by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As the Supreme Court wraps up its spring term, the justices are preparing to weigh in on a series of hot-button issues, including healthcare, voting laws, and college athlete compensation.
It has been a tumultuous year for the court. Just before the justices began hearing cases last fall, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, long the most prominent liberal on the bench, died after a long battle with cancer. And when former President Donald Trump tapped Justice Amy Coney Barrett to fill her vacant seat, Democrats reacted with dismay and called for court expansion. Once President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, Justice Stephen Breyer faced increased pressure from many liberals to retire and make way for a younger judge.
All the while, the court has been going about its business completely over the phone because of the coronavirus pandemic. … [T]here’s much more to come from the court in June, the month in which it usually releases its most politically sensitive decisions. …
… 1. Voting rule laws
The Arizona Republican Party and the Democratic National Committee have been feuding over ballot laws since before the 2016 election. When the Supreme Court heard the case this year, though, it received renewed attention because of several attempts to challenge the 2020 election.
The laws in question require two things. The first is that a ballot is thrown out if it was cast in a precinct other than the one matching the voter’s home address. The second is a ban on “ballot harvesting,” a practice in which third-party carriers collect absentee ballots and deliver them for counting. …
… 2. College athlete compensation
The NCAA’s control over student-athlete compensation has long been a sore spot for many players and fans. The court heard a case in March to decide if the league can stop colleges from giving athletes education-related benefits for their work.