On guns, abortion, high court could become more conservative

On guns, abortion, high court could become more conservative

WASHINGTON — If Congress confirms President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court would become more conservative, and also perhaps more ready to tackle certain hot-button issues like abortion and guns. Chief Justice John Roberts would also likely become less able to steer the outcome in divisive cases. Ginsburg, who died last week at 87, was the leader of the liberal wing of the court, which had been split 5-4 between conservatives and liberals. Roberts had, on occasion, sided with the liberals. But if Trump fills Ginsburg’s seat, there will be six conservative justices, three of them appointed by him. Here are several big issues that are poised to come before the justices where a more solidly conservative majority could make a difference: HEALTHCARE A week after the presidential election, the court will hear arguments in bid by the Trump administration and Republican-led states to overturn the Obama-era health care law. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, coverage for more than 20 million people is at stake, along with the law’s ban on insurance discrimination against Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. A more conservative court might be seen as more sympathetic to striking down the Affordable Care Act, but the court might still choose not to. The justices have less drastic options. For example, the court could invalidate "Obamacare’s" now toothless requirement that most Americans carry health insurance, and leave in place core provisions such as subsidized health insurance, Medicaid expansion and protection […]

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