Some big decisions expected from the Supreme Court today:
The Supreme Court only has one scheduled day left this term, and that means the justices are expected to hand down opinions in the remaining cases on Monday.Consider this an open thread for info-sharing as discussion as the decisions come down today.
Those include cases on abortion, government corruption, and a ban on gun ownership by individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses.
...In what could be the most important abortion case in 25 years, clinics and doctors have challenged a Texas law in an attempt to reverse course on new regulations.
In 2013, Texas passed HB2, which contains the two provisions at issue in this case: 1) a requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital; and 2) a requirement that abortion facilities comply with the requirements for ambulatory surgical centers.
The plaintiffs in the case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, argued that there's no evidence that the law promotes women's health, and that it is really about impeding women's access to abortion. If the law goes fully into effect, the challengers contend, the number of clinics in Texas will drop to 10 or fewer.
...[A] 4-4 split would apply to all three states in the Fifth Circuit –- Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
There is also a slight possibility that the Supreme Court could send the case back to the trial court for the introduction of more evidence.
...[The gun ownership] case, Voisine v. United States, is noteworthy because Justice Clarence Thomas in March used it to ask his first questions during oral arguments in a decade.
One of the petitioners in the case, Stephen Voisine, claimed that his state domestic violence conviction shouldn't have prevented him from owning a gun under federal law. Voisine's case was consolidated with another similar case, brought by William Armstrong, both from Maine.
Although they are very likely to lose, Thomas used the oral argument as an opportunity to ask a total of 11 questions, all suggesting that the statute that barred the petitioners from gun ownership raised serious Second Amendment concerns.
"This is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?" said Thomas during arguments