Supreme Court at crossroads in term with abortion and gun cases

Supreme Court at crossroads in term with abortion and gun cases

The Supreme Court begins its new term next week at a crossroads and under tremendous political scrutiny, as the expanded conservative majority takes on major cases on abortion and guns that could change American society as well as how the public views the high court’s legitimacy. Those issues will dominate commentary about the Supreme Court through the end of the term in June. By that point, with the 2022 midterm elections in full swing, the justices may have ruled to give states more power to restrict abortion access and less power to curtail firearm possession. Abortion and gun rights long have motivated partisan political clashes and debates about the court. But a narrow 5-4 conservative majority for years curbed major changes to constitutional law in those areas, where the court’s work greatly influences the country’s culture. Now, the 6-3 conservative majority has agreed to decide cases that ask the court to unwind nearly 50 years of precedents on the constitutional right to an abortion and to expand for the first time the Second Amendment rights to possess a gun outside the home. Both major issues closely align with long-standing Republican political priorities and weave throughout campaign rhetoric and recent superheated Supreme Court confirmation battles. “The conditions for the right side running the table have never looked better,” Irv Gornstein, the executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law, said last week at a panel discussion to preview the court’s coming term. “In every term besides the last, […]

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