Supreme Court to decide on 13 cases over next few weeks

June is final month of Supreme Court’s annual term

Al Jazeera, By Sara Hassan, June 1

June is the final month of the Supreme Court’s annual term before the summer recess begins. Over the next few weeks, the Court will make decisions on 13 major cases. Among the issues up for debate are same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and religious freedom.


Obergefell vs. Hodges deals with the issue of same-sex marriage, and whether or not the 14th amendment’s Equal Protection Clause requires individual states to allow it, as well as, recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed out-of-state.


Another closely-watched case is King vs. Burwell, which could deliver a huge setback to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.” The law offers subsidies to people who need help paying for health coverage, requiring them to buy it through an exchange established by the state, but only 14 states have set up their own exchanges. Four plaintiffs are claiming that the subsidies in the remaining 36 states are illegal, putting health insurance subsidies for about 7.5 million Americans at stake.


There are other important cases up for debate that are being followed closely. Glossip vs. Gross looks into whether the use of the drug Midazolam violates the 8th amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Walker vs. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans looks at whether or not the 1st amendment protects controversial messages on specialty license plates, such as the use of the Confederate flag image. Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will decide if the EPA has the authority to force coal and power industries to sharply reduce hazardous emissions. The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel will decide if requiring motel owners to keep guest registries for police inspection violates the 4th amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

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