by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
According to the Declaration of Independence, all men are created equal. The same cannot be said for all Supreme Court terms. Each one, now stretching from the first Monday in October to around the end of June, involves litigation of interest to legal scholars, to lawyers, and to their clients. These cases often focus on questions of legal procedure, statutory interpretation, and administrative law.
Some terms don’t generate interest for more than these groups and beyond these topics. This upcoming Supreme Court term … will be different.
The Supreme Court’s docket contains cases on which tens of millions of Americans will fixate between now and the term’s conclusion next summer. Indeed, the forthcoming cases include some of the most important and divisive issues of our time: abortion, gun rights, religious liberty, and racial equality. Let’s consider a few.
Bathed in the center-stage spotlight will be Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of a Mississippi law banning nearly all abortions after 15 weeks.
With Dobbs, public interest will be supercharged because of the nature of the constitutional challenge. In deciding to hear the case, the justices took up the question of whether all bans on pre-viability elective abortions are unconstitutional. …
… The gun-rights case comes in the form of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to gun ownership and that this right extended to both federal and state laws. Those cases provided a baseline — outright bans on handguns were unconstitutional and persons should be able to keep such weapons in their homes for purposes of self-defense. The Court then said that it would decide particular questions in later litigation.