Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
🚨 Our Pro Data Reveals the True Winner of Earnings Season Access Data

After sharp right turn, U.S. Supreme Court conservatives step on the gas

World Sep 29, 2022 01:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court stands in Washington, U.S., February 6, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
 
AXON
-0.18%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court last March rebuffed an emergency request by North Carolina Republicans to allow the use in November's congressional elections of an electoral map they drew that a lower court invalidated for unlawfully disadvantaging Democrats.

It was a short-term setback for the North Carolina Republicans, but they soon will get a chance to claim a bigger legal victory. Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested at the time that the justices take up the underlying legal dispute, one that could provide state legislators around the country the ability to enact election policies with less judicial oversight - a Republican goal.

The Supreme Court in June announced it would hear the case in its new term, which begins on Monday. This showed the increasing willingness of its 6-3 conservative majority take on divisive issues as it steers the court on a rightward path.

Following a term when its conservatives delivered blockbuster rulings curtailing abortion access and widening gun rights, the court returns from a summer recess ready to tackle more major cases. Potential rulings in upcoming cases could end affirmative action policies used by colleges and universities to increase campus racial diversity, hobble a federal law called the Voting Rights Act and make it easier for businesses to refuse service to LGBT people based on free-speech rights.

"The justices are taking things that are causing real conflicts around the country, they're taking issues even if there's a lot of media attention, even if it's a hot-button issue - and they're going to decide it anyway," said Megan Wold, an attorney and former law clerk to conservative Justice Samuel Alito.

The addition of three justices appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump - Neil Gorsuch in 2017, Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 - gave the court its current conservative supermajority.

According to Irv Gornstein, executive director of Georgetown University Law Center's Supreme Court Institute, Kavanaugh now wields outsized influence over the speed and limits of the court's rightward shift. Gornstein called Kavanaugh the "median justice."

He does not appear as far to the right as Justices Clarence Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Barrett, while Chief Justice John Roberts - an incrementalist conservative - and liberal Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson are to Kavanaugh's left.

Gornstein noted during a recent panel discussion in Washington that Kavanaugh has taken to opining on the limits of the majority's rulings. In the abortion decision, for instance, he issued a separate opinion stating that interstate travel to obtain the procedure is constitutional.

"Make no mistake, for now and for the foreseeable future, this is Justice Kavanaugh's court," Gornstein said.

In its most recent term, there were 14 rulings decided on a 6-3 tally with the conservative justices on one side and the liberals on the other. That is up from 10 on strictly ideological lines the previous term, according to legal scholar Adam Feldman, who tracks court data at a website called "Empirical Scotus."

In the abortion decision, the court ruled 6-3 to uphold the restrictive Mississippi law at issue, though Roberts opposed outright overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade precedent. Similarly decided on 6-3 votes were the gun rights expansion, cases from Maine and Washington state favoring religious rights and another case that made it harder for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue rules addressing climate change.

The court appears likely to continue to take up cases particularly important to conservatives, Feldman said.

"They can look for cases that are going to be more ideological because even the weakest link on the right is still pretty far to the right," Feldman added.

MORE TRANSFORMATION

Further transformation in U.S. law appears likely this term. Two cases could have profound implications for elections in 2024 and beyond.

In the North Carolina case involving the Republican-drawn map of the state's 14 U.S. House of Representatives districts, Republican lawmakers are advocating for a legal theory gaining popularity among conservatives that could restrict the power of state courts to review actions by state legislatures concerning federal elections. Endorsing the theory would undermine democratic norms, according to critics, even as Republicans at the state level pursue restrictive voting policies and electoral maps skewed in their favor.

Alabama in another case is defending its Republican-drawn map of the state's seven U.S. House districts that a lower court struck down as discriminatory against Black voters in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Also closely watched are cases involving race-conscious student admissions programs used by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina to foster campus racial diversity. A group led by an anti-affirmative action activist challenged those policies as unlawfully discriminatory against Asian American and white applicants.

The court will hear an evangelical Christian web designer's free speech claim that she cannot be forced under a Colorado anti-discrimination law to produce websites for same-sex marriages. The court did not resolve that issue in a 2018 ruling in favor of a Christian Denver-area baker who refused on religious grounds to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Other important cases could make it easier to build on property deemed wetlands without needing a permit under the federal Clean Water Act, or, in a case involving Taser-maker Axon Enterprise (NASDAQ:AXON) Inc, to challenge the authority of federal regulatory agencies without first undergoing an enforcement action.

After sharp right turn, U.S. Supreme Court conservatives step on the gas
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (4)
gab nea
gab nea Oct 03, 2022 7:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
no one trusts the present supreme court ! for comey barrett lied to us about precedents! clarence's wife is an insurrectionist and election denier! another is a woman molester and a seat stealer! wow wow wow
Ric Later
riclater211 Sep 30, 2022 11:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Great news. Now matter how hard she cries, gab nea will still be a loser
gab nea
gab nea Sep 30, 2022 11:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
you dont deny anything I say? what a sap!
gab nea
gab nea Sep 30, 2022 11:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
you dont deny anything I say? what a sap!
gab nea
gab nea Sep 30, 2022 11:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
you dont deny anything I say? what a sap!
gab nea
gab nea Sep 29, 2022 6:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the politically hacked supreme lackeys and their seditious wife are at it again!
gab nea
gab nea Sep 28, 2022 7:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
another trump appointed political hack judge! he was accused of molestation but the doesn't bother Republicans, they dont care about women!
Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa Sep 28, 2022 7:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I care a lot about female babies murdered by their mothers in the womb.
Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa Sep 28, 2022 7:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I care a lot about women and girls trafficked by Democrats in Hollywood and DC. Why no disclosure of Epstein island perverts by FBI?
Salman Rasheed
Salman Rasheed Sep 28, 2022 7:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
What a sad statement about judge Kavanaugh, he is a great jurist,
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email