Supreme Court’s Conservatives Have Abortion, Guns, God on Agenda

Supreme Court’s Conservatives Have Abortion, Guns, God on Agenda

WATCH: Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, talks about how Justices try to find common ground with each other on close cases. The U.S. Supreme Court term that starts Monday isn’t entirely about abortion. It only seems that way. The explosive issue promised to top the agenda even before the court let Texas start banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy a month ago. The court will consider a Mississippi case that could slash reproductive rights nationwide and even asks the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. But more broadly, Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s first full term offers a menu of opportunities for the court’s conservative wing to exploit its 6-3 majority — and give Republicans the type of payoff they envisioned when they pushed through her Senate confirmation just before the 2020 election. Before the term ends in June, the justices will rule on guns, religion and federal regulation, and they could add cases on affirmative action, redistricting and President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate. Those cases come against a backdrop of slipping public approval for the court and efforts by justices from across its ideological spectrum to shore up public confidence. Four justices — Barrett, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — have contended publicly in recent weeks that the court’s rulings are based on the law, not politics or personal preferences. “The court’s legitimacy rests on being able to show the public that a change in personnel does […]

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