Thirty-three argued cases remain to be decided at the United States Supreme Court. This means the snail’s pace of opinion announcements so far must change for the Court to close out the term by the end of June, as is customary. Of course, every American who doesn’t live in a cave is aware of the pending decision in the abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Here’s a rundown of some significant cases in which the Court could make new rulings on Monday, besides in the now infamous case that leaked:
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen – Guns & right to carry
This case concerns whether or not New York is allowed to use an arbitrary standard to determine whether a person can legally carry a firearm in the state. The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) asks the Supreme Court to declare the current licensing rubric unconstitutional. Their wish is for the Court to order that licenses be granted on a “shall issue” basis to all qualified applicants.
Presently in New York and many other anti-gun states, only favored citizens may lawfully carry a firearm outside the home. So, if your brother-in-law is the mayor or you donate generously to an elected official’s campaign, you may be granted a permit to carry. But meanwhile, a similarly situated applicant who is not friends with anyone important may be denied. If the Court rules in favor of NYSRPA, the state will be required to consider all applications equally, resulting in many more people being issued permits.
American Hospital Association v. Becerra – Judicial deference to executive agencies
While the case is ostensibly about government-set reimbursement rates for hospitals, it’s really about whether the Court abandons a judicial doctrine called the “Chevron deference.” Conservatives and libertarians are hoping they will. In 2018 in a National Review piece called “What Should America Expect from a More Originalist Supreme Court?”, David French wrote:
“In the absence of clear and express congressional delegations of power, there is growing originalist resistance to what’s called Chevron deference — the voluntary judicial practice of deferring to agencies’ interpretations of federal law so long as they are merely “reasonable.” The practical result of this doctrine has been an enormous expansion of administrative power and authority, permitting executive agencies to make the law as well as enforce it.”
Ruan v. U.S. – Pill mills and the right to practice medicine
If a doctor writes a prescription that he or she “reasonably believed” falls within the course of professional practice or, in good faith, “subjectively intended” it to do so, can that doctor be convicted of a crime regardless? That question will be decided in this case. As reported in SCOTUSblog’s entry on the case, “While on the surface, the case may appear to be an ordinary ‘pill mill’ case, the decision could have a much broader impact on the practice of medicine as well as doctrines of criminal intent.”
Doctors challenging the law are appealing their criminal convictions via their jury instructions, “which they argue did not properly emphasize this good-faith component.”
Kennedy v. Bremerton School District – Right to prayer at school by employees
Joseph Kennedy was dismissed from his job as a football coach at a public high school because he knelt to pray at midfield at the end of games. Kennedy argues he has both a free exercise right of free speech and religion to back his case. The Bremerton school district said it must restrict Kennedy’s prayers, or it would violate the students’ rights. The coach is an employee, so they said his prayers constitute an impermissible establishment of a religion from its students’ perspective.
On Monday morning, the Court takes the bench in a courtroom still closed to the public “Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees,” as it has since 2020 and “until further notice.” However, cases may be listened to online, as they are presented, from the Court’s website.