With the passing of the Justice Ruth Ginsburg, the Supreme Court vacancy leaves many hot topics facing our nation with three liberal-appointed justices and 5 conservative-appointed justices. As voters, the Supreme Court will become relevant to your life with the following cases:
Due to the global pandemic, the justices may have to decide some state election outcomes. In the case of a 4-4 split, the lower court’s ruling would stand. In the worst-case scenario, if a constitutional convention was held and the state delegates could not reach a decision, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be appointed President of the United States.
California v. Texas – The court will determine if the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. If fully overturned, there will be a reversal of federal health insurance pre-existing conditions, which means women, children, people with chronic conditions and people with disabilities may have caps on their coverage or be denied entirely. Plus, young adults cannot stay on their family policy until 26 years old and there would be no Medicaid expansion (the federal government health insurance program) or tax credits for low-income working adults who cannot afford health insurance. (CBS 47 & MSNBC). The Republicans have not released an alternative to the ACA in a COVID-19 outbreak.
The justices could overturn the federal right of a woman to have an abortion at all – even in the case of rape or incest. If this happens, the Center for Reproductive Rights reports 24 states would ban abortion, and 21 states would legalize it.
Massachusetts vs. EPA – The court will determine if it is the federal government’s responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. When the Obama administration enacted laws to reduce the impact of climate change, the Trump EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler did not enforce the regulations. (WBUR)