Monday, January 4, 2016

USSC 2016 Cases Could Change Political History: Who Benefits, Who Loses

The High Court

The Court’s dock­et is pil­ing up with deeply di­vis­ive, overtly polit­ic­al is­sues [thus] set­ting the stage for what could be a series of bomb­shell rul­ings right in the heat of the 2016 cam­paign sea­son.

It won’t be the first time the Court has got­ten tangled up in polit­ics in an elec­tion year — in 2000 – it de­cided the out­come of the pres­id­en­tial elec­tion (Bush v. Gore), and in 2012, it de­cided the fate of Pres­id­ent Obama’s health care law (ACA) in the midst of his reelec­tion cam­paign. 

But the Court’s cur­rent term, which will likely wrap up in late June, con­tains an un­usu­ally po­tent mix of polit­ic­ally charged cases. There are sev­er­al ways for the Court to step in­to the polit­ic­al fray.         

Highlights include these possible cases and related issues:

(1)  It can rule on the polit­ic­al firestorm of the mo­ment (as it did with Obama­care in 2012).

(2)  It can take up a well-es­tab­lished tent ­pole of the cul­ture wars (e.g., same-sex mar­riage). It can change the rules of elect­or­al polit­ics (e.g., cam­paign fin­ance re­form).

(3) Make life in gen­er­al harder for one side of the polit­ic­al spec­trum.

This term, the Court could do all of the three above. Plus [added attraction these two]:

(4)  It will prob­ably rule on Obama’s ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions on im­mig­ra­tion — the single biggest do­mest­ic-policy de­bate in the 2016 cam­paign.

(5)  It will also wade back in­to abor­tion rights and take an­oth­er stab at Obama­care’s con­tra­cep­tion man­date (in the ACA – like in Hobby Lobby ruling).

All of that serves as a vivid re­mind­er that the next pres­id­ent could get to nom­in­ate as many as four new justices. Here’s a quick run­down of the cases that could shake up the 2016 race as hi-lighted above:

My notes: It is a shame that the court mostly tries to avoid strictly political issues (impact and outcomes), but with this 5-4 Conservative-leaning 5, and the rabid GOP-run Congress with their Conservative bent, who knows what the outcome(s) will be.

Plus, the whole gun issue may raise its ugly head once again and just in time to get the NRA and gun-lovers (or gun nuts if you prefer) all charged up and spending like crazy on things like no more rules for buying or getting or having a gun; or the validity of “open carry” laws and other such hot-buttons built into this whole arena.

Stay tuned – it out be as they say a “ball-buster” term at the high court.  

Thanks for stopping by.

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