Note: This is not a representation of what Forest Hills or the Hawk Herald believes, it is an opinion piece by the author.
The United States Supreme Court is starting its next term, and there are some key issues on the docket. It is expected for the supreme court to review numerous significant issues, such as the right to an abortion (established by Roe v. Wade), gun control laws, religious freedoms, and free speech.
The American people are waiting in anticipation – in just a few months, their lives could change forever. Some rights that Americans have lived with for decades could shift completely. The Supreme Court, before President Trump, sat with four democrats and four republicans with Chief Justice John Roberts voting as a moderate. Justice Roberts, though he has sided with Democrats on key issues, is thought to lean towards a conservative stance.
President Trump, during his term, was able to appoint three conservative supreme court justices – two of which were liberal. That shifted the “neutral” court to a conservative court with a 6-3 majority (including Roberts with the conservatives). This change could place the right to an abortion and laws supporting gun control in jeopardy. This next term marks the first time the Supreme Court will hear arguments in person since the start of the pandemic. It will also be the first time they hear cases open door, or open to the public, since they are back from summer break. Brett Kavanaugh, one of the Trump-appointed justices, will, however, be virtual because of his recent positive covid test. Out of all of the key issues that the Supreme Court will hear during this term, one of the most anticipated among them is abortion.
The media has been plastered with Texas’ new law that restricts abortions after 6 weeks. This recent restriction has been the biggest step taken against Roe v. Wade in the United States for years. The Supreme Court only broke their silence to say that they would not hear a case against the new Texas law. It was a vote of 5 to 4 with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the dissenting opinion joined by the other three liberal-leaning justices. This could set up a precedent that shows that the Supreme Court is not opposed to restricting abortion laws, which could potentially show other states that they too can pass such laws. However, just recently, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Texas legislation but it was since then overturned by the appeals court.
Texas is not where the fight for women’s rights ends. On December 1st, 2021, the Supreme Court is set to hear a case which states that the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks is unconstitutional. On the flip side, the state of Mississippi has also asked the court to overturn the 1973 precedent of Roe v Wade. Because of the coming battle for many rights, Washington D.C. has been flooded with people either supporting or protesting the actions that the Supreme Court may take. America was built on the foundations of freedom and equal rights. Our ancestors fought and died for all of us so we could live in peace. Oppressing people’s right to choose, to speak, and to make decisions for themselves, infringes upon the bedrock of our democracy. The Supreme Court’s next term will determine if we, as Americans, still believe in freedom for all.