Medical Services Versus Jeff Landry, Attorney General of Louisiana
    reproductiverights.org

    Copy of the order via The Center for Reproductive Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a high school football coach in Washington state who was suspended by the school district for leading post-game prayers on the field. The 6-3 decision, with all conservative justices in the majority, concluded the school district was wrong to reprimand the coach for encouraging students to engage in prayer in violation of school policy. "Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic," wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority, "whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head.” In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, "This decision does a disservice to schools and the young citizens they serve, as well as to our Nation's longstanding commitment to the separation of church and state."
US Supreme Court

In Dobbs v. Jackson, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the court's 1973 decision that federally protected abortion rights. The court's six conservative justices joined the majority opinion with the court's three liberal members dissenting.
Abortion RightsUS Supreme Court

References

  1. Syllabus of Dobbs v. Jackson
    supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that placed limits on carrying concealed guns outside the home, saying it violated the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three liberal members in dissent. The New York law required that people seeking a license to carry a concealed handgun outside their homes show a "proper cause." Two New York men who were denied gun licenses sued, saying that "the state makes it virtually impossible for the ordinary law-abiding citizen to obtain a license." In the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the New York law prevents "citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public." In his dissent, Breyer wrote, "In 2020, 45,222 Americans were killed by firearms," adding, "Many states have tried to address some of the dangers of gun violence...The Court today severely burdens States' efforts to do so."
Gun ViolenceUS Supreme Court

In the case Carson v. Makin, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Maine may not exclude religious schools from a state tuition aid program, saying that doing so is unconstitutional. The program allows parents in rural areas without public high schools to receive state assistance to cover tuition costs at "nonsectarian" schools in other communities. In the 6-3 opinion, with the court's three liberal justices in dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Maine's program "operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise." In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor said, "This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build."
MaineUS Supreme CourtReligious Schools

References

  1. Syllabus in Carson v. Makin
    supremecourt.gov

The New York Governor's Office announced Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package to protect the rights of patients and reproductive healthcare providers "in anticipation of a final decision by the Supreme Court on abortion access." "Today, we are taking action to protect our service providers from the retaliatory actions of anti-abortion states," said the governor at the signing, "and ensure that New York will always be a safe harbor for those seeking reproductive healthcare."
New York StateKathy HochulUS Supreme CourtAbortion Rights

A criminal complaint was filed against Nicholas John Roske of Simi Valley, California, charging him with attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice. According to the Justice Department, in the early morning of June 8, 2022, two U.S. Deputy Marshals saw an individual dressed in black and carrying a backpack and a suitcase get out of a taxi in front of the residence of a sitting Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Shortly thereafter, emergency services received a call from Roske allegedly informing them that he traveled to Maryland to kill a specific Supreme Court Justice. Police officers were dispatched and apprehended Roske, who was still on the telephone. A search of bags yielded a tactical chest rig and knife, a pistol with two magazines, duct tape, and hiking boots with padding on the bottom, among other items. Roske allegedly told detectives that he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding abortion rights, as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. If convicted, Roske faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for attempted murder of a United States Judge.
Abortion RightsUS Supreme CourtAttempted Murder

In a new Gallup poll, mostly conducted after the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision addressing abortion rights, the percentage of Americans identifying as pro-choice jumped six points to 55% from a year ago, just short of the record high of 56% in 1995. Along party lines, 88% of Democratic-leaning respondents identified as pro-choice, marking an 18% increase from last year, while 23% of Republican-leaning respondents said they are pro-choice. Among the 18 to 34 age group, 67% of respondents said they identified as pro-choice, while 58% aged 35 to 54 said the same.
Abortion RightsGallup PollUS Supreme CourtUS Polling

A Texas law, HB20, that bars social media companies from banning users based on their political views was temporarily blocked in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. Justices John Roberts, Amy Coney Barrett, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Brett Kavanaugh ruled in favor of tech industry groups looking to block the law, with Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch dissenting, and Elena Kagan denying the application.
Social MediaTexasUS Supreme Court

Starbucks announced it will cover travel expenses for employees enrolled in its health care plan when accessing abortion or gender-affirming medical care and those services are not available within 100 miles of an employee's home. The benefit will also apply to dependents of Starbucks employees. In a letter to employees, Starbucks executive Sarah Kelly said, "Like many of you, I’m deeply concerned by the draft Supreme Court opinion related to the constitutional right to abortion that was first established by Roe v. Wade. I know this is weighing on many of you, so let me be clear up front – regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare."
StarbucksAbortion RightsUS Supreme Court

Following the draft ruling leak from the Supreme Court, the Pew Research Center released the results of a nationwide poll that examined Americans' views on abortion conducted in March, after oral arguments were heard in the case before the court that could overturn Roe v. Wade. The poll found that 19% of U.S. adults think abortion should be legal in all cases, 71% say it should be mostly legal or mostly illegal, and less than 8% believe it should be illegal in all cases, without exception. The research found that Americans' views on abortion largely depended on a variety of circumstances, including the length of the pregnancy and the health of the mother. "The abortion debate in America is often framed as a legal binary," read a statement, "with 'pro-life' people on one side, seeking to restrict abortion's availability, and 'pro-choice' people on the other, opposing government restrictions on abortion [but] relatively few Americans on either side of the debate take an absolutist view on the legality of abortion."
Roe v. WadeAbortion RightsUS Supreme CourtUS Polling

References

  1. On abortion, few Americans take an absolutist view
    pewresearch.org

  2. America's Abortion Quandary
    pewresearch.org

    Complete report (PDF)

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris condemned the draft ruling from the Supreme Court that was leaked to Politico. The draft opinion, which Biden confirmed is genuine, shows the Supreme Court has voted to overturn its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortions nearly 50 years ago. "I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental," said Biden in a statement. "Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned." He noted that after the enactment of Texas law SB 8 and others like it, he directed his Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options in response. "We will be ready when any ruling is issued." Speaking at an Emily's List conference, Harris said, "Some Republican leaders are trying to weaponize the use of the law against women. How dare they? How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body?...It has never been more clear which party wants to expand our rights and which party wants to restrict them."
Joe BidenRoe v. WadeUS Supreme CourtKamala HarrisAbortion Rights

The U.S. Senate voted 53-47 in favor of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation to the Supreme Court. She is the first Black woman on the nation's highest court. Those in favor included all Democratic senators as well as Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney. Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the proceedings, issuing the final tally as senators cheered.
Ketanji Brown JacksonUS SenateUS Supreme CourtKamala Harris

References

  1. U.S. Senate Session
    c-span.org

    Final confirmation at 4:47:35

  2. @VP
    twitter.com

Justice Clarence Thomas has been hospitalized after experiencing flu-like symptoms. He was admitted to a hospital two days ago where he's been given intravenous antibiotics to treat an infection. His symptoms are abating and he's expected to be released in a few days. A press statement indicates he may miss some oral arguments: "Justice Thomas will participate in the consideration and discussion of any cases for which he is not present on the basis of the briefs, transcripts, and audio of the oral arguments."
Clarence ThomasUS Supreme Court

References

  1. untitled
    supremecourt.gov

President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. "Currently a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Jackson is one of the nation’s brightest legal minds," reads a White House statement. "She has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis three times – twice as judge and once to serve on the U.S. Sentencing Commission...If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court."
US Supreme CourtKetanji Brown JacksonBiden Administration

A leak to NBC indicates that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the court, allowing President Biden to appoint his successor while Democrats control the presidency and both chambers of Congress. During the 2020 campaign, President Biden pledged to first name a Black woman to the highest court in the land. Justice Breyer, at 83, is the oldest member of the Supreme Court.
US PoliticsRetirementUS Supreme CourtJoe BidenStephen Breyer

References

  1. News Wire
    apnews.com

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Donald Trump's request aiming to prevent the Special Committee to Investigate January 6th from obtaining White House records. This decision is consistent with a lower court's decision which also found that Mr. Trump had no legal basis to withhold documents.
US CourtsInvestigationJanuary 6 AttackUS Supreme Court

References

  1. Page for Opinions
    supremecourt.gov

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