Supreme Court Returns to Rule on Controversial Issues

In Summary

The Supreme Court justices have returned to in-person deliberations to hear a full slate of controversial issues, including abortion, gun laws and rights for Puerto Ricans. 

The Supreme Court of the United States has returned to in-person deliberations and is scheduled to hear oral arguments from October to December.  

According to the Associated Press, the justices were hearing cases by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic prior to summer break. Now, they are gathering for sessions only open to the justices and limited availability for others. 

RELATED: SCOTUS Judge Brett Kavanaugh Tests Positive for COVID-19 

 “Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Courtroom sessions will not be open to the public. The Court will continue to closely monitor public health guidance in determining plans,” the group announced in a press release.  

The last time the justices convened in person, the conservative justices had a slight advantage with a 5-4 majority. Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced liberal Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg after her death in September 2020, which now gives the conservative justices a 6-3 majority.  

According to Vox, the justices are set to hear a full slate of controversial issues, including abortion, gun laws, and religious liberty.  

RELATED: Supreme Court Will Hear Mississippi’s Abortion Ban Case 

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will be heard in December and it is a threat to Roe v. Wade. The case centers around a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. On the issue of American gun laws, the Court will hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. It challenges New York state law which requires anyone who wants to carry a handgun in public to demonstrate “proper cause” in order to get a license.  

Dunn v. Ray is a case involving a Muslim death row inmate who was denied the presence of an imam at his execution. However, Christian inmates are allowed to have spiritual leaders before their execution. The Court will also rule on whether or not Puerto Ricans can be denied benefits like Supplemental Security Income in the case of United States v. Vaello-Madero.  

While the debates will not be open to the public, live audio feeds will be available for people to listen to the oral arguments.  

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.  

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