The abortion case may finish or intensify the sequence of liberal victories on the Supreme Court docket
The Supreme Court has given the Liberals surprising results this week in two blockbuster decisions prohibiting companies from firing workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and the Trump administration's efforts to end the Obama-era DACA program that protects the young migrants, known as "dreamer" stopped.
But the left still sees potential dangers ahead. In the coming days, the Supreme Court is expected to make a decision in a high-profile abortion dispute that could send signals as to how the panel, which includes two people named by President Donald Trump in its conservative majority, will handle reproductive rights in the EU for years get.
"It feels like we're being softened for the blow, isn't it?" Sasha Samberg-Champion, a liberal civil rights lawyer and former Justice Department lawyer, wrote in a representative post on Thursday after the DACA decision was published.
"Progressives must remain vigilant," said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, a group of Supreme Court activists, in a statement.
In the meantime, the decisions have unsettled the rights, which even the judges appointed by the Republicans have criticized for their votes. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Called it "#SCOTUS 'most disappointing week in years".
The struggle for abortion has led to clashes over the Supreme Court for decades and remains a battleground in the 2020 presidential competition between Trump and alleged democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The June Medical Services v. Russo case, No. 18-1323, concerns a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to be approved in a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. A federal district court found that Louisiana, a state with nearly five million inhabitants, would be limited to only one doctor who performs abortions.
Medical attention in June was the subject of excessive political attention even before the Supreme Court issued its opinion on LGBT workers and DACA cases.
However, as a result of these decisions, the case has gained even more weight as a loose barometer of the conservatism of the court during a high-stake election year in which Trump tried to both abortion and his right-wing court selected key elements.
The case is the first abortion case to be discussed in court since Trump's candidates, judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, joined the bank. As a candidate, Trump promised to appoint judges who would support the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade would "automatically" pick up.
One of the reasons the case has raised so much alarm among reproductive rights activists is that the law in question is almost identical to an abortion measure in Texas that the Supreme Court overturned four years ago.
The fact that the court has agreed to hear a case involving a law similar to the 2016 law suggests that the court, with its new conservative majority, might be willing to push back the abortion precedents it sets were when the Supreme Court was more liberal.
However, it is entirely possible that the court will hand over another victory to the Liberals.
At a hearing in March, Attorney General John Roberts signaled that he was ready to break the law, although such questions don't always predict how a judiciary will vote. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh gave little evidence of their thinking at that time. In an unusual step, Gorsuch asked no questions at all.
A decision in this case is expected to be made in late June, but may be delayed due to the precautions taken in response to Covid-19.
The unpredictability of the Supreme Court shows the difficulty of Trump's efforts to make his candidates for the Supreme Court a topic of conversation for the campaign. While Trump often boasts of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh at speeches and campaign events, his tone was far more acidic this week.
"These terrible and politically charged Supreme Court decisions are shotgun shots against people who are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter shortly after the DACA decision was released Thursday.
"The recent Supreme Court decisions, not just on DACA, Sanctuary Cities, Census, and others, tell you only one thing: we need NEW Supreme Court Justice," he wrote in another. "When the radical left-wing Democrats take power, your second change, the right to life, safe borders and religious freedom will be over and over!"
To a certain extent, Trump's attacks on the court match his years of involvement with Roberts, an establishment Republican appointed by then President George W. Bush.
Carrie Severino, who heads the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, an influential activist organization, said in an interview that decisions like the DACA decision drafted by Roberts "are part of the reason we have President Trump."
"The Supreme Judge has created a real pattern for participating in efforts to arm the court as an instrument against the Trump administration," said Severino.
However, complicating Trump's maneuvers is the role his own judges play in the legal defeats.
While both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were in the minority in the DACA dispute, Gorsuch was the author of the court's decision Monday to apply Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act to LGBT workers. The vote in this case was 6-3, with Roberts joining Gorsuch and the Court's Liberals, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
In the sanctuary case cited by the president, the government failed to get even four votes to allow the court to review the government's challenge to a California law restricting state and local cooperation with the federal immigration authorities.
Likewise, the court would have needed only four votes to agree to hear one of ten cases of the second change that the court rejected on Monday, disappointing gun rights activists. Judge Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative Supreme Court judges, contested his colleagues' decision not to hear one of the cases.
While the voting results in these disputes were not released, neither Roberts nor any of the court's liberals would have required voting to be included in the court's next term.
Melissa Murray, a law professor at New York University and co-host of the Supreme Court's podcast Strict Scrutiny, described Trump's messages to the Supreme Court as "a little headstrong and perhaps incoherent".
"There is immediate discontent at the fact that his conservative majority is not acting the way he wants it, but also the realization that the judges helped him with the election," she said.
In the last week before the Supreme Court, Murray pointed out that the legal issues facing Medical Services in June are different from those discussed in the LGBT rights and DACA cases.
But she said, "One thing you could learn from this week is that the Supreme Judge remains an institutional administrator of the court and its inheritance."
With that in mind, it is possible that Roberts & # 39; Shepherd's reputation plays a role in all three cases.
"He may be concerned about the perception that the court is in the Trump administration's pocket," said Murray.