Here Are The Biggest Supreme Court Decisions We’re Still Waiting For This Term
One of the biggest Supreme Court terms in recent memory still has a handful of major cases left on the docket — cases that could that alter the political landscape on abortion, immigration and the environment.
In total, there are nine decisions yet to be announced this term. The court usually tries to wrap by the end of June, and generally saves the biggest cases for last. (One of those big decisions came Thursday when the court announced it had voted to overturn a New York gun control law, in a major statement about the conservative majority's view about the Second Amendment.)
The next opinion date is Friday. If the court doesn't announce all of the remaining decisions that day, more cases will be decided next week.
Here are the biggest remaining cases:
In the nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade found a constitutional right to abortion, conservatives have been working to overturn it. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is their most serious chance yet.
The case concerns a Mississippi law that bans all abortion past 15 weeks, except in very limited medical circumstances.
A draft opinion leaked in May suggested that five of the court's conservative justices had decided to overturn Roe, sparking protests nationwide.
But there's no guarantee that the draft is the court's final opinion. Notably, reports of the leak did not include how Chief Justice John Roberts planned to vote – should he choose to join the majority, he could re-assign the opinion to himself and change it significantly.
Read and hear more about the case:
- Roe v. Wade's future is in doubt after historic arguments at Supreme Court
- Here's what could happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned
- Could overturning Roe v. Wade have implications beyond abortion?
- This Mississippi clinic is at the center of the case that could end Roe v. Wade
- NPR Politics Podcast: The Docket: After A Half Century, Roe V. Wade Faces An Uncertain Future
West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency is all about the federal government's ability to create environmental regulations. The challengers are a group of 27 Republican attorneys general, many from states with traditions in the fossil fuel industry, including West Virginia.
Essentially, they argue that the executive branch of government – which includes the EPA – should not be allowed to set rules and regulations around greenhouse gas emissions. Rather, it should be Congress to do so, they say.
Neither of the actual regulations at the heart of the case – the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, and the Trump-era Affordable Clean Energy rule – are currently in effect.
Despite that, a wide-ranging ruling could weaken the federal government's ability to combat climate change by regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more about the case:
- Supreme Court to hear a case that could limit the EPA's power to fight climate change
- Experts worry Supreme Court could hamstring EPA, other federal agencies in upcoming climate case
'Remain in Mexico'
Biden v. Texas is the case over the so-called "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy, which was enacted by then-President Trump in 2019.
The policy requires many asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while they wait for asylum hearings – a wait that typically lasts months or years.
The Biden administration has twice tried to end the policy, first in June of last year, and again in October. But lower courts have ordered the administration to reinstate the policy after challenges from Texas and Missouri, who argue that efforts to reverse the policy violated administrative and immigration law.
Read and hear more about the case:
- Supreme Court's conservatives divided over 'Remain in Mexico' policy
- Will the Supreme Court be as deferential to Biden on immigration as it was to Trump?
- U.S. will resume 'Remain in Mexico' policy for asylum-seekers
- NPR Politics Podcast: Remain In Mexico: Will The Supreme Court Let Biden End Trump's Asylum Policy?