claire anderson Vq yk6faOI unsplash 448fb

As the Supreme Court continues to announce decisions, we are seeing major progress being made when it comes to long-argued issues like immigration, discrimination, and abortion. 

The Court is currently a conservative-majority with Chief Justice John Roberts, newest justice Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Neil M. Gorsuch on the more conservative side and justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer,
Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan on the more liberal side.

However, the sole purpose of the supreme court justices is to decide whether or not what they're deciding on is constitutional.  

These are just a few of many decisions that have been made this year, but we're still waiting on a few important cases to be decided.

June Medical Services LLC v. Russo: This case was a 2014 Louisiana law that required doctors at abortion clinics have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Opponents of the law argued that the enforcement would only leave one doctor at one clinic in the state for the 10,000 women who seek abortions every year, according to NBC News. In a surprising move, Chief John Roberts, a usually conservative judge, sided with left-leaning judges Ginsburg, Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor in deciding that the law was unconstitutional. The 5-justice majority opinion said that the law put an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions without offering any medical benefits.

Roberts - No

RBG - No

Kagan - No

Breyer - No

Sotomayor - No

Kavanaugh - Yes

Alito - Yes

Thomas - Yes

Gorsuch - Yes

Altitude Express v. Zarda & R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: These cases brought the question of whether or not Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The court, in a 6-3 decision for both cases, ruled that the Act covers this type of discrimination and that firing an employee simply because they identify as gay or transgender is unconstitutional, according to Oyez

Roberts - Yes

RBG - Yes

Kagan - Yes

Breyer - Yes

Sotomayor - Yes

Kavanaugh - No

Alito - No

Thomas - No

Gorsuch - Yes

Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California: In a 5-4 vote, the Court upheld the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, stating that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end the program was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal justices in voting. DACA is a program started by the Obama Administration that postpones the deportation of children brought illegally into the United States by their parents and allows them work permits, according to Oyez.

Roberts - Yes

RBG - Yes

Kagan - Yes

Breyer - Yes

Sotomayor - Yes

Kavanaugh - No

Alito - No

Thomas - No

Gorsuch - No

Kahler v. Kansas established that it is constitutional for a state to abolish the insanity defense in criminal court. In the 6-3 decision, Justice Kagan sided with the conservative justices. The insanity defense is often used to defend perpetrators who are mentally ill and could not tell wrong from right or had an altered sense of reality due to their illness, according to Cornell. Those that are convicted on an insanity defense do not go to prison but are often institutionalized and receive mental health treatment. 

Roberts - No

RBG - No

Kagan - Yes

Breyer - No

Sotomayor - No

Kavanaugh - Yes

Alito - Yes

Thomas - Yes

Gorsuch - Yes

However, there are still many other long-argued cases that have not been decided yet.

Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania has to do with whether or not employers can object to providing contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act based on religious or “moral” exemptions. The case will decide whether or not the federal government’s decision to create these exemptions was “lawful,” according to Oyez.

Trump v. Mazars & Trump v. Vance both have to do with the release of President Trump’s tax returns and his claims of “executive privilege.”

A full list of decisions and pending cases from this year can be found here.

Header image: Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

 

More from BUST

"The Handmaid's Tale" Isn't America's Reality—But It Could Be

The Supreme Court Just Blocked Trump From Ending DACA

Supreme Court Provides Historic Win For LGBTQ+ Community On Employment Discrimination

Evi Arthur is a graduate of Roosevelt University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies and a minor in women’s and gender studies. The former editor-in-chief of her university paper, Evi has previously interned at Chicago Agent Magazine and St. Louis Magazine. A St. Louis native (and lover of St. Louis-style pizza), she plans to eventually return to school and earn a Master's degree in investigative reporting. You can follow her at @EviArthur on Instagram and Twitter.

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.