If a conservative Supreme Court can’t get Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage RIGHT, then does it really matter?
Written by: JJ Liniger
Edited by: Quinn Cameron
Some people support the Republican Presidential nominee not because they like Donald Trump, but because of him possibly nominating FOUR new Supreme Court (SC) justices. Lately, though, I’ve been hearing from Christian friends that the SC might not be as important as we once thought.
Both Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which legalized same-sex marriage, were passed under a conservative SC. I admit, this does put a damper on the SC argument. There’s no denying the power of the SC and the influence it has over America. But, what if it being conservative doesn’t really make a difference?
Let’s find out!
After looking at 53 cases passed on a 5/4 majority from 2010-2015 (full list of cases and summary about them at the bottom), I found that the SC is very important. I’ll highlight a few.
- BURWELL v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES — It upheld that corporations are “persons” and can function within their moral principles.
— To me this is huge!! I don’t own my own business, but I love to know that Christians can still operate within their morals. I hope the same graciousness that was given to Hobby Lobby can be given to smaller cake shops and photographers.
- KEN L. SALAZAR v. FRANK BUONO — Allowed a cross to stay.
— Let me just say that again. It took the Supreme Court for a cross to remain unconstitutional! What the heck? The fact that a case like this made it so far blows my mind.
- TOWN OF GREECE v. GALLOWAY — Prayer in government meetings needs to include all faiths.
— On the surface, I don’t have a problem with this one. Yes, absolutely, as Christians we should be aware of ANY faith that is being discriminated against and defend it. In this particular case, the defendant didn’t like that majority of the prayers were from Christian faiths and now there is a court order requiring them to include all faiths. Which is good, and also sort of scary that courts needed to get involved. Shouldn’t those in charge of the meetings be able to invite any person of faith they choose, rather than being forced to be diverse?
(For other examples, see list below.)
Now, let’s look at what the SC has done since the death of Justice Scalia. In theory, the court is split among four conservative justices and four liberals.
- FISHER v. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN — To consider whether race-conscious college admission plans are constitutional.
- In a 4/3 decision, they reiterated that the University has an ongoing obligation to use available data “to assess whether changing demographics have undermined the need for a race-conscious policy; and to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of the affirmative-action measures it deems necessary.”
- UNITED STATES v. TEXAS — To consider whether President Obama exceeded his powers when protecting four million illegal immigrants who are parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents
- With a 4/4 vote, it reverted back to the lower court’s decision.
- ZUBIK v. BURWELL — Challenging the Affordable Care Act on behalf of religious affiliated organizations, to make them free from providing their employees contraceptive coverage.
- Same as above, a 4/4 split, which defaults to the lower court’s decision. This is also true for 2 other cases with similar content ZUBIK CATHOLIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEM v BURWELL and MICHIGAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE v. BURWELL. (Notice that, with Justice Scalia, a similar case passed 5/4 for Hobby Lobby)
- 4. WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH V. COLE — Determining State regulation of abortion, targeting restrictions.
- With a 5/3 vote, they ruled that Texas cannot place restrictions on abortion services that create an undue burden, therefore sections of Texas’s law were declared invalid.
That’s huge! I understand abortion isn’t going anywhere, and Roe v. Wade will never be overturned, but my concern is that abortion laws could get worse. Many states have abortion restrictions and, like the case above, those restrictions could be deemed unconstitutional.
A conservative Supreme court getting it “wrong” in two super important cases does not take away from the times they got it right.
Without conservative judges, who will make the right choices?
As always, with Love
Here are 53 cases which passed on a 5/4 majority from 2010-2015, and a summary of their outcome. http://supremecourtdatabase.org/analysisCaseListing.php?sid=1501-TWOFOLD-6748 (sorry the numbering system didn’t copy/paste well, but all 53 are there)
- CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
- Holding: Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.
- STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA v STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
- Water rights
- DENNIS HOLLINGSWORTH, et al., APPLICANTS v. KRISTIN M. PERRY et al.
- Legalized same sex marriage
- SHADY GROVE ORTHOPEDIC ASSOCIATES, P.A. v. ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY
- Interest to policy holders
- 5. KEN L. SALAZAR, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, et al. v. FRANK BUONO
- Allow a cross to STAY
- SONNY PERDUE, GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA, et al. v. KENNY A., BY HIS NEXT FRIEND LINDA WINN, et al.
- Legal fees
- MARY BERGHUIS, WARDEN v. VAN CHESTER THOMPKINS
- Suspects right to silence
- NEW PROCESS STEEL, L.P. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
- Labor laws
- RENT-A-CENTER, WEST, INC. v. ANTONIO JACKSON
- Racial discrimination
- BILLY JOE MAGWOOD v. TONY PATTERSON, WARDEN, et al.
- Death sentence
- FREE ENTERPRISE FUND AND BECKSTEAD AND WATTS, LLP v PUBLIC COMPANY ACCOUNTING OVERSIGHT BOARD et al.
- Non-profit separation of powers within organization
- 7. OTIS MCDONALD, et al. v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, et al.
- Handgun ban, 2nd Amendment violated.
- HARRY F. CONNICK, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, et al. PETITIONERS v. JOHN THOMPSON
- Compensation for wrongful murder charge
- 2. ARIZONA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL TUITION ORGANIZATION, PETITIONER v. KATHLEEN M. WINN et al.
- Tax funds towards religious education
- VINCENT CULLEN, ACTING WARDEN, PETITIONER v. SCOTT LYNN PINHOLSTER
- Sentencing case
- AT&T MOBILITY LLC, PETITIONER v. VINCENT CONCEPTION ET UX
- Paying taxes on free services
- JANUS CAPITAL GROUP, INC., et al. PETITIONERS v. FIRST DERIVATIVE TRADERS
- Marketing and investments
- WALMART STORES, INC., PETITIONER v BETTY DUKES et al.
- Mulitple women filing claiming gender bias
- DONALD MULLCOMING, PETITIONER v. NEW MEXICO
- Sentencing case
- PLIVIA, INC., et al. PETITIONERS v. GLADY’S MENSING
- Prescription drug labeling
- HOWARD K. STERN, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF VICKI LYNN MARSHALL, PETITIONER, v. ELAIN T. MARSHALL, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF E. PIERCE MARSHALL
- Heritance dispute
- ARIZONA FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB’S FREEDOM CLUB PAC, et al., PETITIONERS v. KEN BENNETT, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE, et al.
- Campaign funding and freedom of speech
- HUMBERTO LEAL GARCIA, AKA HUMBERTO LEAL v. TEXAS
- Sentencing case
- DANIEL COLEMAN, PETITIONER v. COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND et al.
- Medical leave
- ALBERT W. FLORENCE, PETITIONER v. BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS OF THE COUNTY OF BURLINGTON et al.
- Strip search before entering jail
- UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. HOME CONCRETE & SUPPLY, LLC et al
- Income tax
- LYNWOOD D. HALL, ET UX., PETITIONERS v. UNITED STATES
- Income tax
- SALAZAR v. RAMAH NAVAJO CHAPTER
- Tribal federal tax
- MICHAEL SHANE CHRISTOPHER, et al., PETITIONERS v. SMITHKLINE BEECHAM CORPORATION DBA GLAXOSMITHKLINE
- Pharmaceutical reps offering favors to doctor’s offices
- AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHKIP, INC., FKA WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., et al. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MONTANA, et al.
- Campaign and freedom of speech
- 17. JAMES R. CLAPPER. JR., DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, et al. PETITIONERS v. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA et al.
- Foreign intelligence surveillance invasion of privacy
- FLORIDA, PETITIONER v. JOELIS JARDINES
- Search warrants regarding drug dogs
- COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., PETITIONERS v. CAROLINE BEHREND et al.
- Corporate monopoly
- GENESIS HEALTHCARE CORPORATION, et al., PETITIONERS v. LAURA SYMCZYK
- Fair labor standards
- MISSOURI, PETITIONER v. G. MCNEELY
- Search warrant for blood testing
- JONATHAN EDWARD BOYER, PETITIONER v. LOUISIANA
- Sentencing case
- GENOVEVO SALINA, PETITIONER v. TEXAS
- Sentencing criminal case
- MUTUAL PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY, INC., PETITIONER v. KAREN L. BARTLETT
- Prescription drug damages
- MAETTA VANCE, PETITIONER v. BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
- Hostile work environment
- UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER, PETITIONER v. NAIEL NASSAR
- Retaliation claim and constructive discharge
- SHELBY COUNTY v. HOLDER
- Voter discrimination
- KOONTZ v. ST. JOHN S RIVER WATER MGMT. DIST.
- Permit on government land
- 12. HOLLINGSWORTH v. PERRY
- Legalized same-sex marriage
- MCCUTCHEON v. FEC
- Campaign fundraising
- 2. TOWN OF GREECE v. GALLOWAY
- Prayer in governmental meetings needs to include all faiths
- SCIALABBA v. CUELLAR DE OSORIO
- Child visa transferring to adult
- 2. BURWELL v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES
- Upheld that corporations are “persons” and can function within their moral principles
- HARRIS v. QUINN
- Paying fair share fees
- ARMSTRONG v. EXCEPTIONAL CHILD CENTER, INC.
- Raising rates
- KERRY v. DIN
- Reason need when denied Visa on grounds of terrorism
- DAVIS v. AYALA
- Sentencing criminal case
- MICHIGAN v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
- EPA regulations
- GLOSSIP v. GROSS
- Lethal injection methods