The U.S. Supreme Court’s new term started Monday, October 4, and the cases already on the docket will test the Court’s fidelity to originalism, the rule of law, and the Constitution’s mandate to protect and preserve Americans’ God-given rights.
Here are three key cases and issues to watch:
Pro-Life: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
This is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and what has been precedent since 1973. The certified question before the Court is whether all pre-viability elective abortions are unconstitutional, in light of a Mississippi law banning elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The easiest way that the Supreme Court could gut Roe is to simply to recognize federalism. States have the delegated power to make laws protecting human life. The Court could just say this is a state issue and then, of course, the pro-life debate would become a debate among the fifty states.
The government’s chief obligation is to protect human life at every stage of development from conception to natural death, but the Roe Court incorrectly applied a federal “right to privacy” to cover some abortions in some circumstances. Many pro-life advocates are very encouraged that we have a conservative majority on the court that hopefully will recognize the biblical truth and the science that life begins at conception.
Oral Arguments: December 1, 2021
Gun Rights: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen
This case challenges a New York State law that requires anyone who wants a concealed carry permit to have to prove, first, that they have a good reason for carrying a weapon. The last time the Supreme Court contemplated a Second Amendment case was in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller. In that case, the Court recognized that the Constitution does protect citizens who wants to own and keep a firearm inside their home. This case contemplates whether that right extends to carrying outside the home.
The constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms does extend to outside the home. We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court recognizes that the Second Amendment does not require citizens to prove merit or a “good reason” to exercise their right.
Oral Arguments: November 3, 2021
Religious Liberty: Carson v. Makin
This is framed as a challenge to the Establishment and Free Exercises clauses as well as the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, and the case considers whether religious institutions can benefit from state funding through parents’ school choice determination. A tuition assistance program in Maine grants tuition assistance to families for private school. Two families were denied funding after they planned to use it to send their children to private schools that provided religious instruction.
The U.S. Constitution protects the right of parents to direct their children’s education, and we are hopeful the Court will recognize that parents who want to provide religious instruction should not be treated dissimilarly or discriminated against by the state simply because they choose religious instructions over secular-based education.
Oral Arguments: December 8, 2021
Decisions in these cases can be expected at any time after oral argument and before the Court’s term ends in June, 2022. Typically, the Court will hold its most controversial or politically-charged opinions until later in the term, but it’s possible we may see opinions in these cases handed down sooner.
We must pray for the justices to fulfill their duty to protect and preserve our rights in these important areas and for sound, moral decisions in every case this term.