The Supreme Court returned Monday, and some decisions loom large for the highest court in the land. Now that the dust has settled over President Donald Trump’s most recent nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the court is ready to get back to the real matters at hand.
Court watchers say that momentous legal rulings could alter Trump’s presidency, along with the Executive Branch’s future altogether.
Here are the four most important legal battles you need to watch out for:
- Trump’s citizenship question – The Trump administration’s addition of a question to the U.S. census asking about legal citizenship status narrowly made it before the justices.
Trump argues that adding the question would keep better track of illegal immigrants and help enforce the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted to end discrimination among voters.
As expected, he’s notably backed by Justices Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, who contend that other countries ask its voters about citizenship status, per suggestion of the United Nations. With a conservative majority, it looks likely that it Trump’s request will be upheld.
- Partisan gerrymandering cases – The Supreme Court will be handling a couple of ongoing cases regarding gerrymandering:
In Maryland, state Republicans accused Democrats of redrawing districts to get rid of a GOP congressional seat. In North Carolina, Democrats accused Republicans of remapping the district to favor the GOP. Although these cases are small, the ruling’s impact could be huge, say legal observers.
Many states have their eyes set on 2020, and the Democrats especially are planning to reorganize districts and ballot laws, or possibly keeping the president’s name off the 2020 ballot.
- The role of race in jury selection for death penalty cases – This decision came from a case involving an African-American on trial in Mississippi for allegedly murdering four people, who alleged that the prosecutors intentionally denied African-American jurors and therefore wrongly skewed the trial to get a conviction.
Prosecutors may deny jurors for undisclosed reasons, but race isn’t one of them. According to NPR reporting, the justices are expected to side with the inmate.
- Separation of church and state – A contentious topic that we uncovered earlier in the year has moved to the Supreme Court.
A 40-foot cross that served as a veterans memorial for World War I caused an uproar from atheist residents in Maryland, who argued that the cross, under government ownership, violated the Constitution. Pundits expect that the Supreme Court will allow the cross to stay.
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The Horn editorial team