The Supreme Court’s Summer Session: Anticipated Rulings on High-Profile Cases
The summer session of the Supreme Court is coming to a close, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the release of rulings on several high-profile cases. While the court has already ruled on one major case, there is still a limited window for decisions on cases involving affirmative action, student loans, and the protection of religious beliefs, among others.
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Before the Supreme Court recesses for the summer, there are four major court cases that are waiting for a decision. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Affirmative Action: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina
One of the most highly anticipated decisions revolves around the constitutionality of affirmative action. This practice involves colleges and universities considering race as a factor in their admissions policies, with the goal of increasing diversity on campuses. However, the petitioners argue that this practice violates the Constitution under the 14th Amendment.
Students for Fair Admissions have sued the University of North Carolina and Harvard University, claiming that their policies discriminate against Asian Americans and white students. These cases are filled with anecdotal evidence and statistics on acceptance rates, shedding light on the admissions processes of these institutions.
While higher education institutions have been using affirmative action for decades, the universities being sued argue that race is just one of many factors considered during the application process.
The Supreme Court, with its majority of Republican-appointed justices, is likely to vote against affirmative action. If the court rules in favor of Students for Fair Admissions, it will reverse a 1978 ruling that allowed universities to consider race as an application factor.
Same-Sex Weddings and Businesses: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis
The high court is currently deliberating on whether it is constitutional to deny services to customers based on objections to same-sex marriage due to religious beliefs.
In the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, business owner Lorie Smith argues that a Colorado “public accommodation” law infringes on her religious beliefs, as the law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Smith, who creates websites, does not want to be compelled to provide services for same-sex weddings.
During the arguments, Supreme Court justices examined the free speech implications of the law and its intersection with LGBT rights. The decision in this case could have significant ramifications for religious liberty and the LGBT community.
Sunday Shifts at USPS: Groff v. DeJoy
In Groff v. DeJoy, the Supreme Court will determine how far a business must go to accommodate the religious beliefs of its employees.
Gerald Groff, a former U.S. Postal Service worker, faced disciplinary actions for not working on Sundays, which he observed as the Sabbath. USPS managers initially arranged for other workers to cover his shifts, but later informed him that he needed to work or face consequences.
A 1977 Supreme Court ruling on a similar matter stated that an employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s wish not to work on the Sabbath if it would cause staffing issues or require premium wages to replace the worker. The court argued that employers should not bear a “de minimis” burden.
Student Loans: Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown
All eyes are on the Supreme Court for the case involving the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program, which aims to cancel up to $20,000 in debt for over 40 million people with federal student loans.
Six GOP-led states have sued the Biden administration, arguing that the program exceeds President Joe Biden’s legal authority. They have asked the justices to block the program.
In Department of Education v. Brown, the petitioners claim that they were deprived of their “procedural rights” by the Biden administration, as the public was not allowed to provide input on the scope of the student loan forgiveness plan. The petitioners argue that they are partially or fully excluded from relief.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in February, focusing on whether the HEROES Act grants the secretary of education the power to forgive federal student loans.
Given the conservative majority on the court, it is anticipated that the ruling in Biden v. Nebraska will be against President Biden. However, the justices have also expressed doubts about the standing of individual borrowers and state plaintiffs to bring these lawsuits.
Stay tuned for the Supreme Court’s decisions on these crucial cases that will shape the legal landscape in the United States.
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