Established in 1789, the Supreme Court of the United States is the only court created by the Constitution. From the time it first convened in 1790 and on into more modern times, Supreme Court rulings have been of paramount importance both legally and culturally throughout the nation.
Consequently, keeping abreast of what cases will be brought before the court is of paramount importance.
The new term for the Supreme Court began in early October. The following cases, which will be presented this term, represent the most important issues the Court has seen in a long time. Their rulings will have a lasting effect on policies throughout the country for decades to come.
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
This case began when the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips was accused of discrimination when he refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. He was found in violation of the state of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law by the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Owner Phillips, along with his lawyers argued that his baking a cake should be protected by the First Amendment and fall under his freedom of expression. This case hasn’t been scheduled to go before the Supreme Court as of yet, but is on the docket for this term.
The ruling will have long-lasting implications when it comes to an individual’s or business’ right to refuse to participate in a same-sex wedding due to their personal religious beliefs.
Carpenter v. US
This case involving Timothy Carpenter has to do with Fourth Amendment rights. According to Carpenter, who was convicted of multiple robberies in the state of Michigan, his privacy rights were violated.
He feels his claim is justified due to the fact that the police obtained pertinent information that was used in his case to tie him to the thefts and ultimately convict him in court. This information was discovered via his cell phone location data, without a warrant.
The ruling will affect whether or not authorities will be required to prove probable cause in order to procure a warrant for someone’s cellphone records, specifically the location data. As of right now, authorities have to have probable cause along with a warrant to get a person’s cellphone communication. They do not have to have these in order to obtain only the cellphone records.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cellphone records did not fall under the protection of the Fourth Amendment, and therefore didn’t require a warrant from law enforcement before being searched. Oral arguments in this case have not been scheduled but it is set for this term’s docket.
Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31
Employed by the state of Illinois, Mark Janus was forced to pay union dues to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Janus and his legal team feel he shouldn’t be forced to pay the union as he feels they have contributed greatly to the fiscal problems plaguing the state at the present time.
This case will determine whether or not public sector employees can be legally forced to pay union fees. As of now, it is considered legal, but that might change. If it does, there could be far-reaching implications for labor unions throughout the country.
Previous rulings similar to this case have typically sided with the unions. The rulings usually claim the collective bargaining power unions provide benefits for all employees, though many would disagree. The case is set for this term’s docket, but no oral arguments have been scheduled.
The three cases that will come before the Supreme Court of the United States mentioned above all could change the way everyday life in America is lived in both the private and public sectors. One might alter the way religious rights are protected when it comes to doing business. Another could very well change the way police operate when it comes to searching cellphone records. The final one might alter the way state employees engage with unions. Each of them is important and worth following up on.
Thankfully, America is a nation with a Supreme Court willing, ready and qualified to rule on such cases in a legally and constitutionally sound manner. That is assuming the justices will remember their most important commission is not one of social or cultural vigilantism, but the enforcement of existing laws.
~ Conservative Zone